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Amid scrutiny, DA Boudin hires transparency lawyer to assist with public records compliance

Chesa Boudin

The District’s Attorney’s office has hired a government transparency expert, Nikki Moore, to assist the agency with compliance amid recent criticism over its handling of public records requests.  

Moore, a licensed attorney whose title is Assistant District Attorney, brings with her experience in public records law, according to Kate Chatfield, Boudin’s acting chief of staff. She was previously counsel for the Committee on Public Safety for the California State Assembly, and prior to that she was legal counsel for the California News Publishers Association (CNPA), a newspaper trade association. Moore’s most recent job was as a public records act services and e-discovery attorney at the law firm Best Best & Krieger, according to her Twitter. 

“In hiring somebody that’s fought and litigated for government transparency, this reflects our continued commitment to transparency, ” said Kate Chatfield. In addition to hiring Moore, Boudin’s office recently released a set of online data dashboards that show the office’s case outcomes and charging rates, among other information.

The embattled Boudin, who is up for recall in June, has faced public criticism for a perceived lack of transparency on his handling of cases. 

Stop Crime SF, a local nonprofit focused on promoting public safety, wrote they requested data in September 2021 on case outcomes, but that the DA’s office “initially refused to release what is supposed to be public data and then resisted doing so at every step,” leading them to threaten the DA’s office with a lawsuit. Likewise, The Standard engaged legal counsel last year in response to the DA’s denial of a public records request. 

Stop Crime SF’s executive director Joel Engardio said that he hopes Moore will make all data openly available to the public.

“It looks like they are moving in the right direction after some legal threats and prodding,” Engardio said.