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Sun Sound-Off: Kings Co. District Attorney’s Race

The San Joaquin Valley Sun prides itself on robust coverage of the people and decisionmakers in power across the Valley floor. That includes giving those in the arena a voice through Sun View, our opinion section.

Typically, The Sun does not publish letters to the editor, as we prefer longer commentary to fully communicate perspectives.

However, in recent weeks, we have received a number of letters regarding the upcoming election for Kings County District Attorney. Below are a pair of letters submitted in support of opposing candidates, printed in the order of receipt.


Kings Co. Sheriff says Hacker the right choice, “does not back down from a challenge.”

I endorse Sarah Hacker to be the next Kings County District Attorney because she has the intelligence and temperament for the job. I have known Sarah for about 15 years.

We worked together on prosecuting gang cases when I supervised the Kings County Gang Task Force and later in 2009 and 2010 when I was a District Attorney Investigator.

Sarah worked side-by-side with investigators by attending witness interviews and putting together cases for trial.  She was enthusiastic to take a case to trial and fight for public safety.  

She does not back down from a challenge.  Sarah prosecuted cases fairly.  She advocated for harsh sentences when a defendant posed a risk to our community.  

The Kings County District Attorney must put our community’s safety first.  This means that the DA has to work with all law enforcement to successfully prosecute cases.  

The DA has put his own agenda before the interests of the community which has caused friction between the DA’s office and our law enforcement agencies.  When the DA puts himself first, public safety is the second priority.  Also, the DA must prosecute based on the evidence.  He cannot prosecute or make plea or diversion agreements based on bias or favor.

The DA’s Office staff deserve a boost in morale and fairness for all in the workplace.  

The current DA is accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed by his former chief investigator, The case is pending in San Bernardino County.  We will not know the outcome of the case before the election.

I am a backer for Sarah Hacker.  Join me in voting for her on June 7.

David Robinson, Kings County Sheriff


Prosecutor reflects on experience, opportunity in Fagundes’ DA’s office

I am writing to describe my experience working for the Kings County District Attorneys Office.

Working at the Kings County District Attorney under the leadership and direction of Keith Fagundes, Phil Esbenshade, and William Wolfe was an amazing work experience from start to finish. 

I came to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office from Orange County. It was scary moving to a part of California that I was vastly unfamiliar with.

I was terrified that if I moved all the way out to Hanford, all by myself, only to end up disliking the people I work with or, even worse, my bosses, I would feel stuck and regretful about making such a big move. I am unbelievably lucky that I got to work with a team of such dedicated and brilliant individuals.

I felt like an outsider coming in; but now I am leaving with a heavy heart, because everyone at the office quickly made me feel like part of the team and at home. 

KCDA gave me an opportunity to learn and hone skills that exponentially improved my ability to be an effective prosecutor and attorney.

The leadership at KCDA allowed me to take on assignments that they knew would be challenging for me.

However, they guided me every step of the way without micro-managing me. I went to law school to become a prosecutor. 

This was my first job as a Deputy District Attorney, and I am so thankful that Keith Fagundes and his team took a chance on me because this was truly the best learning experience I could’ve asked for.

In a short time span, I’ve not only gained a plethora of new courtroom and legal skills, but valuable connections and friendships as well.

Michael Boutros

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.