Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley was assured of another four years in office today when no one filed papers to challenge her in the June 8 election.
A group of about 30 prosecutors from her office who joined her at the Registrar of Voters office in the basement of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse cheered O'Malley when the 5 p.m. filing deadline passed.
O'Malley, 56, became Alameda County's first woman district attorney under controversial circumstances last Sept. 15 when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to appoint her to fill the last 15 months of Tom Orloff's term. Orloff had suddenly announced his retirement after 15 years of heading the office.
Two of the five board members, Keith Carson and Nate Miley, abstained from voting for O'Malley, saying at a contentious three-and-a-half hour hearing that they thought the board should take more time and get more public input before making an appointment.
Several board members said San Francisco Chief Assistant District Attorney Russ Giuntini, who was an Alameda County prosecutor for many years and headed one of its branch officers, had contacted them seeking to be appointed and it wouldn't surprise them if he ran against O'Malley this year.
But San Francisco district attorney spokesman Brian Buckelew said today that Giuntini has decided not to seek election to the Alameda County post at this time. He said Giuntini was unavailable to comment today because he's busy dealing with problems with the San Francisco Police Department's crime lab, which are forcing his office to drop charges against many drug suspects.
O'Malley, who lives in the city of Alameda, has been in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for 25 years and served as Orloff's top assistant for the last 10 years of his tenure.
She comes from a prominent legal family. Her father, Bill O'Malley, served as Contra Costa County's district attorney for 15 years and later was a judge there.
Her brother, Bill O'Malley, a former prosecutor and judge, is running to be Contra Costa County's next district attorney in the election in June.
And Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Mary Ann O'Malley is Bill O'Malley's wife and Nancy O'Malley's sister-in-law.
O'Malley said, "I'm thrilled" and said the fact that no one will run against her in the election "takes a lot of weight off of me."
O'Malley said she can now focus on running the District Attorney's office but she will still spend time meeting with the public.
When she filed for the office on Monday, O'Malley said, "I have worked tirelessly on behalf of the victims of crime" and is proud to be a nationally recognized expert on the advancement of victims' rights.
She said she helped create the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which is a one-stop shop for the victims of family violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse and the sexual exploitation of minors.