DA Fox Hounded Over Campaign Complaint

A campaign misconduct allegation in the San Mateo County judicial race isn’t making life easy for San Mateo DA James Fox.

The complaint: Redwood City solo Lisa Maguire accused Deputy District Attorney Susan Etezadi last month of using the county’s internal mail system to deliver campaign fliers and contribution envelopes. The two women are vying for a rare seat vacancy on the superior court bench, and Maguire complained to the DA and also filed a complaint against Etezadi with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Not a lot of fun for Fox, since Etezadi works for him now, and Maguire spent a decade as a prosecutor under Fox before leaving to start her own practice.

Etezadi adamantly insists she knows nothing about any kind of campaign wrongdoing. And her campaign manager said the allegation, if anything, is an “honest mistake” that the Maguire team was trying to exploit to turn the race against Etezadi.

Fox declined to comment on the allegation itself, but assured CalLaw.com that he’s on the case.

“I’ve taken action,” Fox said on Monday.

Two actions, actually. Sort of. Fox first tried to pass off an internal investigation to San Mateo County Counsel Thomas Casey. Casey, however, told the DA he didn’t think he could investigate and prosecute an alleged violation of a county ordinance. Then he wrote a letter to the Attorney General’s office, asking the AG to clarify this point.

“The private attorney candidate and an attorney representing her have complained that the investigation into their complaints has been inadequate,” Fox wrote in his letter.

No word from Sacramento yet, but the wheels of justice had better not grind slowly — the primary is on June 6.

— Julie O’Shea




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