Board seeks input; goal to fill position in September
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors met Friday, June 23, 2017, to determine the process for filling the vacant office of the District Attorney. When a vacancy occurs in an elective county office, the Board of Supervisors has the responsibility to appoint a successor to serve for the duration of the unexpired term. The June 14, 2017 resignation of Mark Peterson from the position of District Attorney created a vacancy that would extend until the current term of office expires on January 7, 2019. The next election for the District Attorney will take place in June of 2018, with a potential runoff election in November of 2018.
The Office of District Attorney is provided in the State Constitution. The District Attorney represents the people of the County in prosecuting all public offenses in the Superior Courts, including all felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile criminal offenses, and certain civil offenses, including high-tech crimes, environmental crimes, and many instances of fraud.
Although the Board of Supervisors has discretion in how to fill the position, there are some minimum requirements for the job. To qualify, a candidate must be at least 18 years old, a California citizen, a registered voter in Contra Costa County at the time of appointment, and admitted to practice law in the California Supreme Court. The Board of Supervisors is seeking candidates with experience in criminal law, familiarity with criminal justice issues in California, and the ability to effectively manage a County department with an annual budget of $19.5 million and more than 200 employees.
All applicants must apply online at www.cccounty.us/hr and submit the information as indicated on the job announcement no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017. NOTE that a background investigation/fingerprint exam will be conducted on all finalists, and a permanent job offer is additionally contingent upon the successful completion of a thorough background investigation, which will include a criminal records investigation and an economic disclosure (FPPC Form 700).
The legislature does not specify a deadline for making an appointment like this, but according to the California Attorney General, the appointment should be made within a “reasonable time.” With applications due July 21, the Board of Supervisors will select finalists in early August. The Board of Supervisors will host a moderated candidate forum at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Members of the public will be invited to submit questions for consideration that may be asked of the finalist candidates. The Board will interview those candidates during a public meeting on Tuesday, September 12, with the goal of making a selection in September as well.
The June 23 meeting of the Board of Supervisors is available online in the video library found on the County’s homepage at www.ContraCosta.CA.gov. It will also be replayed in its entirety on Sunday, June 25, at 6:00 p.m., Monday, June 26, at 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. on Contra Costa Television (CCTV.) CCTV can be viewed on Comcast Channel 27, Wave Channel 32, and AT&T U-Verse on Channel 99.