In a potential violation of state law, then-Assistant District Attorney Brooke Jenkins last year sent sensitive files from the DA’s office to a fellow district attorney’s personal email account — and subsequently used the materials in the political campaign to oust DA Chesa Boudin.
The email, since obtained by Mission Local, was sent from Jenkins’ work account to fellow Assistant District Attorney Don du Bain on Oct. 9, 2021, after both Jenkins and du Bain had given notice and an interoffice email was circulated announcing their pending goodbye party. Both left the office on Oct. 16 of last year, according to Department of Human Resources records.
The subject line of Jenkins’ email was “Troy McAllister Police reports.” It contained three police reports regarding the serial offender who, while driving intoxicated on Dec. 31, 2020, struck and killed two pedestrians. All three police reports were unredacted and, significantly, one contained a lengthy, unredacted rap sheet for McAlister, dating back to 1993.
Following their exit from the District Attorney’s office, both Jenkins and du Bain officially joined the nascent recall effort of Boudin, and highlighted the details of McAlister’s extensive criminal history contained in the police reports and/or rap sheet.
Former DA Chesa Boudin confirmed that neither Jenkins, at the time a homicide prosecutor, nor du Bain, who was in the domestic violence division, had a professional attachment to the McAllister case. Both, additionally, were short-timers who had given notice and would leave the office in seven days.
Disseminating police reports to parties who do not have a professional attachment to the case, and using such materials for personal or political purposes, was described to Mission Local by veteran prosecutors as a grave breach of conduct. Disseminating a criminal history such as a rap sheet, however, is a potentially more serious matter: The California penal code states that the furnishing of such a record to a person who is not authorized to receive it is a misdemeanor.
Multiple calls, texts, and emails to Jenkins and her office made over the course of just shy of 24 hours have not been returned.
After helming the winning recall effort, Jenkins was named District Attorney in July; she is running for election in her own right next week. Du Bain was, in August, re-hired by Jenkins and put into a management position.
Mission Local shared the details of the situation, but not the names of the individuals involved, with San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. He was unambiguous in his assessment.
“In our office,” he said, “this would be a firing offense.” He added: “It is a misdemeanor offense to share a rap sheet for any purpose other than doing the prosecution.”
Former Los Angeles DA Gil Garcetti concurred. “You should not be sending police reports or rap sheets to anyone who does not have a direct interest in the particular case,” he said. “If you cannot articulate a reason to get a rap sheet, you should not have it.”
Garcetti, who served 32 years in the Los Angeles DA’s office, and led it from 1992 to 2000, said that if something like this occurred under his watch, he would strongly consider “some type of suspension, or even termination.”
Jenkins’ office is not unaware of the rules regarding misuse of sensitive files. On Oct. 3, Jenkins and Chief Assistant District Attorney Ana Gonzalez sent a letter to Lateef Gray, one of more than a dozen Boudin hires Jenkins dismissed upon taking control of the office.
In it, Jenkins accused Gray of downloading restricted data from the DA’s office to a portable hard drive on the day of his termination. “Your unauthorized transfer of files … and your continued possession of this information may have violated state and federal laws and regulations restricting the possession, dissemination, and use of confidential criminal record information …” reads the letter sent to Gray. It concludes by threatening “possible legal action.”
Jenkins’ office did not respond to queries from Mission Local regarding what statutes it would potentially use to charge Gray. It did not specify this to Gray either, nor to his attorney, Matt Gonzalez. Gonzalez denied that Gray had removed or disseminated any files in a subsequent rejoinder to the DA, dismissing the accusations as speculative.
The dichotomy here did not escape San Francisco legal observers.
“This was a fireable offense. It was not their case and they were leaving the office and they subsequently used the information for political purposes, and now they’re making a big deal about Lateef’s hard drive,” summed up a former San Francisco prosecutor from the Kamala Harris era.
“Whether you print out the material and skulk out of the office with it in your briefcase or email it, it’s the same thing. You are not supposed to do this and you learn that within the first week of being a misdemeanor DA in any office. This is 101.”
Mission Local has contacted the Attorney General’s office seeking comment. Its response is pending.
Santa Clara University School of Law professor W. David Ball said Jenkins and du Bain’s actions constituted a weaponization of the prosecutor’s office.
“The model we have of the prosecutorial function is that we are not punishing political enemies,” he said. “We can disagree about what prosecutorial policies should be. But making this a political tool to use the position of the office to attack political enemies? That really is quite dangerous.”
