San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkin's work as paid consultant raises transparency questions

Questions have been raised about whether San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins should have been more transparent about her earnings before she was appointed.  

Jenkins earned the money while she said she was a volunteer spokesperson for the recall campaign.

A political science professor told KTVU he's shocked that Jenkins did not disclose this information herself. He said this is about maintaining public trust.  

Mayor London Breed officially appointed Jenkins July 7 in a swearing-in ceremony and said, "She sacrificed her career to fight for people in this city, to fight for victims who needed a voice in this city."

At the time, voters knew Jenkins as a former prosecutor who quit her job with the District Attorney's Office led by Chesa Boudin to volunteer for the campaign to recall him.

But a newly filed ethics record showed that she was paid more than $100,000 as a political consultant for the nonprofit Neighbors for a Better San Francisco that is linked to supporters of the recall.

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"When someone is appointed to a position of this level of public scrutiny that wouldn't have been disclosed at the time of the appointment is pretty surprising," said Corey Cook, professor of politics at St. Mary's College.

He said Jenkins did not do anything illegal but that her failure to disclose the information earlier raises questions about her judgement.

"That you would not tell people, blow up the day after you announce your candidacy," said Cook. "It's an unforced error that's political malpractice."  

KTVU reached out to Jenkins and she responded with a statement. 

"I leveraged my career and prosecutorial experience to help provide a new source of income to help support my family and small children," Jenkins said.

Opponents accused her of misrepresenting herself as a campaign volunteer.

"This is clearly not a volunteer gig she was doing in her spare time," said Jim Ross, political consultant against the recall. "She needs to be transparent with the voters of San Francisco and rebuild trust."

Jenkins wrote that she provided consulting services for a few San Francisco based non-profit organizations.

"I compiled legal analysis, research, reports, and provided advice for all of these organizations and their respective issue areas."

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, a mayoral appointee himself, said he supports Jenkins.

"Brooke is a very capable attorney," said Dorsey. "I think she has the finger on the pulse of what San Franciscans are demanding of the criminal justice system."

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Cook said the question is when did the mayor know that Jenkins worked as a paid consultant and volunteered as a spokesperson for the recall campaign at the same time.

"Now, people are asking you're our district attorney. You're our district attorney.  Are there other things you're not telling us," said Cook. 

The professor said he expects the mayor to make a statement about this revelation. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU, Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU