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Judge disqualifies district attorney from prosecuting Tianna Arrata case 

District Attorney Dan Dow.

District Attorney Dan Dow.

–A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge disqualified the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office from being the prosecutors in the Tianna Arata case due to “a clear conflict.”

Judge Matthew Guerrero pointed specifically to a Sept. 4 campaign fundraising email sent by Dow and his wife and paid for by his re-election campaign that sought financial donations and claimed that Dow was “leading the fight” against the “wacky defund the police” and social justice movement, reports say. That email was sent just days after his office filed charges against alleged protest organizer Tianna Arrata.

The case will now be sent to the California State Attorney General’s Office.

Dan Dow released the following statement in disagreement with the decision, saying that there was no conflict of interest:

First, let me be clear I have deep respect for the judicial process and the judges who are called to make difficult decisions.

With that in mind, I respectfully and strongly disagree with Judge Guerrero‘s findings and decision to recuse the District Attorney from prosecuting criminal activity that occurred during this summer’s protests. The law is clear that in order for a district attorney to be recused there must be an actual conflict of interest and the conflict must be so grave as to render it unlikely that the defendant will receive fair treatment during all portions of the criminal proceedings.

There is absolutely no conflict in this case. To the contrary. While I have been personally attacked on many occasions since the arrests in these cases, I have continued to conduct my duty in a manner that is above reproach without bending to popular opinion and public pressure. I am proud of the professionalism that our office has maintained under months of immense public pressure. We have thoroughly, fairly, and objectively reviewed volumes of evidence, conducted additional independent investigation, and made every decision based on the facts and the applicable law. We have never wavered from our steadfast commitment to ensure that every defendant receives fair treatment while we perform our important Constitutional duty.

To recuse an elected district attorney who has been chosen by the voters of San Luis Obispo County to enforce the law in our community without any evidence of an actual conflict undermines the role and independent nature of an elected prosecutor and sets a dangerous precedent.

Dan Dow, District Attorney for the County of San Luis Obispo