Manohar Raju to replace Jeff Adachi as SF public defender

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed introduced Manohar Raju at a press conference this morning at city hall as her choice for the office of public defender. He replaces the late Jeff Adachi who died two weeks ago of an apparent heart attack.

"Being a public defender is a calling for me and it is a calling rooted in the spirit of the resiliency of our clients and their families," Raju told the crowd.

Raju has been with the public defender's office for 11 years. He told us he was thrilled when he got the news yesterday that he had been selected.

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Matt Gonzalez filled in these last two weeks as the interim public defender. He spoke at today's press conference in support of Raju. Afterward, he told ABC7 News he communicated to the mayor about a week ago that he did not want the job. He said he does not plan to run for any elected offices in November.

"I stepped away from politics for a reason and I was not eager to be back in elected office. I like what I am doing very much."

Reporter: "Is this because you might be running for Mayor?" Gonzalez: "No, no absolutely not."

Gonzalez says he also doesn't plan to run for Public Defender. He will stay in his role as Chief Defender in the office.

ABC7 News also caught up with Raju after the press conference and asked him about some of his priorities in his new position.

"Jury diversity issues are important. We are going to look into gang injunctions to see whether that is viable or whether there are people who should be taken off the injunction," Raju said.

He told ABC7 News he has not been sworn in yet. He says he has to get with the mayor's office to figure out when that is going to happen.

Raju will be finishing out Adachi's term. The voters will get to choose the next public defender in November.

See more stories, photos and videos on Jeff Adachi.

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