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With less than a month before the November election, incumbent District Attorney Terence Hallinan’s office took a one-two punch with the news that investigations are under way into the actions of an assistant district attorney and a DA investigator. Assistant DA John Carbone Jr. starts involuntary unpaid leave today following claims by Sacramento Deputy DA Susan Wilson that he attempted to sexually assault her at an insurance fraud seminar in Orange County in March. Wilson also claims Hallinan’s office was unresponsive to her allegations and has filed a claim against the city. The San Francisco city attorney’s office is investigating the case. The DA’s office is investigating whether one of its own investigators,Tony Saab, improperly used his authority to speed a friend’s release from jail after a DUI arrest last month, said DA spokesman Mark MacNamara. Saab is on voluntary leave. The campaign of one of Hallinan’s opponents, defense attorney Bill Fazio, says the two investigations underscore longstanding claims that the DA mismanages the office. “They both reflect the same root problems,” Duane Baughman, Fazio’s campaign consultant, said of the investigations. “This stems from a lack of leadership at the top. People are doing whatever they want, and they don’t fear reprisal.” Both Fazio and DA candidate Kamala Harris have criticized Hallinan’s management of the office. They claim his conviction rates show he isn’t leading effectively, and they’ve also lodged criticisms on more specific issues such as training, filing and the size of the office’s budget. Hallinan campaign spokesman Bob Henderson denied that the Carbone or Saab investigations have anything to do with how the DA manages the office. “They’re two people who are their own person taking their own actions that are alleged.” Carbone, who heads the DA’s high-tech and insurance crimes unit, will stay on leave until the matter is resolved, MacNamara said. The DA’s office is investigating whether Saab violated a law or acted unethically, MacNamara said. “If he has committed some crime or impropriety, he’ll be punished.” As first reported last week in the San Francisco Daily Journal, Wilson alleges that on March 6 Carbone physically assaulted her “with the intention to commit a sexual assault,” according to the claim she filed against the city Sept. 4. “The incident, and particularly the San Francisco District Attorney’s office lack of response, continue to cause [Wilson] considerable grief,” the claim says. The Sacramento DA’s office investigated the incident and reported its findings to the San Francisco DA’s office, “which did not appear particularly concerned,” the claim says. Wilson’s attorney, Stewart Katz of Sacramento, said his client expected the San Francisco district attorney “would either do something based on that, or use that as a springboard for their own investigation.” MacNamara said Hallinan’s office investigated the allegations when it first heard about them from the Sacramento DA on July 17. “We came to the conclusion that he had one story and she had another, and we went as far as we could with it,” he said. The city attorney’s office has until Friday to make a decision on Wilson’s claim, said Matt Dorsey, spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Katz said the claim is likely a precursor to a civil lawsuit. “I think in hindsight she wishes she’d filed something in Orange County at the time, but she thought the [San Francisco] district attorney’s office would deal with it appropriately,” Katz said. He said he thinks Wilson reported the incident to her office immediately but didn’t fill out a police report. Neither Saab nor Carbone could be reached for comment. The Sacramento DA’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

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