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Former SF prosecutor recalls shock firing by new DA Brooke Jenkins

Former SF prosecutor recalls shock firing by new DA Brooke Jenkins
Former SF prosecutor recalls shock firing by new DA Brooke Jenkins 02:18

SAN FRANCISCO – Since taking office two weeks ago, new San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has let go of 15 employees hired under predecessor Chesa Boudin. One of the former prosecutors expressed concerns about the sweeping changes and the functioning of the DA's office.

Former Assistant District Attorney Ryan Khojasteh told KPIX 5 he received a call on July 15 with news of his firing.

"I got this call I picked up. I was on the highway with my family on my way to a wedding," Khojasteh recalled. "It seemed like she was reading a script, fired me on the spot, then turned it over to human resources."

Khojasteh told KPIX 5 he is still shocked by the decision and processing his new reality out of the District Attorney's office.

One week since his last day in the office Khojaste told KPIX 5 that his biggest concern is the broader implications of the sweeping turnover brought on by Jenkins, who was appointed by Mayor London Breed to replace Boudin after he was recalled.

"I was just thinking about my colleagues, who I respect, I've gotten along with well. And I know that they have a hard job and they are already overworked," he said.  "How is this going to impact their work if all these cases are going straight to them without transition memos?"

Former San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Ryan Khojasteh, one of 15 employees ousted by new District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. CBS

Khojaste says he worries the tough on crime path that Jenkins may forge could jeopardize his work in the juvenile justice division.

"We want kids that come within the system to be prepared to not commit crimes anymore and have a good life," he said.

As of our conversation Khojaste hadn't had the chance to collect his office belongings.

"I was just a regular attorney. I was in court, I handled cases," he added. "I have no management power, I have no policy power. I followed orders, I got approval and I did my job."

Khojaste also said he was instructed to share details of his open cases through his personal email account.

"HR asked if I could use my email to send what I remember and they were asking me to send confidential prosecutorial work products and personal information via Gmail," he said.

Khojaste said that while he remains shocked by his ousting, he wants to see the new District Attorney succeed, both for the office and for the city.

 "I think she's fully responsible for the successes or downfalls for what happens in the next few months," he said.

On Thursday, the District Attorney's office announced the hiring of three high-level members that will serve in the criminal division, independent investigations, and post convictions unit.

An official for the office told KPIX 5 that the staff changes were in an effort to reprioritize resources to line attorneys and provide support to prosecutors and to add three women of color in the management team.

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