San Francisco sheriff, citing health and family, won't seek second term in November

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's first elected female sheriff will not seek re-election this November. Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, 66, cited health and family priorities.

Hennessy recently had knee replacement surgery. In a press release, she said, "As many of you know, I had surgery earlier this year. While I had a successful first operation, complete recovery remains elusive until I take the time to concentrate on my well-being."

Hennessy was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated from Lowell High School. She joined the sheriff's department in 1975, telling ABC7 News she saw it as a non-traditional job for a woman at the time. "I thought, hey, this looks pretty good, let's try it out," she said.

The sheriff said some of her proudest accomplishments while rising through the ranks include being one of the first women to work in the men's jail, and writing the first full policy and procedure manual for the department.

In 2012, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Hennessy interim sheriff, while then-Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was suspended after a domestic violence incident with his wife. Mirkarimi was later reinstated, but lost to Hennessy in the November 2015 election.

Under Sheriff Hennessy's leadership, the department developed and implemented Transgender, Gender Variant and Non-Binary certified training and procedures in the jails. It also abolished criminal justice fees for individuals sentenced to electronic monitoring and the Sheriff's Work Alternative Program.

Sheriff Hennessy told ABC7 News, "I have a lot I still want to accomplish in this department and I'm hoping to do that in the next nine months." Sheriff Hennessy will complete her term in January of 2020.
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