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History of the District Attorney's Office

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The District Attorney’s Office was established in 1850.  This elected officer was to act as public prosecutor in both District and County Courts.  In 1863, the district attorney was required to collaborate with county officials in suppressing gaming.  In 1972 he was to serve as legal advisor to the Board of Supervisors.  Under the County Charter of 1951, the District Attorney remained an elected office responsible for all criminal prosecutions, investigations of all major cases and maintenance of the Laboratory of Criminalistics.

Today, Santa Clara County is comprised of fifteen cities, including San Jose, and has more than 1.8 million residents who come from all over the world to live in our beautiful, prosperous and diverse valley.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Northern California.  The Office has more than 540 employees, including 185 prosecutors, 80 investigators, 60 criminalists, and 210 support staff.  The Office prosecutes more than 40,000 criminal cases each year including drunk driving, identity theft, fraud, elder abuse, burglary, robbery, sexual assault, domestic violence, gang violence and murder.

The District Attorney's Crime Laboratory is the pre-eminent forensic laboratory in Northern California and analyzes thousands of evidence items each year using the most sophisticated and cutting edge technology.

District Attorney’s:

2011 to present   Jeffrey F. Rosen

2007 to 2011       Dolores Carr

1990 to 2006       George Kennedy

1983 to 1991       Leo Himmelsbach

1957 to 1983       Louis P. Bergna

1948 to 1957       Napolean J. Menard

1946 to 1948       Leonard R. Avilla

1938 to 1946       John P. Fitzgerald

1927 to 1938       Fred L. Thomas

1919 to 1926       C. C. Coolidge

1907 to 1918       Arthur W. Free

1899 to 1906       James H. Campbell

1895 to 1898       B. A. Harrington

1891 to 1894       Victor A. Scheller

1889 to 1890       D. W. Purchard

1885 to 1888       Howell C. Moore

1880 to 1864       James H. Campbell

1876 to 1879       William M. Lowell

1874 to 1875       Thomas Bodly

1872 to 1873       J. C. Black

1870 to 1871       William M.Lowell

1870 to 1870       J. M. Williams

1868 to 1869       D.M. Delmas

1866 to 1867       D. W. Harrington

1862 to 1865       Francis E. Spencer

1860 to 1861       A. L. Rhodes

1858 to 1859       J. Alexander Yoell

1856 to 1857       J. Milton Williams

1850 to 1855       John H. Moore