Aug 12, 2022 - Politics

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins under fire for six-figure disclosure

Illustration of San Francisco City Hall with lines radiating from it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has been in the hot seat this week following an income disclosure showing that she received over $100,000 from a nonprofit linked to the effort to recall her predecessor, Chesa Boudin.

Why it matters: The recent revelations raise ethical concerns around whether Jenkins intentionally misled the public about her role in the recall.

  • Jenkins, who was appointed to the position in July and is up for election in November, had previously said she volunteered for the recall efforts.
  • These disclosures could make it difficult for her to garner enough support to win in November.

Catch up quick: Recently filed ethics records show Jenkins was paid in the months leading up to her appointment to consult for Neighbors for a Better San Francisco, a nonprofit focused on improving public safety and quality of life.

  • A group with a similar name, Neighbors for a Better San Francisco Advocacy, spent millions of dollars to support Boudin's recall.
  • The organizations are legally separate entities, but share wealthy hedge fund manager William Oberndorf as a board member. Oberndorf was one of the biggest donors to the group backing the recall efforts.

What she's saying: Jenkins said she used her "career and prosecutorial experience to help provide a new source of income to help support my family and children," CBS reports.

  • She added: "My work for the nonprofit organization focused on public safety … and other legal work supporting communities ranging from formerly incarcerated women to helping advise the business community on public safety concerns and issues."

The other side: "I think there's serious questions about not disclosing it, and I think there are serious questions about why someone who is district attorney has taken money from this entity, given its politics," District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston told the San Francisco Chronicle.

What's next: The San Francisco Ethics Commission could launch an investigation to determine whether Jenkins broke any laws, either at its own discretion or in response to someone filing a complaint. City law, however, prevents the commission from disclosing information about complaints or ongoing investigations, the commission told Axios.

  • If the commission were to launch an investigation, it's unclear whether the matter would be resolved by the election in November.
  • Jenkins will likely be up against two former San Francisco police commissioners: Joe Alioto Veronese, the grandson of former SF Mayor Joseph Alioto, and John Hamasaki. Both filed their paperwork to run for the position this month.
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