Fresno County DA candidates go head to head

FRESNO, Calif.

A standing room only crowd packed a room to hear current District Attorney Elizabeth Eagan and her former employee Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp debate topics including dealing with the Valley's crime rate, drug issues and jail overcrowding.

Smittcamp believes Egan's mismanagement has caused a backlog in court cases. But the current district attorney highlighted Smittcamp never had any criticism until wanting public attention leading up to her run for public office.

Egan said, "Up until recently is the theme here because up until recently my colleague didn't complain so this is all recent and political."

The debate was organized by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP. The energy was tense throughout, both the incumbent and her opponent addressed questions about how the district attorney's office would handle officer-involved shootings, immigration matters and the three strikes law under their leadership.

Egan explained, "Since three strikes was instituted in the mid-1990s violent crime went down, there were thousands and thousands of different estimates because we took 20 percent of the violent criminals causing 80 percent of the violent crime and put them in prison."

"I am not aware Mrs. Egan has ever prosecuted a three strikes case," said Smittcamp. "She talks about three strikes a lot."0

So far Egan's campaign has raised about $300,000.00 in campaign finances ahead of the June election -- while Smittcamp has raised $600,000.00.

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