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SLO County DA appeals disqualification from Tianna Arata case 

The California Attorney General's Office appealed a SLO County judge's decision to disqualify the SLO County District Attorney's Office from prosecuting Tianna Arata and six other defendants who were present during a July 2020 protest.

click to enlarge FAR FROM OVER SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow and the California Attorney General appeal SLO County judge's ruling to disqualify the district attorney's office from prosecuting the case against Tianna Arata and six other defendants. - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • FAR FROM OVER SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow and the California Attorney General appeal SLO County judge's ruling to disqualify the district attorney's office from prosecuting the case against Tianna Arata and six other defendants.

On Jan. 8, the Attorney General's Office and the District Attorney's Office filed separate appeals of the Dec. 11, 2020, order recusing the DA's Office from the case. SLO Superier Court Judge Matthew Guerrero's order disqualified the entire SLO County District Attorney's Office due to a "clear conflict of interest" based in part on an email paid for by SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow's re-election campaign. The email was sent out to his supporters by Dow and his wife, Wendy Dow, less than 48 hours after his office charged Arata with 13 misdeamors.

"Dan needs to know now more than ever that you support him, and he really needs your financial support so that he can keep leading the fight in SLO County against the wacky defund the police movement and anarchist groups that are trying to undermine the rule of law and public safety in our community," the email said.

On Dec. 11, Guerrero also ruled to approve Arata's legal counsel's request for investigative reports, evidence, and other documents from the DA's Ofice that could show whether it was being discriminatory when deciding who to charge from the July 21 protest.

Currently Arata and her co-defendants Marcus Montgomery, Amman Asfaw, and Joshua Powell entered not guilty pleas.

Dow responded to the judge's order by saying he respectfully and strongly disagreed.

"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 recieve fair treatment during all portions of the criminal proceedings," Dow said in a statment. "There is absolutely not conflict in this case." Δ

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