SF DA removes herself from case involving mayor's brother who is seeking lesser prison sentence

Dan Noyes Image
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
SF DA removes herself from case involving mayor's brother
San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins removes herself from case involving Mayor Breed's brother, Napoleon Brown, who is seeking lesser prison sentence

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The ABC7 I-Team has confirmed that San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has asked the State Attorney General to take over a case involving Mayor London Breed's brother. He's asking for a reduction in his prison sentence for armed robbery and the death of the getaway car driver.

Breed appeared on ABC7's Getting Answers Tuesday to talk about crime, COVID, and monkeypox, but she didn't have time for the I-Team's questions about her hand-picked district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, asking the State Attorney General to take over a case involving the mayor's brother.

Breed's brother, Napoleon Brown, is asking for a reduction in his prison sentence - 42 years, four months for armed robbery, carjacking, and involuntary manslaughter. With an accomplice, Brown robbed $7,200 from a Johnny Rocket's restaurant in the Marina District. The getaway car stopped in the middle of the Golden Gate, and Brown pushed the driver, Lenties White, to the pavement, where she was run over and killed by a drunk driver.

RELATED: SF mayor's brother seeks early release from 44-year prison sentence for murder, robbery

Judie Pursell, SFPD Homicide in June 2000: "The victim who was struck on the bridge perhaps was thrown from the vehicle. We do have a strong suspicion that it was an intentional act."

Reporter: "That she was pushed?"

Judie Pursell: "Yes."

At the time, London Breed had an alibi for her brother. She told police, "When she arrived at her grandmother's house around midnight...," the time of the robbery, "...defendant was asleep on the couch."

In 2018, Breed also used official stationery to write Governor Brown asking to commute her brother's sentence. For that, the Ethics Commission fined her $2,500, saying Breed "violated a City law prohibiting the use of City titles for non-City purposes."

RELATED: San Francisco Mayor London Breed asks for brother's early prison release

Now, to avoid even an appearance of political favors, the mayor's choice for district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, has recused herself from the Napoleon Brown case, a move she was considering last week as she told ABC7's Stephanie Sierra in an exclusive interview: "Ethically, I would prefer not to handle that case. And I think that would be the appropriate thing is to make sure that another agency is handling it."

Attorney Joe Alioto Veronese told the I-Team, "The people demand and expect their government to be open and transparent. And that's the only way to avoid it is to step aside."

RELATED: Mayor Breed facing nearly $23K fine for series of ethics violations while in office

Veronese is a member of a renowned San Francisco political family. His mother, a long-time supervisor and civil rights attorney; his grandfather, Mayor of San Francisco. He tells us he'll be filing this week to run for District Attorney, and that Jenkins should recuse herself from other cases.

Joe Alioto Veronese: "I am saying that there are active criminal investigations currently in the DA's office."

Dan Noyes: "Which involves the mayor's office?"

Joe Alioto Veronese: "Which involve the mayor's office. Absolutely and if this DA denies that she'll have a mutiny on her hand in her own office because it is known throughout the office."

When the I-Team also asked Jenkins about new investigations involving the mayor's office, she answered, "I am not aware but if those are brought to my, to light to me again, I will maintain my ethical obligation to make sure that I don't, I am not handling any cases where there, where conflict does exist."

EXCLUSIVE: New SF DA explains how she plans to clean up city, hold criminals accountable

San Francisco's District Attorney Jenkins spoke exclusively to ABC7 News, laying out her main priorities as the city's new top prosecutor

Late Tuesday, the mayor's office sent an email saying London Breed trusts the DA "to take the appropriate steps in her new role." And about giving her brother an alibi for a crime he later admitted?

"Mayor Breed stands by her participation and involvement in the investigation."

By the way, Brooke Jenkins also asked the Attorney General to take over a case involving the shooting death of her husband's 18-year-old cousin in the Bayview two years ago.

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