For release on February 21, 2019
Sean Webby, Public Communications Officer
DA ROSEN GIVES STATE OF THE OFFICE, 2018 OFFICE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
An investigator who helped track down a loose-knit gang of cryptocurrency thieves who hacked their victims’ cell phones. A community prosecutor who helped tackle human trafficking along Monterey Highway in San Jose. A criminalist who used a blue bullet coating to tie a gang member to a murder.
These are just some of the 2018 winners of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Annual Awards. The awards recognize outstanding work by the Office’s prosecutors, investigators, criminalists, paralegals, and support staff. Each year the Office also recognizes a courageous crime victim.
“I am awed by the amazing work that you all do,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen told his staff gathered in the Isaac Newton Senter auditorium in San Jose. “I am inspired by the grit, ingenuity and intelligence that I see when I come to work every single day.”
DA Rosen gave a “State of the Office” speech praising how the 650 people in the Office had dedicated their lives to public service and justice. He singled out other notable achievements of the past year, including solving a 1973 murder of a Stanford graduate student, a streamlined approach to testing SART kits that reduced a small backlog, and the Homicide Team that successfully prosecuted every case they tried last year. Prosecutor Kin Tong, who won convictions against defendants in two major gang homicides, won the prestigious Menard Award this year.
Two of the annual awards were renamed this year in honor of ground-breaking prosecutors, now retired, who rose through the ranks to become influential and inspiring leaders in the Office. The award for non-trial excellence by a prosecutor was renamed after Rolanda Pierre-Dixon. This year’s Courage Award, which was renamed in honor of Karyn Sinunu-Towery, went to Chloe Howard, who was criminally assaulted by students at her school for having a physically-deformed foot. Ms. Howard later met Bono, did a TEDx Talk in her bare feet, went on an international tour, and wrote books about her empowerment in the face of bullying.
Here is a complete list of the 2018 Annual Award winners:
- The Karyn Sinunu-Towery Courage Award: Chloe Howard
- Napoleon J. Menard Award for Felony Trial Advocacy: Deputy District Attorney Kin Tong
- Robert L. Webb Award for Misdemeanor Trial Advocacy: Deputy District Attorney Jordan Kahler
- Rolanda Pierre-Dixon Award for a Non-Trial Attorney: Deputy District Attorney Josue Fuentes
- Lowell W. Bradford Achievement of Excellence Award for Crime Lab Division: Criminalist Melissa Dupee
- Michael P. Brown Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Investigations Unit: Investigator David Berry
- Paralegal Excellence Award: Senior Paralegal Maggie Cheng
- Legal Support Award of Excellence: Information Systems Manager Brian Chan