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SF district attorney announces resignation, eyes run in Los Angeles

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon on Thursday announced his resignation in a letter to his staff.

According to the letter, his last day will be Friday, Oct. 18. After that, Cristine Soto DeBerry, Gascon’s’s current chief of staff will temporarily take his place until a new district attorney is either appointed by the mayor or elected in the November elections.

Gascon said that he and his wife will be moving to Los Angeles, where he may “explore a run for District Attorney” there.

He said in the letter:

“Making our communities safer and more equitable remains my life’s work, and I’m simply not ready to slow down and put public service behind me.” 

Just a year ago, Gascon announced he would not seek re-election this year, citing his 90-year-old mother’s failing health at the time and a desire to be there for her.

Gascon was first appointed as the city’s district attorney in 2011, succeeding Kamala Harris who was elected as the state’s attorney general and is now a U.S. senator. Harris is running for president. Gascon is the first Latino to be San Francisco’s district attorney.

Prior to becoming district attorney, Gascon served as the city’s police chief. He has also served as the police chief for Mesa, Arizona, and as assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón supports a proposal by state Sen. Scott Wiener to close a loophole in prosecuting auto break-in suspects during a press conference at Alamo Square Park in San Francisco, Calif, on Monday, November 26, 2018.

Following the news of Gascon’s resignation, the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association president Tony Montoya, in a statement, expressed relief.

Montoya said:

“We are praying for the residents of Los Angeles hoping that George Gascon does not do to their city what he did for San Francisco during his tenure; double digit increases in crime, author of Proposition 47 that created our criminal justice revolving door, cars broken into by the thousands and neighborhoods ravaged by open air drug markets and crime.”

Montoya said:

“We are happy he will be leaving San Francisco but feel he is taking his record of failure to an even larger county where he can cause even more harm than public safety. Good riddance.” 

Police Chief William Scott said in tweet:

“I want to thank District Attorney @GeorgeGascon for his service and commitment to our City. I wish him well with his future endeavors and look forward to continuing to work with @SFDAOffice to address our City’s challenges.”

Four candidates are set to run for district attorney next month: Chesa Boudin, Suzy Loftus, Nancy Tung and Leif Dautch.

This year’s race marks the first time in more than 100 years that there is no incumbent candidate running for the position.

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