Alameda DA Trapped on Train (with journalist)

Alameda County DA Tom Orloff was spotted on BART a few days ago, squeezed beside a hulking pile of luggage, munching on an already mangled toothpick. Orloff had caught an early flight to San Francisco Airport from a DA’s conference in Palm Springs, then decided to BART back from the airport — a captive audience for an alert (and pushy) reporter.

The noisy rumblings and screeches of the train shuddering under the Bay nearly drowned out Orloff’s description of the conference, but this much is good enough to print: He definitely said he has a 19 handicap on the golf course.

Should Oakland’s top prosecutor even be riding public transit with art students, journalists and other riffraff? Sure, Orloff said. Not all district attorneys have two drivers, like the Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley. (Cooley spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons says LA’s top cop has a detail of investigators who double as chauffeurs. Does he ever ride public transit? “Well, he flies,? Gibbons replied. “That’s public transportation.?)

Before exiting the train at Lake Merritt, expertly balancing more luggage than a lone DA ought to carry — and wheeling his golf bag behind him — Orloff gave up another juicy factoid. He said he even pays his own way when he rides BART — unlike police officers, who get a free ride. That rule was put in place, Orloff said, because BART likes the increased police presence it gets in return. Should the DA get free fare, too? Nope. “I’m not going to hit somebody over the head and arrest them,? he said.

— Matthew Hirsch


3 Responses to “Alameda DA Trapped on Train (with journalist)”

  1. Luke Skywalker Says:

    Did the District of Colombia Organic Act of 1871 create a corporation known as “United States Government??

    Is there a difference between U.S. District Court and The District Court of the United States of America?

  2. Steve White Says:

    It’s too bad Orloff did not tell you what went on at the conference, such as:

    1. What are the DA’s doing to defend “three strikes”? The President of CDAA, Jan Scully, has sent out questionnaires to DAs to try to prove the law is not being abused, but what are they doing behind the scenes?

    2. Was the RIAA at the conference, as they have been so many times, trying to lobby the prosecutors, for example, “sponsoring” that golfing Orloff was doing?

    And, nothing to do with the conference, is it true that he will retire if he loses the coming election, or, even if he wins, within four years?

    And finally, if he wins this upcoming election, will he resign midterm and get the Supes to appoint his chosen successor?

  3. Matthew Hirsch Says:

    These are interesting questions, Steve. Tom Orloff did talk about the DA’s conference when we spoke last month, but I didn’t catch him mentioning lobbyists for the recording industry. (He left the conference early and did not have much to report.) I’ll check on this next time I see him – possibly on the BART.

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