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Election 2014: Todd Leras looking to return to Sacramento County DA’s Office as its leader

From the Sacramento Bee.

By Andy Furillo

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.

Sacramento DA Candidate Todd Leras Echoes Concern of CA Chief Justice in Fully Funding State Courts

Sacramento DA Candidate Todd Leras Echoes Concern of CA Chief Justice in Fully Funding State Courts, Warns Danger of 'Two-Tiered Justice System'

SACRAMENTO – Sacramento County District Attorney candidate Todd Leras today said he agrees with CA Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye that the current crisis in court funding presents "the danger of a two-tiered justice system: one for the wealthy...and one for the rest of us."

Cantil-Sakauye is attempting to convince the Legislature to restore a fully functioning court system, upping the Gov. Brown proposed $105 million increase for the courts to $1.2 billion. She said that the Brown proposal would be a net reduction for the courts.

Leras, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Prosecutor of the Year with the Sacramento DA office, warned that Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is correct, and the integrity of the justice system is at stake.

"The crisis in court funding presents the danger of a two-tiered justice system:  one for the wealthy who can afford to pay for expensive alternatives such as mediation or arbitration and one for the rest of us.  The courthouse should be the one place where all citizens are treated identically and fairly regardless of wealth or status," said Leras.

"That's certainly true when it comes to fulfilling the important civic responsibility of jury duty when rich and poor are summoned together.  It should also be true in resolving disputes. "I applaud the Chief Justice for her efforts to send out this important message regarding court funding," Leras added.

Former AUSA Todd Leras Runs For Sacramento County D.A.

From John Balazs at the Eastern District of California Blog

A couple of weeks ago, former Sacramento Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Leras formally announced that he is running to be the Sacramento County District Attorney in next year's election.  Sacramento Bee, 11/6/13.  Here's his interview in today's Sacramento News & Review.  Leras won the Brian L. Hintz Sacramento prosecutor of the year award in 1998.  

While I don't know the other candidates, Leras stands out as having the most balanced criminal justice background.  He not only served as an EDCA federal and Sacramento County prosecutor for the last 18-years, but he also was a Sacramento County deputy public defender for three years before becoming a prosecutor.  

For more, check out his, and ToddLerasForDA Facebook.


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