(FOX40.COM) — This is the second time in a few short weeks that Thien Ho has publicly threatened the city with litigation if it doesn’t show progress in enforcing illegal homeless encampments.
He said he’s giving city leaders 30 days to figure it out, or a lawsuit is still very much in play.
•Video Above: Steinberg slams DA after threat to prosecute city officials over homelessness
“The community has had it up to here. Enough is enough. It’s time to act,” Ho said.
The Sacramento County District Attorney, once again, pressing Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders to clean up the streets of Sacramento.
Ho punched up the public bout a day after Steinberg stood in city council chambers, and stood his ground.
“I’m not going to continue to have my city being threatened by someone who’s not doing his part,” Steinberg said on Tuesday.
In an interview with Ho on Wednesday night, the D.A. told FOX40.com that Sacramento police and the city attorney’s office have one month to start enforcing and prosecuting unhoused Sacramentans that violate the city’s public nuisance and obstruction laws.
“This begs the question: Why pass these ordinances from the city if you’re not going to enforce them?” he asked.
Ho tells FOX40.com that he received an email from city attorney Susana Alcala Wood that says, “S-P-D is simply not issuing citations for unlawful camping, unlawful storage, sidewalk obstructions or any Sacramento city code sections related to the homeless encampments.”
“Is there a concerted effort by the mayor and city hall to stop law enforcement from enforcing the law?” the district attorney questioned.
A spokesperson for Mayor Steinberg shot this notion down immediately. On Wednesday night, they told FOX40.com that city staff referenced nearly 4,500 “voluntary compliance” reports at encampments during a city council meeting on June 27.
That means that citations weren’t issued since the unhoused left without issue.
But, the two sides are still far apart on which legal office is responsible for prosecuting these city code violations.
Ho said, “When it comes to local ordinances like the unlawful camping, the unlawful storage of property, the sidewalk obstructions, those are city codes that only the city attorney has the authority to prosecute.”
But a city spokesperson says that the city attorney must be approved by the district attorney to try these homeless misdemeanor charges.
Mayor Steinberg said in his presser on Tuesday that he met with Ho in his office on July 26 hoping they could reach some partnership.
However, Ho sent that second letter on Monday.
In a response email from the mayor, shown to FOX40.com by Ho, Steinberg says, “Let’s have a real public debate. I look forward to it.”