I see a whole bunch of integrity to do the right thing no matter if nobody’s looking and there’s nothing to use of your work material for weapons. Keep it professional at all times and do no harm to anybody and sharing information is a HIPAA violation
She actually capitalized the word “police” in the subject line 😂
I for one believe in transparency in respect to criminal behavior. I’m not referring to Ms. Jenkins behavior I’m referring to a career criminal that stole a car,killed two innocent people, and had a rap sheet that apparently was quite extensive. The man should not have been on the streets ,he should have been in jail or prison. San Francisco’s past D.A.s have let career criminals out of confinement, and the recidivism rate is off the charts . Criminals protected by our politicians have destroyed our once beautiful city. Next to inflation crime is number two on a majority of peoples minds . I’ve been a victim ,and nothing was done . I applaud Ms.Jenkins . Hiding criminals past behaviors should be made public. People have had it with violence,looting, and drugs . We need a tough on crime District Attorney, Brooke has my vote .
Man, MissionLocal sure is rolling in finding the criminals in City Government this Fall.
My donations are worth dividends. Literally.
Amazingly the only defenses of her behavior are either deflections and what ifs in comments, how disappointing.
I always was suspicious of her from the start, faking everything she says she is.
Not that she was ever great at hiding it, even under the aegis of the mayor.
And tis the tale of Ann Hsu, if you care about something so much you’d recall someone over it, get someone competent, not involved directly.
Or you’ll just spill the beans.
To all the sorry defenders and apologists for this current Mayor and her questionable actions and decision making: if you take issue with deep fact finding dives and independent, award winning investigative journalism, maybe you ought not read or comment here. If accountability and transparency in elected office holders is what you seek, read on and donate by all means. If not…..there’s always the Mayor’s mouthpiece rag: the SF Con (Chronicle). Thanks Mission Local for shining a bright light on our electeds (and some of their appointees who don’t belong in office).
Now that we are quoting Wagstaffe for guidance on this issue, is Mission Local also in favor of harsher convictions as well, which Wagstaffe has also been vocal in comparing his office to SF?
Or……you can google it yourself.
The recall is the gift that keeps on giving! I was really hoping we could all just sit this, second of three elections for DA in 2 years, out. The recallers won their righteous battle to give the mayor the power to pick the DA. Let’s all just let that play out and have a real election next year and some modicum of stability in the meantime. Ironically, “illegal” or “corrupt” are the only criteria for recalling someone from a popularly elected office, in my opinion. Bad policy, bad management and poor results I expected and could live with until the next real election. I will probably still sit this one out and let the recallers have what they wanted. Meanwhile, the people suffer and no meaningful progress is possible for likely two years, at least. Maybe, we’ll have our DA indicted and won’t that just be grand? Thanks again, recallers!
Ahem, police reports and rap sheets are essentially public information, give me a break. Sounds like criminal-enabling leftists are grasping for a technicality and pretending it’s some kind of travesty. Thank God that pos Boudin is out!
Rap sheets are not public information. You can click on the link and read the penal code about this.
It’s interesting that rap sheets are kept confidential. Isn’t the information derived from public proceedings? Anyone sitting in a sentencing hearing could write down the details. If the rap sheets were publicly available, the public would have more information to keep the justice system accountable.
Sometimes the truth needs to come out.
The way Chesa Boudin let criminals off the hook made this one of those situations.
Quit trying to cover up Chesa’s malfeasance.
Hail Mary nothing-burger to try sabotage the only competent qualified candidate. Looking forward to your review of Hamasaki’s 1000’s of deleted tweets.
Time to wipe the slate clean again this is brazen corruption.
I’m glad I didn’t vote for her. I find her completely untrustworthy.
The SFPOA sent out info to their members in which they recommended who those members should vote for. In the first version, it said recommended voting for Brooke Jenkins for Attorney General. Seriously. They sent out an update with the correct position later on. I wonder if they will retract their recommendation in light of this alleged criminal activity. Joe – it could be interesting to seek comment from the POA about this story.
Is there any segment of SF CIty government that is NOT corrupt or where malfeasance does not occur?
Regaedless of how one feels about Chesea Boudin or the decisions he has made and the subsequent abhorrent consequences that they resulted in, the real issue is that law enforcement (Assistant DA Jenkins) may have broken the law for political ends.
I for one screamed “foul” when Atty General Barr used his position to minimize the findings of the Mueller report for political ends to cover Trump.
Where does this behavior end? The ends should not justify the means. Ever.
California Attorney General Bonta should step in here and determine if DA Jenkins broke the law because we all know that SF city government is incapable of investigating itself.
