Progressive DA Pamela Price Accused of Retaliation Against Two Employees as Recall Effort Drags On

San Francisco surprised everyone when it recalled progressive DA Chesa Boudin. Now Alameda County, which includes Oakland, could do the same. Today The county Board of Supervisors decided a vote on whether or not to recall progressive DA Pamela Price will take place this November. That date was contested and is likely to benefit Price since it ensures there will be a decent turnout of Democrats.

Proponents of the recall wanted the county to hold a special election this summer that would solely feature the recall question. County staff have said this would cost around $15-20 million, factoring in expenses for hundreds of election workers, printing ballots and election materials, postage, and setting up vote centers. In comparison, the cost of adding the recall question to the November general election ballot will be $4 million…

“The bottom line is that I can’t in good conscience support a special election that’s going to cost the county nearly $20 million,” said Board President Nate Miley. “I just feel as a fiduciary of the taxpayers’ funding, that would be irresponsible on my part.”…

“We need justice for our babies, and actually nothing is going to change if Pamela Price is still in office,” said Brenda Angulo, whose 15-year-old son Erick Portillo was murdered in Hayward last year. “I don’t understand why it’s an issue economically.”

But Price’s survival isn’t a given. In her brief time in office she has aggravated lots of people who think her willingness to go soft on murder isn’t a great trait in a DA. Last year, Jazz wrote about a case in which a guy named Delonzo Logwood was facing 75 years for a triple-murder for hire charge and who’d been accused in another murder of a witness. Price wanted to give him 15 years but fortunately a judge put a stop to it.

Ed wrote about another case in which a 17-year-old named Sergio Morales-Jacquez was accused of murdering a man named Rienheart Asuncion during a road rage incident. Morales-Jaquez was also a person of interest in two other murders and had a long history of arrests and convictions. But Pamela Price refused to charge him as an adult so he’ll be out in 7 years at the most.

In June Price organized an anti-racist training for the DA’s Victim Services Division which some found offensive.

The Victim Services Division consists of social workers who help crime victims obtain psychological and financial support. Ms. Fleshman’s PowerPoint slides reinforce the idea of dividing victims by race. (Photos of those slides circulated among Oakland’s law-enforcement community, one of whose members forwarded them to me.)

One PowerPoint panel lists the session’s “Key Takeaways.” Among them: “White people are not entitled to harm you”; “When interacting with white victims, speak up for yourself or for your coworkers”; and “If a white victim continues to harm you, ask that they be transferred.” The slide also asserts that “white victims are entitled to the same compassion and practices as all victims,” but the rest of the slide is at odds with that message. It’s unclear how white crime victims “harm” government employees. Another panel from the training asserts that “White Supremacy Culture” is characterized by “Perfectionism,” “Objectivity,” “Sense of Urgency” and “Individualism.” Perhaps it’s harmful to expect government employees to respond to crimes objectively and urgently.

Things got so bad that the head of the Oakland NAACP put out a statement blasting Price (and others) for the surge of violent crime.

Oakland residents are sick and tired of our intolerable public safety crisis that overwhelmingly impacts minority communities. Murders, shootings, violent armed robberies, home invasions, car break-ins, sideshows, and highway shootouts have become a pervasive fixture of life in Oakland. We call on all elected leaders to unite and declare a state of emergency and bring together massive resources to address our public safety crisis…

Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life threatening serious crimes, and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals. If there are no consequences for committing crime in Oakland, crime will continue to soar.

And just two months ago I wrote about allegations that Price had retaliated against at least three former employees.

Patti Lee, a former journalist who was Price’s spokeswoman for about six months last year, says she was fired for raising concerns about the alleged Public Records Act violations, according to the Feb. 26 letter to the DA’s office from Lee’s attorney, Los Angeles-based Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye & Adreani, LLP.

Lee also says Price “constantly and openly” made derogatory comments against Asian Americans, at one point saying that “the media and the Asians” were her enemies, according to the letter…

Lee, whose claims include retaliation, discrimination, wrongful termination and failure to pay wages, is now seeking a $1.5 million settlement, according to the letter.

So Price is not well-loved in Oakland at this point. Last week even fellow Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell took a shot at her on Twitter, demanding “rule of law” in the county.

Price’s campaign responded by insinuating Rep. Swalwell was racist.

Price is not planning to go quietly.

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price went on the offensive Wednesday, vowing to prevail against a well-heeled recall attempt that will be decided on a packed November presidential election ballot…

Backed by more than a dozen supporters holding signs proclaiming “Protect the Win,” Price framed the recall campaign as a bid to “overturn” the results of the 2022 election, during which she became the first Black woman to serve as Alameda County’s top prosecutor.

“The people in this county have the right to elect a district attorney. They did that — we should not have to do it again,” said Price, while speaking at Everett & Jones Barbeque in Jack London Square. “But we will — we will do it again.”

So expect another campaign accusing critics of racism and suggesting the “right-wing” is behind all of this. That’s what Chesa Boudin did and it didn’t work out for him. Unfortunately, down in LA County, George Gascon was able to hold on. Hopefully the voters of Oakland display some common sense and get rid of her.

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