City Attorney, DA offices to share computer system, case information
The San Diego City Attorney’s and District Attorney’s offices Friday announced a merged computer system to track criminal case information.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said piggy-backing off the district attorney’s existing criminal case management system will save money and facilitate the “seamless” prosecution of crimes.
Goldsmith also announced that his office will start prosecuting certain felony crimes, which up until now was strictly handled by the District Attorney’s Office.
Typically in San Diego, the District Attorney’s Office prosecutes felonies and the City Attorney’s Office handles misdemeanors.
According to Assistant City Attorney Tricia Pummill, four attorneys in the City Attorney’s Office will be allowed to prosecute felonies if a misdemeanor turns into a felony case. The arrangement will allow the City Attorney’s Office to see a case through in the event felony charges are warranted, she said.
Goldsmith was joined by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne in touting the computerized case management system.
Up until now, the City Attorney’s Office hasn’t had a computerized case management system, relying instead on bulky paper files, Goldsmith said.
“The lack of a good case management system results in inefficiency, lack of coordination and ultimately in mistakes,” he said.
Because his office is linking into the district attorney’s existing case management system, it will cost San Diego about $150,000 for hardware Goldsmith said. Software for case management systems normally costs millions of dollars, he said.
Dumanis said the sharing of information with the City Attorney’s Office will allow both offices to “work smarter” and prevent the duplication of efforts.
She also praised the level of cooperation between the District Attorney’s and City Attorney’s offices in the 10 months since Goldsmith arrived.
“We are a team right now, our office and the City Attorney’s Office, working to benefit the taxpayers here in San Diego County,” Dumanis said.
The relationship between the district attorney and former City Attorney Michael Aguirre was at best cold during his tenure.