Meet the Fresno County District Attorney
Lisa A. Smittcamp was elected as the Fresno County District Attorney in June 2014 with the overwhelming support of local law enforcement and from the prosecutors and investigators in her office. She was sworn into office in January 2015, after being a respected fixture in the Central Valley’s legal community for over twenty years.
DA Smittcamp is the second female to be the elected District Attorney in Fresno County. She joined the office in 2001 after a successful four-year tenure as a Deputy DA in Madera County, and a year in civil practice.
She has always had a reputation as a tough, fair, and well-prepared prosecutor. She gained the respect of judges, fellow prosecutors, and other lawyers at the onset of her career. DA Smittcamp is known at the Fresno County courthouse for her keen sense of justice and outstanding advocacy skills. She has successfully prosecuted some of Fresno County’s most dangerous criminals – murders, rapists, domestic violence offenders and child molesters. During her time as a Deputy DA, she prosecuted many gang members and career criminals under California’s Three Strikes Law, resulting in life prison terms. One Fresno County Superior Court Judge was quoted as saying, “Lisa delivered the best closing argument in the history of the Fresno County Court” after she successfully convicted a domestic violence offender of three counts of attempted murder, where the victims included his ex-wife, her mother, and her brother.
Because of the passion for being a voice for crime victims, DA Smittcamp is known throughout the County for being a strong advocate against violence against both women and children and has been a leader in educating the community about the importance of awareness to prevent crime against some of the most vulnerable people in our County.
During her tenure as District Attorney, DA Smittcamp brought new structure, increased productivity, and renewed morale to the office. Under her leadership, the District Attorney’s Office was able to begin staffing the Veteran’s Treatment Court to assist justice involved Veterans in their rehabilitation. She is so dedicated to this court, that she assigned herself to be the courtroom prosecutor, and engages with our local Veterans on their path to healing.
By improving structure and increasing productivity, she has added several specialty prosecution units to the office including Public Integrity, Major Fraud, Animal Cruelty, and Human Trafficking.
Continuing her mission to eliminate violence to women and children, DA Smittcamp joined forces with the Fresno Police Department VICE Unit, Federal Law enforcement agencies, and local non-profit organizations to combat human trafficking by forming the Fresno County Human Trafficking Task Force. Furthermore, DA Smittcamp has participated with other law enforcement agencies in gang operations that have resulted in convictions for some of the County’s most violent gang members in both the state and federal courts.
DA Smittcamp is passionate about educating young people in the County of Fresno. Under her leadership, internship programs for both college and law students have been established so that aspiring professionals have the opportunity to work within the office. DA Smittcamp has also developed relationships with the faith-based community in Southwest Fresno and participates in activities that encourage the youth to remain in school, and church and to dissuade them from engaging in gang activity. In addition to lecturing at high schools, DA Smittcamp also speaks to the Fresno State University men’s football and basketball teams annually about issues involving young men and the law.
In 2019, in partnership with Sacramento County DA Annemarie Schubert, DA Smittcamp brought members of the team that solved the Golden State Killer case to Fresno to train over 100 law enforcement officers on new DNA technology to assist with cold-case murders. As a result, the Fresno Police Department was able to solve the 1996 murder of Fresno resident Debbie Dorian.
In 2021, the Office of the District Attorney was moved to the Historic Rowell Building located at 2100 Tulare Street. DA Smittcamp worked tirelessly for over five years with members of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to get the project completed and to establish a state of the art, modern office space for nearly 300 District Attorney employees.
Also, in 2021, DA Smittcamp joined forces with a federal task force known as the “FORT,” (Fentanyl Overdose Response Team). FORT is comprised of Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and assisted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); task force officers from the Fresno Police Department; and the United States Attorney’s Office. FORT focuses on the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to counterfeit prescription drugs that are laced with fentanyl.
As a result of her participation in the FORT, Fresno County and the DEA funded a billboard and media campaign to educate the public about the presence and lethality of fentanyl. DA Smittcamp brought law enforcement agencies together with Public Health, the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Behavioral Health, the County Coroner, and local hospitals to inform them of what was happening regarding the distribution and sale of these illegal narcotics.
From this collaboration, the Fresno area was saturated with information regarding the fentanyl crisis. At a press conference held at the DA’s Office on June 4, 2021, Dr. Rais Vohra, the County Public Health Officer said, “The biggest health threat in Fresno County is no longer COVID, it’s substance use.” From the information provided to the community, local news station ABC30 created a documentary on the crisis entitled Killer High. Members of the FORT and local families adversely effected by fentanyl appeared in the film, which is being shown on national streaming services. The documentary was also shown at all high schools in Central, Fresno and Clovis Unified School Districts.
In addition to her other duties, DA Smittcamp is the is the Chairwoman of the Policy and Direction Team of the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), a member of the Fresno-Madera Police Chief’s Association, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Advisory Board, the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP)Committee, the Fresno County Local Justice Coordinating Committee, and the Juvenile Justice Realignment Committee.
She also serves our community as a member of many non-profit organizations. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Fresno. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Marjaree Mason Center, the Board of Trustees of San Joaquin College of Law, the Board of Directors of Valley Children’s Hospital, and the Board of Directors of Convicts for Christ. DA Smittcamp is the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of AMOR (the Alliance for Medical Outreach and Relief) that recently built a health and community center in Mendota.
DA Smittcamp resides in Fresno County and is the proud mother of two children.