San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, a renowned advocate for the accused and an outspoken watchdog on police misconduct, has died.
He was 59.
Mayor London Breed confirmed Friday night that Adachi had died, saying that San Francisco had “lost a dedicated public servant.” He was the only elected public defender in California.
The exact circumstances and cause of Adachi’s death were not immediately known, but sources said he died of a heart attack.
“As one of the few elected public defenders in our country, Jeff always stood up for those who didn’t have a voice, have been ignored and overlooked, and who needed a real champion,” Breed said in a statement. “He was committed not only to the fight for justice in the courtroom, but he was also a relentless advocate for criminal justice reform.