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Best District Attorney 

William H. Langdon

Elected district attorney of San Francisco in 1905, Langdon took on the corrupt power structure, led by Mayor Eugene Schmitz, who was using the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake as an opportunity to enrich himself. The thieving mayor was in cahoots with a lawyer, Abe Reuf, the first in the long line of grafting "political consultants" who have plagued our fair city for a century. Langdon persuaded a jury to convict and jail two-term Mayor Schmitz for extorting restaurant owners. Schmitz had been demanding cash for himself in return for granting liquor licenses. Langdon sent Reuf to San Quentin for acting as Schmitz's bagman in a variety of scams, one of which included funneling Pacific Gas & Electric bribes to the mayor and the entire 14-member Board of Supervisors. The graft prosecution, which lasted for several years, decimated the ranks of the city kleptocracy. A real district attorney could learn a thing or two from Langdon.


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