Chesa Boudin, Ousted San Francisco DA, Now Pulls Six-Figure Salary at UC Berkeley

Crime surged in San Francisco after progressive DA eliminated cash bail, refused to prosecute crimes

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 07: San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks to supporters during an election-night event on June 07, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Voters in San Francisco recalled Boudin, who eliminated cash bail, vowed to hold police accountable and worked to reduce the number of people sent to prison. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
July 24, 2023

Chesa Boudin, the disgraced former district attorney of San Francisco who was ousted in a June 2022 recall election, is earning $210,000 a year at his new job leading a research and advocacy center at UC Berkeley’s law school.

UC Berkeley announced in May that Boudin would head a new center, the Criminal Law and Justice Center, at the public university. Boudin said the center would give him a better opportunity to create "lasting progress" than through public service. The College Fix this week obtained his contract, which revealed his salary as well as a commitment from the university to give the center $400,000 for the next three years.

"In my new role, just as I did as district attorney, I will continue to draw on networks of advocates, activists, judges, and legal practitioners to support reform and advance safety in ways that are rigorous, principled, and responsive to the lived experiences of directly impacted communities," Boudin wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle when his new role was announced in May.

Boudin, who was funded by groups bankrolled by billionaire megadonor George Soros, was ousted last summer after 55 percent of voters elected to recall him. His tenure as a prosecutor dedicated to "restorative justice" saw increased crime in San Francisco, which has led to businesses fleeing the city. In 2021, he prosecuted only three drug cases, zero of which involved fentanyl, the drug that has led to hundreds of overdose deaths in the city in recent years. In his first year on the job, he eliminated cash bail.

San Francisco has continued its downward spiral since Boudin's ouster. Office vacancies in San Francisco hit a record-high rate in the second quarter this year. Among the companies trying to ditch their office space in the struggling city that quarter were Uber, Airbnb, and Salesforce.

The city's Democratic mayor, London Breed, is facing early opposition in her reelection campaign, including from a former ally who is building a tough-on-crime platform.

Many businesses have cited crime and homelessness in their decision to close up shop. Homicides in San Francisco have increased nearly 40 percent from 2020 to 2022, and deaths from fentanyl have spiked.