S.F. Drug Prosecutor Replaced in Hallinan Shakeup

S.F. Drug Prosecutor Replaced in Hallinan Shakeup
Posted by FoM on October 24, 2000 at 08:42:29 PT
By Jaxon Van Derbeken & Jonathan Curiel
Source: San Francisco Chronicle 
San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan reassigned 32 top prosecutors and supervisors yesterday, including the head of the drug unit that Mayor Willie Brown had sharply criticized. Eleven of 18 department heads were shifted under the plan, said Assistant District Attorney Linda Klee, head of the criminal division. Units marked for reshuffling included not just narcotics, but domestic violence, general litigation and preliminary hearings. 
``We have not rotated at the top in a long time,'' Klee said. ``We do try to move people around to reinvigorate everything.'' Vernon Grigg, who had headed the narcotics unit for Hallinan since 1997, was moved to run the newly formed high-tech and insurance crime unit. He had no comment yesterday about the action. Four of the nine other prosecutors in narcotics were also moved. Earlier this month, Brown upbraided Hallinan after KRON-TV broadcast a series showing open drug dealing and interviews with drug dealers who said they came to San Francisco from around the Bay Area to carry on their trade because of the city's easygoing image. Klee said the changes in narcotics had nothing to do with Brown's criticisms. ``Nothing is going to change in narcotics,'' she said. ``The philosophy stays the same. Terence is on record in giving people who possess drugs a second chance. ``We have admitted there may have been one or two cases that have slipped through the cracks about drug dealers,'' she said. `'We are just going to hand it over to the new person.'' Liz Aguilar-Tarchi, who had headed the district attorney's domestic-violence prosecutions, will take over narcotics. Brown had no comment on Hallinan's moves. His spokesman, P.J. Johnston, said, ``That's (Hallinan's) shop. It's his prerogative to manage that shop the way he sees fit. ``I don't know whether it's a response to the issues that have been brought out publicly regarding prosecution of felony drug crimes,'' Johnston said. ``But hopefully, whatever the purpose of the district attorney's moves, they're done solely with the best interest of the public in mind.'' The moves were announced the same day that Hallinan met with Supervisor Amos Brown, a coalition of Baptist ministers and others critical of Hallinan's handling of drug cases. The group said Hallinan's tactics are contributing to crime in such neighborhoods as Bayview- Hunters Point and the Oceanview- Merced Heights-Ingleside area. ``I think (we) sent a strong message to him,'' the supervisor said. After the meeting, which lasted about two hours, Hallinan and Amos Brown's delegation agreed to create a committee of ministers and district attorney staffers who will review prosecution of drug dealing in San Francisco. ``If there are ways that we can work together, we want to know those ways and make San Francisco a better place,'' said Hallinan spokesman Reginald Smith. The narcotics reshuffle is just one part of a major reorganization in Hallinan's staff of 119. In addition to the 11 supervisors being moved around, 21 staff attorneys will be reassigned. The change comes just a few weeks after Hallinan named two veteran prosecutors, Klee and Paul Cummins, as head of the criminal division and chief assistant district attorney, respectively. ``I think he (Hallinan) put in a new No. 2 and a new No. 3, and they had their idea of what a better division of labor would be,'' Hallinan spokesman Fred Gardner said. Only two units are not affected by the changes -- gangs and juvenile. E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at: jvanderbeken and Jonathan Curiel at: jcuriel sfchronicle.comSource: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Jaxon Van Derbeken, Jonathan CurielChronicle Staff WritersPublished: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 Copyright: 2000 San Francisco ChronicleContact: chronletters Website: Articles:Brown Turns Up Heat on Hallinan Brown Fires Shots in Drug War with City DA
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Comment #1 posted by Herb Greene on October 24, 2000 at 14:02:35 PT
Terrence is the Best DA Ever
SFs DA should Run for a Higher Office along with The Governer of New Mexico. We Need more People Like Him.i was Busted on The Marina Greens at a Parliment Funkadelic show ,in the Parking Lot,smoking Jah Weed, by the Presidio Fed Narcos.and the DAs office threw it out.HA HA. NorCal is the Mecca of Sinsemillia and it will Never be ConTrolled by NO Man!!!
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