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East Bay prosecutor mulls bid for SF D.A.

Add Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Sharmin Eshraghi Bock to the list of people considering throwing their hats in to the ring to succeed state Attorney General-elect Kamala Harris as San Francisco District Attorney.

“A lot of people from the community are encouraging me to run and I’m seriously considering it,” she told me late yesterday, confirming a rumor I’d heard.

Sharmin BockBock, 48, has been a prosecutor for 21 years and is a nationally-recognized expert in human trafficking who created and leads the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit in Alameda County, prosecuting complex human trafficking cases with a focus on sexually exploited minors. She is also directs a H.E.A.T. Watch program, providing communities, prosecutors, and police departments with the blueprint that has made Alameda County a role model in combating these crimes.

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, earlier this year named Bock the 16th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year; she and others from districts around the state were honored at a March 8 ceremony at the State Capitol.

“Sharmin has been an invaluable asset to my district, the state, and nation in bringing domestic commercial sexual exploitation of minors to a level of national discussion,” Swanson said at the time, noting he’d worked closely with Bock on his legislation to increase penalties for human traffickers and put money toward aiding child victims. “Ms. Bock’s outspoken advocacy on behalf of child victims has taken the discussion to an unprecedented intellectual level, bringing state and federal law enforcement, lawyers, policymakers, and the public to the table to discuss the underground crime and its severe impact on our communities.”

California Women Lawyers last year bestowed upon Bock its top honor, the annual Fay Stender Award, given to a woman attorney who has demonstrated her commitment to under represented or disadvantaged people

Bock, an equestrian, also cofounded Paddock Cakes, a business that makes and sells horse treats; a portion of the business’ proceeds goes toward funding a safe house she hopes to establish with a therapeutic riding program for young human trafficking victims.

Bock earned an undergraduate degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1984 and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1988.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom or his successor will appoint someone to fill Harris’ post as district attorney. Newsom has said that if she resigns before him, he’ll heed her recommendation for her successor.

The Chronicle has reported that others who’ve expressed interest in the appointment include attorney Bill Fazio, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Paul Henderson, Police Commissioner and former prosecutor Jim Hammer, and David Onek, a senior fellow at the U.C. Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Other possibilities included Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein, daughter of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

UPDATE @ 11:38 A.M. FRIDAY: The Chronicle’s Marisa Lagos reports Katherine Feinstein might not be eligible for appointment to this job.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JT

    Sharmin Bock owns horses named Lara 368 and Cosmos 36
    and they are entered in competitions through-out the US as jumpers. She is a good friend of Kelly Johnson who was once Gavin Newsom’s former girlfriend.