From the Sacramento Bee.
Published: Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 - 8:56 am
For a decade, Todd Leras rode a wave of stardom at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. He tried big cases, won most of them, and in 1998 was named its top prosecutor.
Leras still holds a reputation as a brilliant lawyer and a zealous and ethical prosecutor for his work with the DA and later with the U.S. attorney’s office. So the question lingers: Why did things turn sour for him at the end of his tenure in the local prosecutor’s office?
Leras, 50, is now running a long-shot campaign to head the office he ultimately felt compelled to leave.
“I always tried to be a team player, and I had a great time in the DA’s Office for the first 10 years,” Leras said in an interview. “I loved the people, the office, the environment. It was great.”
The tenor changed, Leras says, when he started to offer suggestions about how things could improve. He said his suggestions in areas such as training programs for younger attorneys were interpreted by top management as “criticisms.” The disagreements, he said, were “viewed as disloyalty, and there’s no greater sin you can commit in that office than being disloyal.”
“I thought they were constructive and positive,” Leras said of his recommendations. “Over time, I realized nobody wanted to hear that, and I became more and more alienated from the administration. I felt isolated.”
Now, he’s running against a former colleague, Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, 50, as well as Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell, 35. Schubert has been endorsed by Leras’ old boss, Jan Scully, who is leaving the DA post after five consecutive terms that have spanned 20 years.