102°F
Sponsored by

Candidates for Fresno DA Square Off

Candidates for Fresno County District Attorney traded arguments Wednesday night in a debate. It was held at Fresno City College. Supporters of incumbent Elizabeth Egan and her challenger Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp filled the room.
Candidates for Fresno County District Attorney traded arguments Wednesday night in a debate.

It was held at Fresno City College.

Supporters of incumbent Elizabeth Egan and her challenger Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp filled the room.

The debate brought the two women together for the second time in this race for Fresno County District Attorney.

The American Civil Liberties Union sponsored the debate.

And many of the questions dealt with the rights of minorities and immigrants, including whether there are racial disparities in the prosecution of drug cases.

"I've heard so many parents say they were glad their child was in jail because they knew their child wasn't out using, or either over-dose or getting involved with crime. It's part of the rehabilitation process," Egan said.

Egan touted her involvement with the juvenile drug court.

Smittcamp countered that drug users need treatment, not to be locked up.

"We need to keep our violent offenders in prison and we need to keep our repeat criminals, who are committing property crimes, in jail. We don't need to keep our addicts in jail. Despite Mrs. Egan's comments the research is actually quite contrary to what she has said. Incarceration does not cure addiction and anyone who believes that is ignorant," Smittcamp said.

The candidates were asked what they think of Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer's war on the Bulldog criminal street gang.
Smittcamp said the gang problem is rampant and that gang members are in our malls and movie theaters.

"I don't take my children to the mall it's a dangerous place. I grew up going to fashion fair. My mom used to drop me off there to shop with my friends. I don't do that with my children because there are gang members everywhere," Smittcamp said.

Egan's response to the question:

"I'm the only sitting DA who's prosecuted an officer in the line of duty, to my knowledge, for conduct while on duty. That is a tough decision to make. It is not a popular decision to make and there are political consequences to making that kind of decision. But no one is above the law," Egan said.

After that statement she went back to the question about gangs and reminded the audience of the injunctions she's brought against gangs in Fresno County to curb gang violence.

The audience, judging by applause, was heavily in favor of Smittcamp.

And the questions from the ACLU tended to be critical of the criminal justice system in Fresno County, which Egan leads.

Vote by mail ballots go out May 5th. Election day is June 3rd.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Vigil300.jpg

Fresno, CA

102°F
Clear
  • High: 103°F
  • Low: 72°F
  • Sunrise: 6:31 AM PDT
  • Sunset: 7:25 PM PDT
  • Feels Like: 102°F
  • Wind Chill: 102°F
  • Visibility: 10 mi.
  • Dew Point: 44°
  • Relative Humidity: 14%

CookOff_300x250.jpg