The next district attorney - Page 3

Buried in all the hoopla over mayoral succession is another key job — and more political intrigue

Paul Henderson, David Onek, Jim Hammer, and Kathleen Feinstein have been mentioned for the D.A. spot

Fazio doesn't think Henderson's bid will be hampered by ongoing crime lab and prosecutorial scandals in the D.A.'s Office since he wasn't directly involved in the crime lab and police misconduct cases. "The biggest challenge for Paul will be turning all that around and running for office," Fazio said. Insiders agreed that unless something highly unusual happens, an incumbent Henderson would get widespread political support in November.

But Onek sounds like he's in the race for the duration, and he downplayed his lack of trial experience. "The bottom line is that I'm not going to be the chief trial attorney," Onek said. "The role of the D.A. is to set policy, have a vision for the office, manage the office, work collaboratively with the community and law enforcement agencies, and finally, bring resources in from outside."

"I'm spending my time building a criminal justice movement and not focusing on the politics of it all," he added. "It's speculation and the winds change every day."

Onek observed that his entire career has been about criminal justice reform. "Kamala Harris did a great job of starting on that reform, and we need someone who can step in and continue the reform."