San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan has always been a staunch believer in doing the right thing. Recently, she demonstrated her virtue by speaking out when faced with the potential misappropriation of Measure A tax funds.
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas and the Democrat-controlled Chula Vista City Council have a resolution currently pending over expanding the use of Measure A public safety funds outside of their realm by potentially adding a city attorney investigator and paralegal to the Chula Vista City Attorney’s office. Measure A was passed under the pretense that the funds raised through the sales tax would only benefit police and fire services—using the funds for other purposes would be beyond the purpose demonstrated to voters.
Stephan wrote a letter to Salas’ office detailing how she felt about the resolution, stating that it would be unfair to voters to funnel funds into fields that weren’t specifically detailed on Measure A’s ballot description. She offered additional help from the San Diego District Attorney’s office as an alternative to expanding Measure A funding.
“I understand the good intentions of this proposal, and I have great respect for the Chula Vista City Attorney’s Office. I would be more than happy to form a working group and collaborate further with that office on how to best leverage existing resources to enhance public safety,” Stephan said.
She also added, “we have the resources we need to continue doing an excellent job prosecuting cases in Chula Vista and the South Bay, but if there’s anything that you believe we could do to improve public safety in Chula Vista, then I am always willing to meet and discuss such issues.”
Stephan’s integrity should serve as an example for those in the legal profession. She’s not afraid to call others in the legal profession out on their lack of respect for taxpayer dollars, but she’s also the first to offer an alternative solution to achieve improvements across the board. San Diego is lucky to have such a genuine and honest woman serving as District Attorney.