Rosen forced to re-hire deputy DA who criticized his office

Santa Clara County District Attorney candidate Daniel Chung. Post photo.

An arbitrator has ordered Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen to re-hire former deputy DA Daniel Chung, but Chung isn’t being allowed to return to the office and the fight may not be over.

The dispute began in 2021 when Chung wrote an unauthorized op-ed criticizing criminal justice reform movements in the wake of several attacks against Asian Bay Area residents.

In later articles and public comments, Chung described a mismanaged DA’s office where prosecutors slept with witnesses, used campaign funds to reimburse non-campaign costs and withheld evidence in criminal cases. The district attorney has repeatedly declined to comment on Chung’s accusations.

Rosen put Chung on paid administrative leave in May 2021. The DA barred Chung from county property.

Rosen fired Chung in October 2021, and Chung sued to get his job back. The case went to arbitration.

Chung also launched an unsuccessful campaign for district attorney, which enabled him to confront Rosen in public forums and air out his grievances.

An arbitrator last month ordered Rosen to re-hire Chung by Dec. 9.

The arbitrator found Chung had used poor judgment in past incidents involving Rosen, but largely disagreed with the DA’s basis for firing Chung, including his claim that Chung had been dishonest.

Rosen and the county appear to be in the process of hiring San Francisco attorney Jonathan Holtzman to challenge the arbitration ruling, according to San Jose Spotlight, a news website.

Chung said that as of Friday he’s back on the county payroll, but is forbidden from returning to the office.

Chung made $173,294 ($220,507 with benefits) in 2020, the year before his firing, according to Transparent California.

“I was supposed to be reinstated as a deputy district attorney, not reinstated as someone receiving a paycheck,” Chung said. “It’s like a limbo state that I’m in. I literally can’t work.”

“The taxpayers are supposed to be paying Daniel’s salary and (are) not getting anything in return,” said Jim McManis, Chung’s attorney. “Basically, Rosen’s just giving him the finger. It’s disgraceful.”

DA spokesman Sean Webby declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter. The county counsel’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Chung is represented by the union for deputy DAs, the Government Attorneys Association. A representative of that union declined to discuss the specifics of Chung’s reinstatement, citing confidentiality issues. — By San Jose Spotlight and distributed by Bay City News.


  1. Don’t let the bowtie fool you, Daniel Chung was the Babe Ruth of felony prosecutions. Judges loved him, defense attorneys feared him, and newspaper clippings show all he did was win.

  2. I’m glad he got his job back, but you have to be careful speaking out against your employer. You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. I wouldn’t want to work for someone who didn’t want me there. I’d find employment elsewhere. Walking on eggshells isn’t my style. I like Daniel Chung. He’s what a prosecutor should be.

  3. An honest DA would take Chung’s allegations, one by one, and either determine that they were unfounded or remedy them. Rosen should realize that people have high expectations of their DA. He represents the law to people. If his idea of resolving a complaint is sweeping it under the rug and firing the whistleblower, we need another DA. If the complaints are unfounded, then tell us that — show us you actually investigated them.

  4. Yet another serious abuse of powers by elected DA Jeff Rosen. I don’t understand why the County Board of Supervisors are silent on how Rosen continues to act as if the county is his inheritance. As taxpayers, we can’t stay silent and must hold the five BOS, County Executive and County Counsel accountable for allowing a madman (Rosen) to use public funds to satisfy his psychopathic behaviors. Deputy DA Daniel Chung wrote an individual opinion to a newspaper, not as a representative of the County DA’s Office. Chung’s opinion, although a positive contribution to the work of the DA’s Office, outraged his boss, Rosen! The opinion was not an attack or even a criticism of Rosen’s work as a DA, not at all. Chung blew the whistle on Rosen’s mismanagement two months later and only after he could no longer tolerate the abuse and harassment by Rosen.

    I think any decent person with an average intelligence of the role and responsibility that the DA’s Office has toward crime victims would appreciate and respect Chung’s published opinion.

    [Portion removed — violation of the Terms of Use regarding the posting of links]

    I was impressed by the author’s empathy for crime victims and the common sense approach for a balanced justice……What decent human being out there wouldn’t want a balanced justice system? We now know our county’s highest law enforcement elected official cares more about controlling free speech in his kingdom than raising awareness about the sufferings that victims experience in the aftermath of the crime and how their rights are neglected and violated. To get terrorized, degraded, dehumanized and then cut from his livelihood is very unusual and unexpected treatment for writing an opinion in a local paper.

    Now, an arbitrator made their determination. A ruling that the Santa Clara County must abide by, but one man is refusing and the entire county is silent and ma actually go along with wasting more public funds to hire a private attorney to fight the ruling….what the heck? Folks, this is your money and mine that they are wasting to satisfy a madman. No, it’s not okay. If this private attorney is paid with my taxpayers money, I’m looking for an attorney to file a taxpayers lawsuit, not just against the county, but individuals who are abusing their powers and my hard earned money.

  5. Rosen has always had a bad reputation and this is another nail in his coffin. Eventually people will figure out that Rosen plays favorites, that his office is out of control, that he lets bad guys slip through his fingers — and they’ll put up a competent replacement in the 2026 election. Chung isn’t wrong, but he failed to deliver the message to the county’s residents.

  6. It’s interesting that Jeff Rosen is not denying the accusations. Since the DOA office is normally who does the investigating and it’s not happening I hope the PA Daily will. If the accusations are baseless Jeff Rosen has nothing to fear. He should be open to clearing his name and have an investigation. Smells Fishy.

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