DA investigator leaves position under allegations of perjury
February 19, 2015
A San Luis Obispo County District Attorney investigator who allegedly lied in an affidavit to a judge while on loan to the Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force is no longer in the employ of the county prosecutor.
“Effective Feb. 14, A.J. Santana is no longer employed by the District Attorney’s Office. Due to applicable employee privacy concerns, we are unable to release any detailed information at this time,” the SLO County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release. “The District Attorney’s Office is very careful to ensure that we meet our legal and ethical responsibilities as an employer, a law enforcement agency, and as a prosecution agency.”
On Aug. 27, Santana filed an affidavit with San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Rita Federman seeking a warrant to search a home and car for evidence of drug dealing. Santana was successful in his request to have the affidavit sealed by the court in order to protect an ongoing investigation, according to the warrant.
After it was discovered Santana allegedly lied to a judge, the sheriff’s department notified the district attorney’s office of the alleged perjury. On Oct. 15, the district attorney’s office made a motion to drop all charges against the 42-year-old suspect because of lack of evidence.
Two days later, then-District Attorney Gerald Shea and his elected successor Dan Dow placed Santana on paid administrative while they conducted an investigation into the perjury allegation.
As of Feb. 14, Santana is no longer employed by the county prosecutor. Because of employee privacy concerns, the reason for his departure is not being disclosed.
Santana is the second member of the sheriff’s narcotics task force to leave his employment while under investigation for alleged illegal acts.
In 2013, a judge sentenced former San Luis Obispo police officer Cory Pierce to 18 months in federal prison. While working as a member of the San Luis Obispo County Narcotics Task Force, Pierce stole drugs from the sheriff’s department evidence locker and manipulated a probationer into selling drugs for him.