This page will be updated with detailed platform proposals as the campaign goes on. For now, here’s Patrick’s positions on the issues people have asked about. Want to know where Patrick stands on an issue that’s not here? Head over to our Facebook page and post a question.
The current District Attorney’s management results in a consistent waste of funds, and an inability for both the public and the Board of Supervisors to hold the office accountable for their use of our tax dollars. Specifically, there is no accounting of the amount of time spent on any given case, or even more broadly on any given type of cases. This makes it impossible for anybody, including the District Attorney herself, to know whether the limited funds that are available are being used in the best way possible to ensure security and justice in our county.
Patrick’s Proposed Solution:
The time spent by all employees at the District Attorneys office, and especially by prosecutors and investigators, should be tracked and associated with, at a minimum, the type of case that is being investigated or prosecuted. Ideally, a time tracking system should be in place that would, at least, give a reasonable approximation of the amount of time spent on any given case, so that management can consider how to most efficiently allocate scarce resources to better protect our community.
No Way to Track the Evidence
One of the many surprising revelations that came out of the Frank Carson preliminary hearing was the admission by the prosecution that no system exists to track the volumes of evidence that is generated by the investigation of a crime. Hundreds of pages of evidence, dozens of hours of recordings, and several hours of video evidence were misplaced, discovered very late, or never found, despite the District Attorney having hired an outside auditor to go over the evidence in the case to try to find it all.
This is unacceptable. Presenting a criminal prosecution relies on having the evidence at hand. When the prosecution can’t find the evidence, they can’t present it. That means that justice isn’t served – guilty criminals go free and innocent people are convicted. This makes our community less safe, and wastes uncounted thousands of dollars of public funds.
In addition, lost and mis-tracked evidence results in unnecessary hearings, as cases are sent back to court time and time again in order for the prosecution to give evidence to the defense. The Frank Carson case is an extreme example of the delays caused by lost and misplaced evidence, but even small cases get delayed for weeks and months for the same reason. This wastes taxpayer dollars as attorneys, judges, clerks, and bailiffs go through hearings that could have been avoided if the evidence was just handed over correctly the first time.
Patrick’s Proposed Solution:
An integrated, modern, database-driven evidence and discovery tracking system is the bare minimum required, and I am the person to deliver it. Before starting my law firm, I founded a technology company, Veritam, Inc., which sold a detailed, fraud-proof and auditable billing system to eliminate fraud in special education programs at local schools. I understand how technology works, and can make sure that our office gets a modern, efficient, and (most importantly) reliable evidence tracking system that gets all the evidence to where it needs to be as quickly as possible, saving the need for repetitive hearings that waste taxpayer dollars.