The San Diego District Attorney’s office said it will not press criminal charges at this time regarding two investigations dogging Republican Carl DeMaio in a competitive House contest in California, according to a statement from the office Monday.
DeMaio is challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, but the spate of news reports about the incidents has threatened to derail his bid.
In May, DeMaio’s campaign headquarters was vandalized in an alleged break-in, with thousands of dollars of computer equipment and other technology damaged. Then earlier this month, DeMaio revealed at a news conference that a former campaign staffer, Todd Bosnich, had accused DeMaio of sexual harassment . DeMaio denied the accusation, calling it a “smear” tactic to hurt his chances in the final month of the race.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement that the two cases involving DeMaio and his campaign were investigated by the San Diego Police Department, and there was insufficient evidence at this point to move forward with charges.
“The San Diego Police Department’s investigations of these matters have been very thorough, objective and professional. SDPD committed significant resources to the investigations and no stone was left unturned,” Dumanis said. “The District Attorney’s Office thoroughly reviewed the investigations. We use the same process and standards for evaluating cases no matter who the parties are. Our focus is, and always will be, the pursuit of justice.”
In a separate statement, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman noted the district attorney’s office had concluded its review but encouraged “anyone who might have additional information related to either case to contact the San Diego Police Department.”
Dumanis also said California Attorney General Kamala Harris determined Dumanis did not have any conflict of interest in handling the investigations. Dumanis endorsed DeMaio’s failed mayoral bid in 2012, and DeMaio hosted a fundraiser last year to support Dumanis’ re-election, which led Democrats to question whether she could objectively handle the cases.
While the San Diego DA will not move forward with criminal charges, a local NBC affiliate in San Diego reported the FBI is also investigating threatening emails Bosnich said he received after reporting the sexual harassment, as well as whether Bosnich was offered $50,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The FBI declined to comment to CQ Roll Call on whether an investigation took place or was still ongoing.
A poll conducted days after the sexual harassment allegations surfaced for the U-T San Diego newspaper found voters in the district split over whether the allegations affected their choice at the ballot box. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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