In Martinez on Tuesday night, August 15, the five current applicants Contra Costa County Interim District Attorney expressed their views as the recommended themselves for the office. The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors will select the Interim Attorney from the five existing applicants. The permanent DA will be elected in the June 2018 election.
Tuesday night’s discussion was described as both tense and informative. Applicants covered topics that included violent crime, the death penalty, corruption, bail reform, gangs, drugs, plea bargains and other issues of concern.The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors next month will select the interim District
The five finalists for interim DA include:
- Contra Costa Judge Diana Becton
- Contra Costa Judge Danielle Douglas
- Contra Costa Assistant District Attorney Tom Kensok
- Contra Costa Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul GravesVenier
- Santa Clara Supervising Deputy District Attorney Patrick
Judge Becton emphasized her prosecutorial experience, while promising to remove trial quotas and increase law enforcement / youth communication.
Judge Douglas, also a previous prosecutor, emphasized expanding mental health and approaches to truancy.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Patrick Venier stressed his position as an outsider while expressing his concerns for the critical state of the District Attorney’s office, to which his participation as interim DA could bring ethical gains. He also focused on his prosecutorial experience with gangs and drug traffickers. During the period for public comments, Vernier received verbal support from several law enforcement officials.
Assistant District Attorney Tom Kensok, a previous member of the Napa School Board, described himself as a “nerd” while emphasizing crime statistics and data-based solutions to deterring crime. Kensok also expressed his willingness to work with public defenders and community groups in promoting cease fire programs and restorative justice.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves promised meritocracy rather than political infuence in hiring.
After highlighing their views on issues they identify as key to exercising the postion of Interim District Attorney, each applicant awaits the Board of Supervisor’s final choice.