The Odd Couple: Former Combatants Adachi, Elsbernd Bond Over Pension Reform

When we last covered the interaction of Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Westside Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, the latter was cutting the former off in mid-sentence — and the former was giving the stare-of-death to the latter.

In the epic battle over the public defender's budget last year, the tone quickly came to resemble a late-night telephone conversation between Aaron Peskin and Chris Daly. Adachi complained “He has no idea what he's doing, and he's going to try and

tell me how to run my office?” Elsbernd shot back, “When it comes to managing

a budget, frankly, he's horrible.” Happily, when you Google the phrase “Lawyer Brawl,” our article about this still comes up first.

So, it came as something of a surprise to read Adachi-penned editorials in the Chronicle yesterday and Guardian today in which the public defender appears to be channeling Elsbernd with regards to reforming the city's pension and health care systems. It's no coincidence — they've been talking about this. “Jeff gets the big picture,” said Elsbernd. “I might disagree with his budget, but we agree on the overall city budget.”

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