Retired Superior Court Judge Diana Becton Selected as Interim Contra Costa County District Attorney

September 12, 2017 15:12 pm · 19 comments

Contra Costa County Supervisors today appointed Diana Becton to serve as the Interim District Attorney.

Becton, a recently retired Superior Court Judge, was selected after the Board of Supervisors publicly interviewed the five finalist applicants.

At the conclusion of the question and answer period, Supervisors took note of the high qualifications of each of the finalists.  Supervisors John Gioia, Diane Burgis and Chair of the Board Federal Glover selected Judge Becton as their first choice.  Supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff initially selected senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves.   Upon the first 3 – 2 vote for Judge Becton, Supervisors took a second vote and unanimously approved the appointment of Judge Becton.

She will begin her service as Interim District Attorney on later this month.  Once she is sworn in, Doug MacMaster, who has been serving as Interim DA since mid-June, will return to his prior position as Chief Assistant District Attorney.  MacMaster did not apply for the District Attorney position.  The finalists, in addition to Becton and Graves, were Superior Court Judge Danielle Douglas, Contra Costa assistant District Attorney Thomas Kensok, and Santa Clara County deputy District Attorney Patrick Vanier.

The County conducted an open recruitment process that included a County-hosted public forum, multiple opportunities to provide public and online comments, and the interviews of each of the finalists during a public meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

The June 14 resignation of Mark Peterson from the position of District Attorney created a vacancy that will 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.

RELATED STORY: UPDATE: Contra Costa District Attorney Resigns Today Rather Than Face Trial Over Misuse of Campaign Funds

Kentucky Derby September 12, 2017 at 3:24 PM

Congratulations to Judge Diana Becton. I was hoping they’d choose one of the women because statistically speaking – women are more honest with money. After the fiasco with Peterson, trust is a huge concern.

Anonymous September 12, 2017 at 3:59 PM

I’m not sure about this .Goia is a big liberal who doesn’t believe in jails. Anyone he supports needs watching.

Time will tell.

RANDOM TASK September 12, 2017 at 3:59 PM

#1 hmmm so you obviously have not heard of Hillary foundation and the corruption behind it as well as her ineptness to understand anything ….it is so nice to see that people get hired because of sex and payoffs ..Dems being hypocrites again if someone said hire a man they would be throwing urin at you and destroying businesses

JS September 12, 2017 at 4:12 PM

I’d love for the three Supervisors (Gioia, Burgiss, and Glover) who voted for Becton to explain how appointing someone who plagiarized her application and has zero prosecutorial experience will help restore integrity to the office.

JS September 12, 2017 at 4:27 PM

@Kentucky Derby, you are absolutely right, trust is a huge concern. Which is why I am absolutely dumbfounded that anyone would support a candidate for this position who was found to have plagiarized her application. Oh, and who has absolutely no prosecutorial experience.

chuckie the troll September 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM

I can just hear the campaign now: “If you liked Peterson you’re going to love Becton!”.

chuckie the troll September 12, 2017 at 4:34 PM

@ Kentucky Derby

Which part of ‘plagiarism’ don’t you understand? And how does this demonstrate her honesty, statistically speaking, of course?

Retired Attorney September 12, 2017 at 5:35 PM

Judge Becton is extremely nice person and was a moderately competent judge. However, she does not have even a single day of experience as a prosecutor. This decision is really surprising. She will likely take the DA’s office on a severe left-hand turn, but I do trust her to be honest in her interactions with the public.

WC resident September 12, 2017 at 6:17 PM

@Retired #8 – Her first opportunity to be honest in her interactions with the public was her public application to become the interim district attorney.

What she did was flat out plagiarization, repeatedly, throughout her answers to the questions posed by the board of supervisors. She was wove plagiarized material into her work. Had she set them out as separate paragraphs then I could see the lack for “quote marks” was a formatting issue. At times she started a sentence in her own words and then finished it with someone else’s words.

Had I been on the board of supes I would have dropped her like a flaming potato in round one. It would have been disappointing for supervisors looking to tick the “female” and “black” checkboxes but still, the integrity of the office is more important than gender or skin color.

I’m also concerned about the lack of experience. While she was the presiding superior court judge she only supervised three employees. I noticed in her application that she’s was a real estate broker up to January 2017. So she was both a judge and sold real estate on the side? The DA’s office is both far larger and filled with far more drama.

Her answers (and many of the places she stole material from) show she had an agenda which is bail reform. It’ll be interesting to see how much she pushes with that given the next election for the DA’s office is in November.

Maybe that is the board of supe’s plan – put up an interim person that allows them to tick the checkboxes but they also know she’ll likely loose in an open election.

Julio September 12, 2017 at 6:21 PM

Oh Boy! Do not like this at all. First is honesty which clearly she doesn’t understand. With the crap the judges have pulled in the last 20 years and wanting everyone out of jail I just cannot support her. True to form for Gioia the crook. We need him outta there!

Did I Say That Out Loud September 12, 2017 at 6:33 PM

It is unfathomable that anyone with a serious intent to have the Contra Costa County District Attorney position filled by an individual who understands ethics and integrity would select an applicant who plagiarized their application; that individual should have been immediately disqualified from the process. Nice to see the committee is living up to expectations…keep setting those standards lower.

Waffles September 12, 2017 at 6:50 PM

What a shame, Paul Graves was a perfect fit. I look forward to voting for him in June.

King Archie the Invincible September 12, 2017 at 8:10 PM

Anyone know her record as a judge? Tough on criminals or another bleeding heart liberal who never met a convict or illegal alien she didn’t like?

Oh Boy September 12, 2017 at 8:26 PM

Paul Graves was a perfect fit for the position of District Attorney for this county. The BOS failed miserably. Hopefully the voters will show the BOS who the real District Attorney is in 2018.

Nature Lover September 12, 2017 at 8:42 PM

Unbelievable! Talk about low standards. Shame on the Board of Supervisors.

D.V. Guy September 13, 2017 at 8:42 AM

Honesty isn’t a main concern for a D.A., that was in the old days when the D.A. stood for fair and just and defense lawers were flakey. Now it’s the reverse…..whoda thunk it.
This happened due to a break down in our local system, when the scales lean too far either way we get corruption due to the lack of a check and balance system.
The judges allow far more crap from the D.A. than the poorly funded public defenders. After a while it’s like the D.A’s own kingdom and the corruption begins……….it’s human nature, pure and simple.

Body Politic September 13, 2017 at 11:27 PM

Unreal! Absolutely unreal! The audacity of the Board of Supervisors to select an attorney with no experience as a prosecutor and who rationalized an ethical lapse of plagarizing portions of her application is astounding! Supervisors Gioia, Burgis and Glover own this…thank goodness for the democratic process which allows us, the voters, to rectify the ineptitude of these three supervisors.

Justifiable Anger September 14, 2017 at 11:18 AM

RE: Superior Court Judge Diana Becton. Shouldn’t this apply?

“The full Legislature has approved a bill by Assembly member Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) which would assess a financial penalty on candidates who lie on ballot statements when seeking political office. AB 894 now goes to the governor for his signature.”

Agape rock September 16, 2017 at 2:13 PM

THANK MY HIGHER power for the Truth regarding DA

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