Assistant District Attorney to retire after 46 years
–Assistant District Attorney Lee V. Cunningham announced that he will retire effective Dec. 30, 2017 after serving the past three years as the second-in-command and more than 32 years in the District Attorney’s Office.
“The decision to retire has been a very difficult one for me, due to the fact that I truly love this job,” said Cunningham in a memo to staff. “It has been a great pleasure to work with each and every one of you, to see you every workday, and to share the common goal of ‘truth and justice.’ The way I see it, we have the best jobs, in the best place, in the world. If I didn’t believe that, I would not have stayed here 32 1⁄2 years.”
Assistant District Attorney Cunningham will complete a prestigious 46-year career of serving the residents of San Luis Obispo County. His career began in 1971, serving as a Correctional Officer at the California Men’s Colony. In 1973, he became a Police Officer at San Luis Obispo Police Department where he served more than six years. While working, Cunningham attended a local law school and passed the California Bar Exam. He practiced law locally as a private attorney for six years before entering the District Attorney’s Office in July 1985 where he has now served for more than 32 years. District Attorney Dow appointed Cunningham to the position of Assistant District Attorney in November of 2014 at the same time Mr. Dow was sworn-in as District Attorney.
“I am very grateful to Lee for his genuine friendship, his trusted advice, and for his excellence in service to this office and to our community. I will miss him immensely,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Lee is highly respected and admired by not only our community, including the DA’s Office, the Superior Court, and the local bar, but also by many from the broader criminal justice community across California because of his 20-year participation on the California District Attorneys Association Legislative Committee.”
As Assistant District Attorney, Cunningham is the chair of the San Luis Obispo County Anti- Human Trafficking Task Force and co-chair of the Intimate Partner Violence Coalition (formerly known as the Domestic Violence Task Force). Cunningham has prosecuted nearly every type of case the District Attorney’s Office handles, having conducted numerous jury trials leading to murder convictions, including People v. Brandon Henslee, People v. Kelsey Morasei and People v. Kaylee Weisenberg.
Lee has taught trial advocacy for the California District Attorneys Association and has been a member of that organization’s Legislative Committee since 1997.