Formerly I worked for the Riverside County District Attorney’s office. At the time of my retirement I was a Supervising Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Gang and Homicide Units for the southwest part of the county. Since March of this year I have been employed as a Senior Deputy District Attorney working on certain special circumstance murder cases for Madera County.
From what I have seen, far from there being a “morale” problem in the Madera County District Attorney’s office, all of the attorneys I have interacted with, from the bottom to the top, share a collegiate camaraderie and a happy, good natured disposition that comes from hard work and collective sharing of the burdens and stresses of a difficult and demanding job.
I recently attended the monthly staff meeting where 16 attorneys, including DA Michael Keitz, sat around a conference table laughing and joking about some tongue and cheek good natured “atta boys” directed to their fellow colleagues.
Yes, it is true that there is a high turn over rate in the Madera District Attorney’s office. That is not due, however, to any lack of respect for Michael Keitz, the District Attorney. Rather, the high turn over is attributable to two factors: (1) the fact that the compensation of Madera County Deputy District Attorneys is substantially below that of neighboring counties; and, (2) the fact that Madera Attorneys have an extraordinarily high work load with limited resources as compared to other neighboring District Attorney offices.
Those who would criticize Michael Keitz would do well, in truth and in honesty, to consider whether they would do any better in dealing with the same high crime rate and limited resources inherent in the job. From what I have observed Michael Keitz is a person of high honesty and integrity who is sincerely and wholeheartedly doing his best for the community and who shares and understands the hard times and the good of the Deputy District Attorneys under his employ.
Robert Olson Senior Deputy District Attorney Madera County District Attorney’s Office