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State Bar Disciplines Former Santa Clara County Prosecutor

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) - The State Bar of California has taken disciplinary action against a one-time deputy in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office for wrongdoing she has admitted to in connection with a decade-old case she prosecuted.

Former Santa Clara County prosecutor Jaime Stringfield admitted that she used a fake lab report as evidence against a suspect in a preliminary hearing. According to published reports, the State Bar will now recommend to the California Supreme Court that she serve a year of probation and be suspended from practicing law for thirty days.

"It's a recognition by the State Bar that she was willing to admit her misconduct early, and that's why I think this punishment wasn't as strong as these other cases," opined San Jose area criminal defense attorney and legal analyst Steven Clark, comparing Stringfield's case to other acts of prosecutorial misconduct. "And it's also likely that the State Bar felt that her misconduct here wasn't deliberate but exceedingly sloppy."

Another former local prosecutor, Ben Fields, was given a four-year suspension for unethical conduct.

Both cases occurred years before the current District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, was elected to office in Santa Clara County.

KCBS' Betsy Gebhart Reports:

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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