District attorney steps down early, Dan Dow ready to lead
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Gerald Shea announced in a statement today that after 16 years as DA, he will be retiring early on Nov. 6, before the end of the current term of office. He has recommended to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors that district attorney-elect Dan Dow be appointed to fill out the remaining two months of the term.
“Over the past 3-1/2 months Dan and I have built a strong and seamless transition process which has enabled our office to move forward,” Shea said. “Giving him enough time to hit the ground running before the first of the calendar year is, in my opinion, in the office’s and the County’s best interest.”
“In particular,” said Shea, “this early transition would give the new district attorney-elect enough time before January 5th to select and install a new assistant district attorney, to hire and assign four new deputy district attorneys currently being recruited, to adjust policies in response to significant criminal law changes taking effect January 1st, and to realign office assignments as necessary in response to the County’s major calendaring transformation scheduled to be implemented in early November, among other things.”
Shea concluded by adding, “I wish our office much continued success in the future under the new leadership of incoming District Attorney Dan Dow.”
District Attorney-elect Dan Dow says he is ready to assume DA’s position. “Wendy and I are excited for Mr. Shea and his wife Allegra as they begin a new chapter in their lives and I wish them much happiness,” said Dow.
Dow was elected in June to replace Shea. “I congratulate Mr. Shea on his retirement after such a long and productive career. Mr. Shea has served our county diligently over the last 37 years and has provided long term stability as the District Attorney for the last 16 years,” said Dow.
During his tenure, Mr. Shea was recognized for his leadership by being selected as president of the California District Attorney Association and as the California representative to the National District Attorney’s Association.
“I want to thank Mr. Shea for the gracious assistance he has provided to me since the June election in developing a transition strategy. Immediately following the election, Mr. Shea and I began working closely together to ensure that our office remained united and prepared for any challenge,” said Dow. “I am confident that today our office is strong and our team will continue to work tirelessly to keep our community safe by dispensing justice in a fair manner.”
DA-elect Dow won the election with a greater than 10-point advantage over his opponent. Dow attributes the victory to his broad base of supporters from all over the county that included deputy district attorneys, law enforcement associations, former county supervisor Shirley Bianchi, retired assistant DA Dan Hilford, and leaders like county supervisors Frank Mecham and Debbie Arnold, and county assessor Tom Bordonaro. “Our success could not have been possible without the support of my wife, my fellow deputy district attorneys, or the hundreds of community members that endorsed our campaign,” said Dow.
“I am excited about the future which will bring both challenges and opportunities to improve the processes in our office. I am committed to implementing positive changes that will include 1) enhancing cooperation with local agencies to aggressively prosecute gang crime; 2) tougher sentences for drug dealers who sell hard drugs like heroin to our youth; and 3) improving our communication with the public, among other important priorities.”
As a Deputy District Attorney, Dow has focused on prosecuting domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse crimes, including homicide where he has worked to bring justice for victims of particularly devastating crimes.