Image: falseStatement: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has not hired anyone in two years, she told the North County Times during an exclusive interview with its editorial board May 6.

Determination: False

Analysis: During a 90-minute interview with the North County Times’ editorial board, Dumanis addressed questions about the John Gardner case, her boycott of a judge and her office’s recent challenges. Among the challenges she highlighted were budget cutbacks and a two-year hiring freeze.

But she was wrong about the two-year hiring freeze. Her office hired numerous people no matter which two-year time period she was talking about. In the previous two calendar years, it hired 120 permanent full-time employees. In the previous two fiscal years, it hired 140. In the previous 730 days — exactly two years before the day of the interview — it hired 79.

We first contacted the District Attorney’s Office about Dumanis’ statement May 7, a day after the Times’ published a story about the exclusive interview, but the office never responded to e-mail or phone messages seeking clarification on its recent hires.

So on May 17, we legally compelled the office to provide its hiring records through the California Public Records Act. On Thursday, 10 days after we requested the records and 20 days after our initial inquiry, the office delivered the smoking gun of this Fact Check without charge, a document showing when it hired each permanent full-time employee in the last four fiscal years.

The last employee Dumanis hired was a legal support assistant. That person was hired on March 27, 2009, so that means the hiring freeze has lasted about 14 months. That’s a long time for an office that hired 70 or more employees in each of the three previous fiscal years, but it’s not two years.

Since we received the hiring records, the District Attorney’s Office has not returned additional messages seeking comment about Dumanis’ error.


Summer Polacek

Summer Polacek was formerly the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego.

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