District Attorney race applies pressure on Dumanis to release documents

The pressure for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to release documents is coming from District Attorney candidate Bob Brewer and Donna Frye, who has advocated for open government over the last 20 years.

“What we’re talking today is the type of politics that never should be present in the District Attorney’s office,” said Brewer.

This case begins with a phone call Dumanis made to then mayor Steve Padilla requesting he appoint one of her staff members to a vacant seat on the Chula Vista City Council. Mr. Padilla refused her request.

“Soon after Miss Dumanis’ office initiated an investigation of the entire Chula Vista City Council,” stated Frye. “And soon after that, her office filed charges against incumbent Chula Vista City Council member Steve Castaneda, seeking to remove him from office.”

KPBS filed a request for public documents about the phone call and Dumanis denied there was any such communication. So, the request went to the prosecutor Patrick O’Toole, who said there are records and they were turned over to Dumanis. The implication is Dumanis had not informed O’Toole about the phone call. Had she informed him, Mr O’Toole had a responsibility to inform the court, and to excuse the District Attorney’s office from the prosecution.

“This is about what motivates the highest ranking law official in this county,” continued Brewer, “there is no reason that they should not all be disclosed to us immediately.”

This has raised a lot of questions about the District Attorney’s office placing politics over the public interest.

“It’s why the public has a right to know if there was any unethical, or illegal behavior by the highest ranking law enforcement official in our county,” said Frye.

Dumanis isn’t talking, but her campaign released this statement: “Bonnie Dumanis has spent her entire career fighting for justice, embracing transparency and promoting good government. The District Attorney won’t be rushed to release these documents before they are property reviewed because it might win a few votes.”

“The only interest that will be harmed if those documents are released would be Ms Dumanis’ and that is why those documents are being withheld,” concluded Frye.

If Tuesday’s pressure is any indication, this might be the most aggressive campaign in the run-up to the June 3rd primary election.

Categories: KUSI