“What people do in their personal lives in their own personal time is private.”

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 3.23.2019

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi died from a mixture of cocaine and alcohol, which caused his already-damaged heart to stop, the city medical examiner has concluded.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who called for a public hearing after a police report was leaked to the media after Adachi’s death, said Friday, “What people do in their personal lives and in their own personal time is private.”

“As a public official, I know that it is hard to have a private life,” she said. “But the fact that you could not even have privacy after death is also very disturbing.”

Mayor London Breed, a longtime friend of Adachi’s, declined to comment.


The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office released the autopsy report on Adachi’s death late Friday, one month after the 59-year-old public defender collapsed in an apartment on Telegraph Hill and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

“The cause of death is acute mixed drug toxicity with cocaine and ethanol, with hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor,” Assistant Medical Examiner Ellen Moffatt wrote in the report. “Based on the history, autopsy, microscopic and toxicology finding, the manner of death is accident.”

The public defender’s office declined to comment on the report.


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