Lori Frugoli, a Marin County prosecutor for 28 years, and Anna Pletcher, a former attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco, have resumed their bid to become Marin County’s second female district attorney.
Frugoli, 61, and Pletcher, 44, were the top two candidates for district attorney in the June primary election. Neither received more than 50 percent of the vote, forcing the Nov.6 runoff election.
Frugoli’s campaign cites her four decades of experience in the justice system as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, attorney and prosecutor.
“My platform of connecting the community to the courthouse comes full circle back to my days as a Santa Rosa police officer. I was the second woman to pass probation at SRPD. I chose the downtown walking beat to learn about and meet my community and to prove myself on my own,” Frugoli said.
“Community trust and transparency are the corner stones of my platform. The community deserves to see the faces and hear the voices of the employees of my office.
“We need to be present at housing, justice and mental health forums and other functions where we must be available to listen to community concerns and answer tough questions,” Frugoli said.
She says she will prosecute doctors who recklessly over-prescribe opioid drugs, increase money for local sexual assault examinations, aggressively prosecute financial and physical abuse of seniors, and support a Veterans Court to provide services and resources to veterans. She has conducted more than 100 jury trials, including one in Sonoma County for a law enforcement officer’s misconduct.
Regarding the District Attorney’s Office itself, Frugoli said she wants a comprehensive efficiency study that assesses performance standards of all positions. She says some job duties performed by attorneys and inspectors could be done by volunteers, law students and clerks, freeing deputy district attorneys to focus on public safety and community outreach.
Frugoli has the support of retiring District Attorney Ed Berberian and his predecessors since 1979.
“Every prior district attorney from Marin endorses me for the same reason. They know my work ethic. Knowledge, leadership skills and commitment to keeping our community safe,” Frugoli said.
Pletcher is a former law professor at the UC Berkeley and the University of California Hastings College of Law. She says she has prosecuted white-collar crimes for 10 years as a special assistant in the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in San Francisco, and is the only candidate with management experience capable of managing an $18 million budget with 80 employees.
“It’s not the job of a line prosecutor. It’s a different job. A good district attorney needs significant prosecution experience, but also needs management experience running an office. It’s a different skill set,” Pletcher said.
She says her top priority is to bring rape kit exams back to Marin County instead of traumatizing victims by outsourcing the exams to Vallejo.
“If someone is sexually assaulted in our county they are put in a police car and taken to Vallejo. That puts an additional barrier to getting the test and it adds trauma. It undermines prosecutions by making it harder to collect evidence,” Pletcher said.
She said family violence victims face disconnected support services in dozens of locations, and a one-stop Family Justice Center is needed in the county to provide help and hope to survivors and their families.
Pletcher also supports reforming the cash bail system and expanding the focus on prevention and rehabilitation in a restorative justice diversion system.
She said Marin County ranks first in the state in racial inequity and it is reflected in the criminal justice system where black and Latino youth are more likely to be arrested than whites for curfew violations.
“We must do better to keep all of our students out of the criminal justice system and on track for future success, and we must ensure that our criminal justice system is unbiased and fair for all,” Pletcher said
“I feel I’m the better candidate for district attorney. There is great energy and momentum for change and it’s been 20 years since the last contested DA election. This is the year when voters say it’s time for new ideas and a 21st century approach,” Pletcher said.