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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DA Candidates Ask Gascón to Recuse Himself from 'Run, Ed, Run' Investigation

Posted By and on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 4:45 PM

DA George Gascón
  • DA George Gascón

Three challengers of interim District Attorney George Gascón in this year's DA's race are calling upon him to recuse himself from a potential investigation of criminal wrongdoing by the committee behind the campaign to draft Mayor Ed Lee to run for a full term.

Last week, retired Judge Quentin Kopp wrote to Gascón asking that he convene a grand jury to look into violation of elections law by Progress for All, the committee that launched the highly visible Run, Ed, Run campaign. Earlier this week, Lee announced that he would, in fact, enter the race.

The San Francisco Ethics Commission cleared Progress for All of any wrongdoing this week, but Gascón has yet to make any public statements on whether he will follow Kopp's advice.

"Silence, coupled with the appearance of a conflict of interest, took it to the level where the three candidates felt it was incumbent upon themselves to make a statement," Jon Golinger, spokesman for DA candidate and veteran Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock, said.

The statement by Bock, David Onek and Bill Fazio -- all contenders for the DA's seat -- was released today. "In the interest of public confidence in the integrity of our government, Interim DA Gascón has a duty to recuse himself from the decisions in this case and potential investigations into this matter, given his personal and political ties to parties involved," it said.

The statement also noted that Gascón has ties to Chinatown power-broker Rose Pak -- one of the principal figures behind Lee's candidacy, Pak was consulted by Gascón as he considered accepting an appointment as interim DA -- and that prosecutor Victor Hwang, one of Gascón's senior staffers, is actively working on Lee's campaign.

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