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Passing the Torch: Maggie Fleming looks to the future as district attorney

EUREKA- After a historic vote, securing 61 percent of the public’s approval, Maggie Fleming will become the next district attorney in just two months.

“I’m already studying the budget, talking to people about grants

And moving towards that,” Fleming said.

But the incoming D.A. has an uphill battle to climb, with declining funds and a team of young attorneys.

“Whenever you’re building a new office, which is what she will, in essence be doing, going from the current district attorney Paul Gallego’s philosophy to the way she wants to do business, there’s always going to be a transition,” said Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey. “And that transition is always going to be challenging but I definitely thing she’s up to that”

Stepping up to that challenge, Fleming’s has made clear her top priority

“I would like for the community to have confidence in the district attorney’s office and I will work to make sure that people have trust in the criminal justice system,” Fleming said.

And she plans to do that through day-to-day oversight of cases and mentoring newer attorneys. But Humboldt County’s first female D.A. says she has much more in store for the office.

“I think transparency is really critical when you consider how many of our decision we have to make out of the eye of the public,” Fleming said. “So what I think is important first and foremost, is any plea negotiation, any continuance, it needs to be stated in open court, on the record you know, our reasons for making that choice need to always be open in public. Down the road a little bit I would like to have a website that provides more information on a weekly basis.”

And now that her time is almost here, those who battled with her on the campaign trail are eager to see those changes starting January 5.

“I think what she’s going to do is she’s going to go up there and she’s going to bring back some of that touch that she brought into the office before and really make a difference and this time I think we’re ready for a change,” said 1st District Supervisors Rex Bohn, one of Fleming’s biggest supporters.

Maggie says that she is more excited to take office than anything. As part of her commitment to the community, she said if you have a problem or concern regarding the D.A.’s office you should feel free to call.