DA on stand in SF

By Triplicate Staff October 24, 2012 05:08 pm

District Attorney Jon Alexander took the stand in his State Bar trial Monday in San Francisco, fielding questions from a prosecution that wants him disbarred.

The questions dealt with loans made to and by the DA, and his conversation with a criminal defendant without her lawyer present.

Charges against Alexander include three counts of corruption, failure to perform with competence, suppressing evidence, communicating with a defendant and lending to a court official.

The defendant he is charged with improperly talking to, Michelle Taylor, told the Triplicate last week that she went to the DA’s Office to try to protect her then-boyfriend from drug charges she and he both faced. She said she didn’t know the boyfriend has slipped an activated tape recorder into her jacket.

“At no time did I try to elicit any incriminating information from that girl,” Alexander testified Tuesday, according to a tweeted report in the SF Recorder, a legal industry news organization.

“It was such a blind-side, deer in the headlights thing,” he said of the surprise visit.

Alexander also testified about a $14,000 loan he gave to Linda Sanford, a Del Norte County assistant chief probation officer, in 2009.

He has contended that the two are close friends, meaning the loan was not improper. In fact, he said, Sanford has a “heart like a ’58 Buick,” according to the SF Recorder.

Alexander has also denied any impropriety in his acceptance of a loan from local attorney George Mavris.

From the onset of filing disciplinary charges against Alexander in May, the Of- fice of Chief Trial Counsel announced it would be seeking disbarment if Alexander is found guilty. The Rules of Procedures of the Bar state if an attorney has a record of two prior Bar convictions, another conviction will result in disbarment “unless the most compelling mitigating circumstances clearly predominate.”

Alexander has had his bar license suspended twice since 2003.

A parade of character witness took the stand last week to support Alexander.

When the trial concludes, State Bar Court Judge Lucy Armendariz will have up to 90 days to issue a verdict.