San Francisco’s newly appointed District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has hired Nancy Tung, a former competitor for Mayor London Breed’s appointment to the city’s top prosecutor job and someone who has strong backing from the Chinese American community.
Jenkins announced Tung’s hire as one of several additions to her new all-female top staff, effectively removing Tung as a potential challenger in the November election to serve out the rest of former DA Chesa Boudin’s term.
“I am thrilled that Nancy Tung is joining our management team to help advance our office's mission to promote and protect public safety,” Jenkins said. “Nancy will fight hard on behalf of victims and bring together all communities to make San Francisco safer.”
Tung, a Chinese American attorney with over 20 years of experience as a prosecutor in the Bay Area, ran for DA in 2019 but lost to Boudin, who was recalled by voters last month in a nationally watched election.
Tung will start her new role as the Chief of Special Prosecutions and Community Partnerships in August. The position was newly created for Tung, who resigned Friday morning from her current position as an Alameda County prosecutor.
“I am excited to join a stellar team with many experienced prosecutors,” Tung told The Standard. “I am going to do what I can to make DA Jenkins successful.”
Tung called her new job offer a “strategic move” on Jenkins’ part, one that she said brings “much-needed prosecutorial experiences into the office.”
Tung promised to uplift Chinese American representation.
“I will make sure that the Chinese community, the API community have a voice in the DA’s office,” she said.
Tung’s hiring, however, comes as Jenkins decided to demote or fire a few high-ranking Asian American staffers hired under Boudin. Namely, Chief Assistant District Attorney Marshall Khine and Chief of Victim Services Division Kasie Lee, who were bumped down a rank, and Chief of Programs and Initiative Simin Shamji, who was axed.
Tung also signals Jenkins’ push to make the DA’s Office more cooperative with law enforcement. When Tung ran for the office against Boudin in 2019, she positioned herself as the most “tough on crime” candidate.
She was elected to the San Francisco Democratic Party board in 2020, and was later nominated by Breed to serve on the Police Commission—an appointment that was rejected by the progressive-majority Board of Supervisors because of concerns she was too friendly with the police union.
John Hamasaki, a former member of the city’s Police Commission, criticized the hire on Twitter.
“Putting Tung anywhere around police misconduct is reprehensible,” he wrote, “forget public safety.”
Han Li can be reached at [email protected]