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And this just in from District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis on this very subject. (The reference to Bar Leaders is to lawyers, not barkeeps, although they may feel as strongly about this issue):

Dear Bar Leaders:

I am writing to ask you to join me in supporting deputy District Attorney Bill Gentry for San Diego City Attorney. I am attaching his resume which reflects his stellar legal and military careers. Bill is a man of honesty and integrity and a leader who can make fair and reasoned decisions. I am supporting him because I strongly believe he possesses the skills necessary to restore order, integrity, and competence to the City Attorney’s office.

This will undoubtedly be a tough but important campaign. We should all be mindful of the case of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong who was forced to resign from office for prosecutorial abuse. As attorneys we all know that the power to prosecute must be carefully wielded. I am very concerned about the manner in which this City Attorney recklessly and without supporting evidence accuses citizens in our community of corruption, conspiracy and other criminal misconduct. Prosecutors must always file charges based upon evidence and never base their cases on unsubstantiated beliefs. Prosecutors should always try their cases in a courtroom, not in the media and only after a complete and thorough investigation. I am confident that you would agree that when pursuing justice there can be no place for careless and reckless behavior.

I am also concerned that this City Attorney has continually failed to abide by the rules of professional conduct. In fact Judge Wellington found his actions in a recent criminal prosecution so outrageous that his entire office was recused when it was determined that the defendant could not receive a fair trial if his office remained on the case. The Judge found that the City Attorney used the criminal process to gain advantage in a civil matter. (The full decision can be viewed at VoiceofSan Diego.com).

Many in our community are equally concerned about the destructive behavior of this City Attorney and his negative impact upon our city.

Their concerns have been expressed to me privately for many months. The problems created by his conduct are compounded by the staggering financial cost to the city resulting from his incompetence. The current problems faced by our city are too significant to allow this situation to continue.

For all of these reasons I am supporting Bill Gentry for City Attorney.

I was very pleased when Bill decided to run for City Attorney. Shortly, I will be sending a letter to the legal community and my supporters asking them to also support Bill. I would like to add your name to my letter as a supporter of Bill. If you agree you would be joining other community leaders such as Mark Adelman, Andy Albert, Charlie Bird, Judith Copeland, Bob Grimes, Mike Neil, Jessie Rodriguez, Robert Steiner and Todd Stevens in declaring your support for a new city attorney.

I am aware that some may be reluctant to publicly support an opponent of this City Attorney for fear of retaliation. However, that is precisely why you should declare your support for Bill Gentry. As members of the bar and, frankly, as members of our community, we cannot submit to this type of intimidation. Public officials should never be permitted to govern by fear and we should never tolerate bullies terrorizing our citizens. When that occurs we all have a duty to step forward and stand up for what is right. Please, email me as soon as possible at bonniedumanis@hotmail.com (or hit reply) and let me know that I may include your name as a supporter of Bill Gentry for City Attorney.

Thank you.

Bonnie

p.s. Time is of the essence

— CHARLES LA BELLA

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