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Outgoing San Francisco Public Defender Kim Burton left behind a parting shot for new PD Jeff Adachi his first day on the job Wednesday. Burton granted vacations of up to a month to three of her top lieutenants. Consequently, Adachi will be unable initially to fill two key positions, forcing two of his new top deputies to begin working as unpaid volunteers. “They pulled a fast one on me,” Adachi said. “It’s an attempt to keep me from bringing in my own people.” Bad blood between Burton and Adachi goes back to January 2001, when Mayor Willie Brown appointed Burton to succeed 22-year PD Jeff Brown, who was named to the state Public Utilities Commission. The day she was sworn in, Burton fired Adachi, a 15-year public defender and the No. 2 in the office under Brown. Despite unprecedented campaign spending on Burton’s behalf and the political support of her father, state Senate President pro tem John Burton, Adachi won the March election with 55 percent of the vote. During budget hearings during the summer, Burton told supervisors that proposed cuts to the office would be manageable, while Adachi testified that he needed more money to hire more lawyers. After nine months of planning and waiting, Adachi moved into the PD’s office Tuesday evening. He said he passed Burton on her way out. “She said ‘good luck’ and gave me the keys,” he said. Marie Mallare, Adachi’s press secretary, said Burton left no forwarding address, phone number or e-mail address, and other efforts to reach her Wednesday were unsuccessful. On Wednesday, Adachi said Teresa Caffese, whom he appointed his chief attorney, and Martin Sabelli, named earlier as director of training, would assume their duties but could not be added to his paid staff. “Martin and Teresa will be volunteering,” the PD said. Caffese worked as a public defender for 16 years, but left the office in August 2001 to open a solo criminal defense practice. Shortly after he was elected, Adachi asked his former colleague and law school classmate to become his chief lieutenant. She will run the day-to-day operations of the office. “We were in the trenches together and we have a similar commitment to being public defenders,” Caffese said, who, like Adachi, is known for her aggressive courtroom manner. Adachi identified the three deputies who were granted extra vacation time as Randall Martin, Burton’s chief attorney; Susan Kaplan, who supervised felony trials; and Lisa Dewberry, a head attorney. He said the three were offered lesser positions in the office, but he cannot replace them until they return to accept or reject the new job offers. Adachi has also doubled the management team that oversees the felony trial unit. He picked 23-year veteran Marla Zamora and Deputy Public Defender Steven Gayle, who joined the office in 1999, to manage the 35-lawyer unit that handles 6,000 cases a year. Adachi said he created three new management positions, including Sabelli’s training section. Deputy Public Defender Kathy Logan, who has worked in the office for 15 years, was named director of support services and will oversee investigators, paralegals and clerical help. Deputy Public Defender Katherine Asada, a 22-year office employee, was appointed the director of recruitment and will run the office’s intern program. In addition, Adachi appointed Deputy Public Defender Jean Amabile as supervisor of the 15-lawyer misdemeanor unit. Deputy Public Defender Robert Bunker will head the office’s mental health unit. Adachi’s first day in office was not a complete shake-up. Deputy Public Defender Christopher Gauger, who supervised misdemeanors and research as part of Burton’s management team, was retained by Adachi as head of the research office, which handles writs, motions and appeals. He said reorganizing the office will be complicated by Burton’s vacation-granting maneuver, plus other absences. In addition to the three granted vacations by Burton, three attorneys are on vacation and three others are on maternity leave. With the office’s normal staffing of 76 now down to 67, Adachi is scrambling for ways to cover all the courts and the office’s indigent clients. He is negotiating with the mayor for additional funds to hire more lawyers. Adachi said he told his staff Wednesday morning that there would be no retaliation for those who supported Burton during the campaign. “I made it clear to everyone that the election is over and we’re moving on from there,” he said. “It’s all about getting back to work.” Adachi said a main thrust of his speech to his staff was that they had to support each other “110 percent” at all times at the Hall of Justice. And, he added: “We’re all here to have a good time.”

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