2018 Candidate Contra Costa County District Attorney

Thank you for your interest in my candidacy.  Below are my responses to the various questionnaires sent to me by different organizations.  I have also included a copy of my resume that details my work background.  The following are links to a video created for an outreach program that I would like to establish for Contra Costa County:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Jer06yzDS-J-bk-vQiAP2tcEnBvLLkO6  and the District Attorney Candidate Forum in Walnut Creek, California:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eXp071htXg  

I am grateful for the favorable response and positive support that I received from the crowd during the forum. You can follow my campaign on Twitter at LStrauss4DA and on Facebook at Lawrence Straussforda.  

The tremendous support that I am receiving from the citizens of Contra Costa County inspires me.  Public safety through the efficient prosecution of cases is my utmost concern.  Too many cases are not being timely filed by the current District Attorney's Office and reform is needed.  As a lawyer and business owner for the past twenty-six years, I know the value of time and money.  The District Attorney's Office is wasting thousands and thousands of dollars by not focusing its efforts on efficiently processing and resolving cases.  

A real-life example of inefficiency and the wasting of the taxpayers' dollars is the Lifer Parole Unit.  As the appointed counsel for the inmates since 2011, I have attended over six hundred hearings.  While it is required that inmate counsel appears at these hearings which are all over the state of California, the County District Attorney Offices have the option of appearing by video or telephone.  The hearings last between three and four hours with minimal participation by the attorneys.  First, the taxpayers are charged with the travel time, hotel expenses, food expenses, and the salaries received by the legal clerk in the office and the two Deputy District Attorneys who are personally attending the hearings.  Second, there is a lost opportunity to multi-task and assist in the screening and filing of new cases. As DA, I shall eliminate the practice of personally attending parole hearings unless a victim or next of kin decides to attend which is a rare occurrence.

There are other occurrences of waste such as not timely conveying plea offers and taking valuable court time to relay the offer to the defense attorneys. I invite the public to visit the courtrooms during pretrial conferences and count the number of people waiting.  As DA, I am going to stop this disrespectful practice to the public.  All offers will be promptly relayed to defense attorneys so proceedings can begin at 8:30 a.m..  The simple task of conveying plea offers before the court hearing will save the taxpayers and participants the cost of the ninety-minute delay it takes to begin the proceedings.

I look forward to the upcoming election.  Together, we can reform the District Attorney's Office!