At yesterday’s city attorney debate, a member of the audience asked the candidates what they think about an idea that’s been floated often: That the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office should take over the role of prosecuting misdemeanors in the city of San Diego from the City Attorney’s Office.

Currently, the City Attorney’s Office, through its criminal division, prosecutes all misdemeanors committed in the city’s jurisdiction. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has pushed for her office taking over this role from the city attorney, but those efforts to date have been unsuccessful. Aguirre has stridently opposed the move.

Republican Judge Jan Goldsmith had perhaps the most interesting answer to the question posed by the member of the audience. As he did on a couple of other occasions, Goldsmith backed up Aguirre:

“I’m proud to be endorsed by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, but we had a long talk about this and I did tell her that I disagree with her position that [shifting the prosecution powers] should be encouraged.”

It’s interesting to see Goldsmith taking a line like that against one of his most prominent proponents on one of the few campaign issues in which she has a direct interest. Though he backed off from his point a little, saying that the system, “Works well either way,” Goldsmith’s rebuke was one that could well sting over at the DA’s office.


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