Additionally the California Bar should hold a hearing and determine what consequences DA Jenkins should face as a result of her actions.
I was willing to overlook her “volunteer” position on the recall campaign because of her honesty in reporting her compansation on her Form 700 however this allegation raises serious issues as to her fitness for office.
I am glad that I have yet to return my ballot
In my 30 years working in the criminal justice system, here and abroad, Brooke Jenkins turns out to be among the most unethical players I’ve ever encountered. The detail in this stunning report uncovers not only her ethics breach and apparent state crimes, but her gobsmacking hypocrisy. Pity any honorable ADAs who haven’t left the office who are soiled by this conduct.
How perfect, a criminal District Attorney and a criminal SFPD uniting in enforcing the law arbitrarily and harshly against the little people.
The Troy McAlister case revealed how ridiculously flawed Chesa Boudin’s policies were. Repeat criminals were simply released to cause more chaos and death. I’m glad that the public is aware of the facts in that case. Brooke is a hero for bringing it to light.
The means always justify the ends is the weakest, most imbecilic argument a person can make, usually done out of desperation. This is not about the former DA. It is about the current DA engaging in criminal behavior. Period. If you have nothing to say about that, move along. What’s next, Hillary’s emails or Hunter’s laptop?
The ends justify the means… like two innocent people were mowed down and murdered by a known, repeat violent felon because ‘equity’ and ‘decarceration’?
I’m still voting for her.
Your man Hamasaki has multiple tax liens and a restraining order. Not to mention he’s not qualified for the job. Never been a prosecutor; never managed an office.
I wish we had a perfect candidate for DA. But nobody’s perfect.
I didn’t believe it before the recall, but if Chesa Boudin couldn’t even prosecute criminal acts right under his nose, maybe he shouldn’t have been DA. Thankfully, his replacement is .. oh, right. This is awkward.
Seriously though, I’m amazed at how many commenters are here to defend this. You can hate Chesa Boudin and still believe Jenkins is unqualified. These aren’t remotely contradictory. Chesa’s in the past.. maybe we can all just rally around the fact that a DA that has no managerial experience with a recent history of ethically and potentially legally questionable acts — combined with a past that includes berating a young girl about what she should say on the stand, isn’t the best person to be the City’s top law enforcer?
Boudin repped McAlister as PD and later as DA, supposedly representing the People, negotiated a sweet deal for him to avoid a third strike as get out of jail, after which he immediately went back to committing serious crimes. Clearly a conflict of interest.
Jenkins continues to reveal unethical political behavior, but supporters are treating her as if she’s this new beacon against crime. I hope they are right, but I have serious doubts that she will do anything radically different for SF compared to Boudin. The lack of integrity concerns me.
Brooke Jenkins, the paid volunteer, demonstrates a second time why she should not be the SF DA.
Probably all kinds of opportunities to make some money if you’re a betting person, starting with “I bet Jenkins doesn’t get fired.”
(Wouldn’t mind losing that bet. Losing it would contribute a teeny little bit of hope to the parched spring.)
Troy McAllister, out on parole, commits several felonies including gun crimes before getting high, committing a burglary, and then murdering two innocent people.
Mission Local aka Chesa Boudin and his fan club: sleeping emoji
Brooke Jenkins sends an email
Mission Local aka Chesa Boudin and his fan club: COMPLETELY OUTRAGED
Ha, took the words right out of my mouth. I’m baffled by the amount of San Franciscans hell bent on sabotaging their own city.
Jenkins’ violation of policy (and possibly the law) does not concern you at all?
Do public officials with whom you’re ideologically aligned get a pass?
this is eerily similar to what Republicans did with Hillary Clinton’s emails. There’s no controversy here, despite your blatant attempt to conjure up non-existent clerical issues.
Should we talk about the source of Mission Local donors and non-profit compliance?
This is very much an imperfect analogy.
You can peruse our donors on the site.
Thanks for reminding me that Mission Local is a non-profit and relies on reader support for their funding. It’s a good time to give before the end of the year.
I don’t get the “ride or die” allegiance people are showing for Jenkins- it’s totally possible to dislike Boudin *and* hold his replacement to basic legal and professional ethics standards. Coming out so close to the election, it won’t have much affect on the results- media converge wont’ have time to really kick into gear in the last 24 hrs- unless it comes down to a handful of votes.
I don’t think it’s so much “ride or die” as, who’s the alternative?
I liked Veronese until we got to know him a little more. He’s just an opportunist.
Jenkins at least wants to do the job she’s running for.