Published: Marin Independent Journal | September 30, 2018 — 

I am running for district attorney to deliver justice with integrity. That means doing the right thing. Standing up for crime victims, children, and seniors. Fighting fraud and protecting our environment. And it means telling the truth.

Despite correcting several of the egregious factual errors in his Sept. 22 column, Dick Spotswood let stand and endorsed my opponent’s appalling claim that I am not a prosecutor.

I spent 10 years as a federal criminal prosecutor. As a Special United States Attorney in the Major Crimes unit, I prosecuted a wide range of criminals, including bank robbers, drug dealers and gang members. At the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, I specialized in fighting white-collar crime, prosecuting corporations and individuals for price-fixing, bid-rigging, market manipulation, money laundering and fraud.

In one case, I prosecuted a group of corrupt real estate investors who rigged bids on foreclosed homes. After a five-year investigation, working closely with the FBI, I led a team of six attorneys in a two-month-long trial. The trial included 20 witnesses and 2,000 exhibits. Thirteen individuals were ultimately convicted, resulting in more than $6 million in fines and restitution and prison sentences for the offenders.

In another case, I prosecuted a sexual sadist and sociopath who terrorized women. He created a fake online dating profile to lure victims, then threatened them with graphic violence to the point where they were afraid to leave their homes by themselves. Before he could act on his threats, I took the case to trial. The victims testified, crying on the stand. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to 17 years. Afterwards, one of the victims said to me, “thank you for giving me back my freedom.”

I won three national awards for my work as a prosecutor. I am proud of that. But I disagree with Dick Spotswood that a district attorney — the county’s top prosecutor — is measured by how many “bad guys” she puts in jail. That “tough on crime” model has led to mass incarceration and has failed to address our toughest problems.

I believe in justice with integrity. That means providing victims of sexual assault with rape kit examinations in Marin instead of sending them to Vallejo. It means defending the environment and holding toxic polluters accountable. It means partnering with service providers to treat the mentally ill instead of cycling them through our jails. It means rebuilding trust in our immigrant community and stopping ICE from separating families.

And let’s be clear: the D.A. is an executive in charge of an $18 million budget and 80 employees, including 25 attorneys. The D.A.’s day-to-day job is not to try cases. It is to manage a staff, set policy and use taxpayer money wisely. The D.A. must create strategic plans and collect and analyze data. The D.A. must develop strong relationships with the Board of Supervisors, law enforcement, county department heads, nonprofit leaders, victims groups and the public whom she serves. A D.A. can keep our community safe only if she has the management skills to get the job done.

I am the only candidate who has management experience. I worked my way up to Assistant Chief of my DOJ office in San Francisco, only the second woman to have that job. I managed 40 people, including 25 attorneys. I completed an intensive manager training program and worked with a personal executive coach for nine months. I also served as chair of the Marin Women’s Commission, leading it through a transition period to become more efficient and effective.

As an experienced prosecutor and manager, a law professor and a mother, I stand for justice with integrity.

Anna Pletcher, of Mill Valley, is a candidate for Marin County district attorney in the Nov. 6 election.