Matthew Brady (district attorney)

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For other people with similar names, see Matthew Brady (disambiguation).

Matthew Brady was a district attorney in San Francisco from 1919 through 1943.

Brady defeated previous district attorney Charles Fickert, who was responsible for the conviction of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings in the Preparedness Day bombing.

Brady presided over numerous high-profile cases in the 1920s and 1930s, including the three Fatty Arbuckle murder trials, arrest and roundup of Communists, the Atherton Report produced in 1937 by Edwin Atherton, which reports on investigations of police corruption in San Francisco.

He was D.A. during the infamous sterilization plot charged by Ann Cooper Hewitt, 21-year-old heiress, against her mother, accused of sterilizing her daughter to thwart an inheritance dependent on the young woman having children.

By 1926, he was convinced that Mooney and Billings were unjustly convicted. In a letter to Governor Friend W. Richardson, Brady wrote "If these matters that have developed during the trials could be called to the attention of a court that had jurisdiction to grant a new trial, undoubtedly a new trial would be granted. Furthermore, if a new trial were granted, there would be no possibility of convicting Mooney or Billings."

In 1935, he empaneled a grand jury and hired private investigator Edwin Atherton to report on police corruption in the San Francisco Police Department.

He was defeated for reelection by Pat Brown in 1943, which was the second time the two had competed for the office.

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