(From Press Release) – Yolo County District Attorney candidate Dean Johansson today said he was “breaking my silence” about a little-known practice in the D.A. office that is wasting nearly $100,000 a year in taxpayer money, and also is ecologically un-responsible despite falsely claiming just the opposite to the public.
Mr. Johansson released this statement:
“Thank you Sierra Club for your endorsement Tuesday for District Attorney of Yolo County. In honor of this endorsement I give you my commitment to make the Yolo District Attorney’s Office a truly environmentally responsible office.
“To this end, I am breaking my silence regarding the hypocrisy of the current district attorney who claims that his ‘paperless’ office is a sign of his commitment to ecologically responsible policies, when in practice it is just the opposite. Not only is his policy taking part in the destruction of our environment, but it is a waste of tax payer funds and county resources.
“For years now the District Attorney has received millions of pages of discovery from law enforcement agencies, government agencies, hospitals, etc., downloaded and transferred without paper across the internet.
“However, in the case of the Public Defender’s Office at least, where I have worked for the past 11 years, the current District Attorney turns around and then prints that discovery out on paper, killing untold trees unnecessarily, and places those paper pages by the thousands in a box at the district attorney’s office, which then are picked up by a secretary from the Public Defender’s Office every day, only to be carried back to the Public Defender’s Office, scanned into the computer one-by-one, and then shredded afterward.
”Every week a large truck pulls up to the Public Defender’s Office and hauls away large loads of shredded paper discovery which only adds to the destruction of our environment. Why maintain such a wasteful and outdated procedure especially when touting a public persona of environmental responsibility? The district attorney charges .25 cents for every page of discovery.
”Last year alone the Public Defender paid the District Attorney $97,000.00 in public funds for such discovery. This price tag does not include the ongoing waste of public funds in terms of the wages paid to transport and scan these pages or the cost to shred this paper.
“As District Attorney of Yolo County I would put an immediate end to such ongoing practices that squander public money and destroy our environment.”
Mr. Johansson is a former district attorney in Sacramento and Tulare counties, and has been a public defender in Yolo County (for the past 10 years) and the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. He was a private practice lawyer for 10 years, focusing on civil rights law. Johansson is a graduate of UC Berkeley and McGeorge School of Law, and an adjunct professor at the UC Davis School of Law.