Stanislaus County Prosecutor Birgit Fladager announced on Tuesday that she would not run for a fifth term next year.
“This leaves me still over a year to serve as district attorney and to ensure a smooth transition when the time comes for a new elected attorney to take over,” Fladager said in a press release.
Fladager worked as a prosecutor for 31 years and was a district prosecutor for 15 years.
She said the priority for the remainder of her term will be reaching a resolution in the Laci Paterson murder case.
Fladager rose to prominence on the team that pursued Scott Peterson in 2004. He was convicted of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son and sentenced to death.
But last year, the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence and sent the case back to Superior Court to determine whether it should have a new trial based on its defense teams’ habeas petition. alleging misconduct by a juror.
“Our goal is to complete the habeas petition as soon as possible,” Fladager said in the press release. “If, however, legal proceedings continue beyond my last day in office in January 2023, I intend to make myself fully available to assist with pending litigation if the next elected district attorney. allow. I have already discussed this with Laci’s family.
Fladager said Tuesday night she could take on one of the many roles in the Peterson case at the end of her tenure, including as a deputy district attorney or as a private attorney. “It would depend on the circumstances,” she said in a text message.
Fladager, in his statement, highlighted achievements during his tenure, including the creation of the Stanislaus Family Justice Center to better serve victims in the community; creation of a fire investigation unit; and upgrading technology to make the office more efficient, capable, productive, and secure from cyberattacks.
While her office has struggled with high turnover in recent years, Fladager said she also prides herself on having “the most dedicated and capable pursuit team in the world.”
She said a multi-year economic recession resulted in a 25% downsizing and higher salaries offered by district attorney’s offices in surrounding counties made it difficult to recover.
The growing workload of assistant district attorneys worsened when the coronavirus pandemic struck, causing significant backlogs due to court closures and limitations on the number of cases that can be heard at one time.
Other challenges, she said, are the changes underway in the criminal justice system, “which many of us fear are going too far and too fast without allowing a meaningful assessment of their effectiveness and consequences.” .
Fladager said on Tuesday evening that she had given the idea not to “think seriously over the past few months and decided the time has come for me to announce my retirement in light of the upcoming election cycle.”
Although she said she has no plans for 2023 yet, “I look forward to what this will bring. I intend to stay very focused on what needs to be done in the office in the future. waiting. “
This story was originally published September 15, 2021 4.30 a.m.