Steinberg pondering run for Sacto DA

April 22, 2013

By Katy Grimes


The current buzz around the Capitol City is Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, will run for Sacramento District Attorney in 2014.

Steinberg, 53, has worked as an Employee Rights Attorney for the California State Employees Association prior to running for public office in 1992. Since then, he’s spent all but two years holding political office: Sacramento city council member, 1992-98; state assemblyman 1998-2004, then the state Senate from 2006 until now. He’s term-limited out of office in 2014. It’s the common musical-chairs routine, staying in office but switching seats because of term limits.

The CSEA, a public employee labor union, is affiliated with the SEIU, and represents more than 141,000 state employees.

His biography says, “Prior to state public service Steinberg worked for ten years at the California State Employees Association as an employee rights attorney, and as an Administrative Law Judge and mediator.” But the dates are not listed.

His bio on the Sacramento Bar Association reads differently: “For the six years prior to his election to the Assembly in 1998, Darrell Steinberg balanced his duties on the Sacramento City Council against the demands of his legal career, first as an employment lawyer and later as an administrative law judge and as a private arbitrator and mediator.”

“When Steinberg was elected to the City Council in 1992, he cut his time at CSEA to half-time in order to meet the demands of public service,” the Bar Association bio says. “In 1994, he left CSEA to become an administrative law judge for the State Personnel Board. Two years later, Steinberg joined Mackenroth, Ryan & Fong, a Sacramento law firm in which one of his law school friends, Rob Fong is a partner. While on the City Council, Steinberg maintained a private arbitration and mediation practice at the firm. Since being elected to the Legislature, Steinberg has remained of counsel there.”

Steinberg’s professional history has little of the relevant experience usually expected of a District Attorney.


Sacramento’s current District Attorney, Jan Scully, “worked as a deputy district attorney in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. “Five years later, Jan became a supervising attorney, supervising various prosecution teams including Adult Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse, Felony Trials, and Research and Training,” her bio says. Scully was and is the real deal.

With the significant rise in crime across the state thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment law (AB 109), Sacramento needs a tough-on-crime DA, and not a political office placeholder, waiting for higher office.

It is important to note Steinberg also has taken out a committee to run for Lieutenant Governor. It is obvious that he is not going back to the private sector, either way, despite his affiliation with Mackenroth, Ryan & Fong.

The music is playing and we’ll soon see where he tries to sit down.


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  1. larry 62
    larry 62 22 April, 2013, 15:14

    I’m sure that he has plans to run for governor someday and that will put Ca. on its final path to doom. What a waste of human flesh he is.

    Reply this comment
  2. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 22 April, 2013, 19:02

    I can’t find anything in our state constitution that requires a candidate for District Attorney to have previously worked as a prosecutor. There are a number of fine DA’s who have not come up through the ranks of a prosecutor’s office, and some really poor DA’s who have.

    Reply this comment
  3. stolson
    stolson 23 April, 2013, 09:22

    OMG not him. I thought I read he had worked at ACLU–will have to check into this. However, he is a very wealthy politician and been around too long for the good of CA. Too radical and part of the problem here, not the solution. A really good PR campaign against him is needed now–where are the Koch brothers.

    Reply this comment
  4. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 23 April, 2013, 12:53

    Other states could assign someone to report on his antics several hours a day…he is a great recruiter of California businessses (to other states). I suspect he could do some significant damage as Sacrmanto AG, but it is what the voters want. It is what it is, it will fun to watch him continue to clothesline California’s businesses(unless they are putting money in his pocket). He prefers to be owned by the gov t unions, but money talks no matter who gives it(corruptly, of course).

    Reply this comment

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