Andrew Ganz, an assistant district attorney in San Francisco, is facing a 90-day suspension from practicing law and two years of probation after a state bar court judge found him culpable of four counts of misconduct.
In a 48-page decision issued on Oct. 29, California Bar Court Judge Pat McElroy found that Ganz withheld evidence and made misleading statements while prosecuting a murder case in his previous post as a prosecutor in Solano County.
McElroy found that Ganz failed to disclose detailed discussions investigators and prosecutors had with a forensic pathologist whose findings contradicted a key prosecution theory in the case. McElroy found that Ganz’s failures “suggest a prosecutorial attitude either incapable of or disinterested in maintaining the minimum ethical standards that all prosecutors are sworn to uphold.”
A spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office declined to comment, citing office policy regarding personnel matters. Ganz referred a request for comment to his attorney, Alfred Giannini, who said he and his client are still reviewing the decision and considering next steps.
“The most important thing to us is the finding that there was no deliberate misconduct on behalf of my client, because if that were the case that would be a very different matter,” Giannini said.
Ganz’s bar court proceedings stems from his 2012 assignment to work on the prosecution of Michael Daniels for the murder of Jessica Brastow, the first homicide case Ganz had handled. Despite a lead investigator’s theory that Daniels had choked Brastow to death with a sock, which was recovered from the hotel room where her body was found, the lead forensic pathologist found the choking-by-sock theory implausible. She stated during her dictation following her examination that the detective “wants this to be a homicide, and there is no way I could call this at this point and I’m not going to be pushed into it, so, he can go kiss my ass.”
Daniels was ultimately found not guilty on all charges in the murder case in April 2014.
Among other findings, the Bar Court held that Ganz failed to inform Daniels’ defense attorney about a meeting where the pathologist discussed her misgivings about the prosecution theory.
A copy of the order is available below: