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District Attorney Candidates 

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Supervisor District 4 District Attorney | Sheriff | Assessor
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              District Attorney Candidates

VoteButtons*Birgit FladagerStanislaus County District Attorney (Incumbent)
 Frank Carson – Attorney/Businessman

Incumbent District Attorney Birgit Fladager has managed her office well since first being elected to D.A. in 2006.  Through our various interactions with Ms. Fladager we find her to be approachable, helpful and eminently respectful of those with whom she interacts. Fladager has faced serious budget challenges and the additional burden from the legislative mandate of public safety realignment.  Based on her significant support from law enforcement it is apparent she has capably managed her office and deserves reelection.

Click on the circle/plus icon to the left of each question to read each candidates answer.

1.Describe ways in which you as an elected official would encourage a collaborative and cooperative relationship with other units of local government.

Birgit Fladager: What I have already found to be helpful to encourage collaboration and cooperative partnerships with local police departments and the sheriff’s office is to always encourage open communication and lots of it. I do this by attending monthly Law Enforcement Executives (LEX) Meetings, attending or having a senior staff member attend a Modesto Police Department Executive Staff meeting on a monthly basis, offering training programs to local law enforcement or sending our staff to attend theirs, partnering with other agencies to apply for grants, and conducting outreach to city councils every few years when they have had turnover.

Frank Carson: The District Attorney can lead by example and set the priorities that other agencies have to respond to. This can range from giving a greater priority to property crimes to requiring drug testing of armed staff.

2. Modesto needs jobs. As an elected official, how will you contribute to improving the availability of local jobs?

Birgit Fladager: As District Attorney, I do not have a direct impact on job creation in the local economy, but by working to ensure that we have a safe community, we can enhance the quality of life so that businesses want to stay in or move to Stanislaus County.
By working with the School Attendance Review Board (SARB), we can help to reduce truancy and thereby increase graduation rates which will have a positive impact on employment.

Frank Carson: By reducing crime, bringing justice, and improving the quality of life, I will improve Modesto’s national standing and reputation and make companies want to locate, operate, and expand here.

3. If you are elected or re-elected to office, what will be your top issue? Describe the measures you will take to address this number one priority.

Birgit Fladager: There are many significant issues in the area of public safety, several of which have been the focus of attention for years–the scourge of methamphetamine, gang violence and domestic violence; and now human trafficking. These all remain high priorities in criminal justice.
The newest challenge is the effective implementation of AB109/Criminal Justice Realignment. Working together with other local criminal justice leaders, I will monitor criminal offenders within the different tracks of Realignment (parolees, prison inmates subject to post-release community supervision, and “local prison” inmates subject to mandatory supervision) and determine the effectiveness of local programs in reducing recidivism. The stakes are high for public safety. These offenders cannot be sent/returned to prison; insufficient space in local jails will lead to a duplication of the revolving door problem seen at the state level unless we have effective programs and consequences for non-compliance.

Frank Carson: I will improve public safety by hiring more attorneys. To finance that, I will reduce the number of investigators, reduce unnecessary and wasteful wiretaps, and be a full time manager, not a part-time administrator who shows up at special events.

4. In your own words, describe the role and responsibility of the office you seek

Birgit Fladager: The District Attorney is elected to represent the People in the vigorous prosecution of criminal cases so as to protect public safety, honor the rights of crime victims and support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California. It is the responsibility of the elected District Attorney to effectively lead and manage what is essentially the largest law firm in the county with the most significant and noble of obligations and responsibilities. The office is comprised of prosecutors, investigators, victim advocates, paralegals, IT and support staff”all of whom must be able to work cohesively as a team.

Frank Carson: The District Attorney prosecutes criminal and quasi-criminal cases for Stanislaus County.

5. Is the organization for which you seek office operating with a balanced budget? If not, what are you plans to make the organization more sustainable?

Birgit Fladager: Yes, in spite of consecutive years of budget cuts, we have managed to end the past three years with varying amounts of fund balance.

Frank Carson: The District Attorney’s budget has grown to almost $16 million. Unnecessary pet projects like excessive wiretapping, lavish travel, and a large force of investigators need to be reduce and will be with me.

6. Do you have any experience running a business or any similarly organized enterprise?

Birgit FladagerWhile I have no experience running a “business,” I have been responsible for the management of the District Attorney’s Office since 2006 with a budget as high as $16 million and staffing levels over 120. 

Frank Carson: I am a lawyer with an office and staff and have other business interests that require making payrolls.

7. Will the decisions you make as an elected official be evaluated as appropriate when the decision impacts local businesses and the economy?

Birgit Fladager:Yes, I would certainly think so. What is good for public safety is good for local business

Frank Carson: What is appropriate is that I evaluate each case according to the Law, and using good judgment in applying the discretionary powers of the District Attorney.

8. What is your relationship with locally elected officials in the state legislature? When did you last meet or correspond with one of our locally elected state officials?

Birgit Fladager: My relationship with local elected officials is good. In the past month or so, I have met with Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani, Congressman Jeff Denham and Governor Jerry Brown.

Frank Carson: I welcome any input from any source, but will adhere to the law, not politics.

9. Do you have any potential personal or business issues that may conflict with the office you seek? If so, how do you intend to contend with these issues?

Birgit Fladager:No.

Frank Carson: No conflicts. I will withdraw from my present caseload.

10. Are you a member of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and what is your opinion of the Modesto Chamber?

Birgit Fladager: I was previously a member of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce during my first campaign. I have continued to receive the Progress magazine which I appreciate and find valuable. I think the Modesto Chamber is vibrant, active and very well-regarded in the community.

Frank Carson: No, I am not a member of the Chamber, but as a small businessman I welcome any business forum that supports the community.

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