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FBI, DA Announce San Francisco Public Corruption Task Force: Our Investigators Will Be Investigating

What we know: Corruption is bad. Getting someone else to pay for rooting it out is good. 
District Attorney George Gascón, as has become his wont, this morning disseminated an urgent press release announcing an imminent joint announcement with the FBI—subject: Stay tuned.    And, like villagers summoned in hopes of corralling a wolf, the city’s press corps descended upon the Hall of Justice. But there was no wolf, at least not yet. Instead there was, in essence, the announcement of a wolf task force.    Gascón and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Johnson this morning announced the formation of a “San Francisco Public Corruption Task Force.” The District Attorney said today marked the end of the “good old boys pay-to-play system that has worked in San Francisco so well.” Public corruption, he noted, “is a cancer that must be rooted out.”    That’s provocative, tough talk—but rarely is a patient diagnosed with cancer cheered by the terse announcement of a task force. Gascón and Johnson were mum on just what the hell this all means or how widespread they believe this “system” to be.    The feds will now be underwriting more of the burdens associated public corruption investigations, but Gascón declined to answer what resources or manpower the FBI will be providing. He did note that he wanted to impart “a very clear message” to public officials who’d use their offices for personal gain, but just what a corrupt official has to fear today that he or she didn’t yesterday is not entirely clear; a small army of federal investigators have been cavorting about this city for years, after all.   If forced to summarize the day’s news while riding on the Hall of Justice’s aging elevators, it would be this: The DA and feds will continue doing what they were already doing, though they now have the ability to go wider and dig deeper and pass more receipts on to Uncle Sam.    Whether an announcement that the city’s investigators will be investigating more serves to help those future investigations is an open question. As is whether this is the most effective way to disseminate news to the general public. It would be interesting to see if Gascón’s next press conference announces something more tangible.    These questions, and more, were asked today. But the ultimate query—where the hell is this all going?—evoked the same answer at the end of the press conference that we all had at the beginning: Stay tuned.