The extensive press coverage, both local and national, that has surrounded this past Friday night’s sheriff’s raid on a fundraiser for Democratic House candidate Francine Busby (CA-50) seems to have had a real effect on the officials overseeing the case itself.
I just spoke with Christine Carlino, the long-time personal attorney for homeowner Shari Barman, who was arrested at the event, and she told me there could be some significance to the fact that the San Diego District Attorney’s office is now personally involved in looking at the charges against Barman and a guest who was also arrested. (Note that Carlino is a civil attorney, not criminal, but she does still bring some local expertise.)
The key thing to understand here is that San Diego County is divided into several jurisdictional regions — for example, Barman’s home is in the North County region, as opposed to the city of San Diego itself, where the county’s District Attorney is based.
Under routine circumstances, an arrest made in North County would stay with the North County prosecutor. But the county’s D.A. in San Diego has taken over the case, which is out of the ordinary.
This doesn’t really speak either way to whether charges will be dropped or dismissed. But what it could mean is that the D.A. might be aware of just how controversial this has become, and how important it is going forward to get this right.