PET PROJECT

Byline: Marcy Medina

SAN FRANCISCO — As glamour girls go, Kimberly Guilfoyle brings to mind any number of Hollywood’s bombshell brunettes. But while Angie Harmon plays an assistant district attorney on “Law and Order,” the San Francisco-based Guilfoyle is the real deal. She’s currently assigned to a murder case that has captured national attention in recent weeks. On Jan. 26, when a woman died from a dog mauling in the city’s tony Pacific Heights neighborhood, the investigation and case against its owners went to Guilfoyle, who specializes in violent crimes and animal abuse. Despite juggling 40 other cases from arson to kidnapping, Guilfoyle was thrust into the public eye with appearances on “The Today Show,” “Dateline” and CNN.
“I’ve spent 24 hours a day obsessed with this case,” she says from her cramped, shared office in the Hall of Justice. But as a consummate multitasker, Guilfoyle hasn’t sacrificed extracurriculars like philanthropy and party-going, most of which she does with her boyfriend of two years, San Francisco supervisor Gavin Newsom, whom she began dating long after her romance with another of San Francisco’s golden boys, Bill Getty.
“We’re both deeply committed to the city, but sometimes we have to take a break, put on baseball caps and go to the movies,” she says. “Otherwise we’d be in suits all the time.” (Newsom, who plans to run for mayor in 2003, said elsewhere, “I don’t know the last time I saw her, maybe on TV. She may be busier than I am.”)
Guilfoyle, 32, interned at the local district attorney’s office as a freshman in college. After modeling to put herself through law school at the University of San Francisco, she was sworn in as an assistant DA at age 24. After a four-year stint in the Los Angeles DA’s office, she returned to her home turf last July.
“I’m a first-generation San Franciscan,” said Guilfoyle, whose mother was Puerto Rican and whose father is a retired real estate developer from Ireland. “There was nowhere else I wanted to be.” Although her hometown courtroom is more laid back than Manhattan’s, where prosecutors are required to wear skirted suits when the court is in session, Guilfoyle still errs on the safe side — which means Donna Karan and Gucci for work, Badgley Mischka, John Galliano and Valentino for the charity circuit — and for the jaunts to Hawaii and Mexico, Diesel jeans.
“When I’m not in a suit, I look so young that people underestimate me. Then they find out I’m a prosecutor and it’s like, ‘Watch out!”‘ Guilfoyle would love to be a legal analyst like CNN’s Greta Van Sustern, but currently finds herself shrugging off the local prediction that she’ll be San Francisco’s next first lady. “I’m not in any rush. Right now, I feel like I have the greatest job in the world.”