San Francisco Political Consultant Arrested on Child Porn Charges

San Francisco political consultant Enrique Pearce, in booking photo taken after his arrest on child pornography charges.

San Francisco political consultant Enrique Pearce, in booking photo taken after his arrest on child pornography charges.

By Alex Emslie
KQED

San Francisco police have arrested political consultant Enrique Pearce, known for his work on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee and other elected officials, on child pornography charges.

The Sheriff’s Department says Pearce, 41, was arrested Thursday night and booked into San Francisco County Jail. He faces one felony count of possessing sexually explicit images of a minor, two felony counts of transmitting the images and one felony count of possessing stolen property.

Police allege Pearce had more than 600 child pornography images in his possession, and at least some of them were of a “prepubescent minor or a minor who has not attained 12 years of age,” according to the penal code sections Pearce was booked on.

He’s being held on $215,000 bail pending his arraignment, the Sheriff’s Department says.

A law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police obtained a search warrant for Pearce’s McAllister Street home based on a tip and found the pornographic material on a home computer.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Phil Matier and Andy Ross report that Pearce had been retained for Mayor Lee’s re-election campaign and that the mayor has moved quickly to sever those ties:

Tony Winnicker, a senior adviser to the mayor, said in a statement that “Mayor Lee is profoundly shocked. These are deeply disturbing and serious charges, and he trusts law enforcement to fully investigate and prosecute, if true.”

The mayor also “directed his campaign to terminate all ties with Mr. Pearce and his firm, effective immediately,” Winnicker said.

Pearce may be best known for his role consulting for the “Run Ed Run” campaign headed by Chinatown community leader and political operator Rose Pak. The campaign led to Lee’s election in November 2011 — despite an earlier promise he would not run after he was appointed to the post.

Pearce started an employment, labor and contract law practice in 2007 and runs Left Coast Communications, a political consulting firm that has worked on campaigns for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), San Francisco Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee, and former Supervisor Christine Olague, according to the company’s website.

KQED’s Marisa Lagos and Lisa Pickoff-White contributed to this report.

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