FAIRFIELD — Solano County District Attorney Donald A. du Bain’s office released a letter Thursday afternoon announcing his plan to quit his job effective 5 p.m. Aug. 15 – more than four months before his term of office is scheduled to end in January.
Du Bain’s resignation letter to Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Linda Seifert says he will start a job Aug. 18 with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon made a $200 contribution to du Bain’s failed campaign bid. Du Bain’s new office will be a short distance from his residence in a Financial District high-rise. He also has a home in Fairfield.
Du Bain, after spending nearly $400,000 – most of it his own money – lost the June 3 election to Krishna Abrams, a longtime local prosecutor who spent less than $70,000 to beat her boss.
Du Bain’s announcement caught top county officials by surprise. His departure also forgoes a commitment he made to his staff and subordinates that he would facilitate a smooth transition with Abrams.
Seifert was in Long Beach when she learned of du Bain’s resignation. She said top county officials including County Administrator Birgitta E. Corsello and the county’s top legal counsel Dennis Bunting were both unavailable Thursday to start planning the appropriate response to du Bain’s pending departure.
Seifert’s tentative understanding of state law is that the board has the option to make an appointment to fill the district attorney job and that until the board acts, the position would be assumed by one of the three chief deputy district attorneys in the office. The earliest the board could take any action on the matter would be at its Aug. 26 meeting, Seifert said.
In the days after du Bain’s failed election bid, prominent longtime local attorneys Daniel Russo and Amy Morton called on him to resign and for him to ask the Board of Supervisors to appoint Abrams to serve as interim district attorney until she takes office in January.
“The position of district attorney is one that carries a responsibility that you have always taken seriously,” Russo and Morton wrote in their letter to du Bain. “Accordingly, we ask you to respectfully honor that responsibility and resign, for the good of our county.”
Another longtime local attorney, Denis Honeychurch, thanked du Bain for his service. Honeychurch was an early supporter of Abrams’ candidacy.
“I wish him well in his new job,” Honeychurch said. “Hopefully the Board of Supervisors will appoint Ms. Abrams to fill the interim position.”
Du Bain’s four paragraph resignation letter thanked county officials, saying he appreciated their “exceptional competence and collaborative nature.” He once again referenced the three major elements he focused on in his re-election bid – launching the Solano Family Justice Center in 2013, establishing a truancy court to help young students and their parents, and increasing a focus on real estate fraud cases.
“I leave this office with enormous gratitude for the contributions that the members of my office have made toward protecting our community’s safety,” du Bain wrote in his resignation letter. “The county is fortunate to have so many dedicated and hard-working employees, including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates and support staff, employed within the District Attorney’s Office.”
Du Bain has worked in the District Attorney’s Office since 1993. He ran unopposed in 2010 to become district attorney.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.