Tim Covello appointed SLO Superior Court Commissioner

January 21, 2016
Tim Covello

Tim Covello

The San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judges voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint former Assistant District  Attorney Tim Covello to replace Stephen Sefton. Sefton passed away on Jan. 9 after a brief illness.

Because of the untimely death of Sefton, the court moved quickly in the hiring process. The law permits the court to hire a commissioner without putting the job out to applicants.

In July, Covello, 52, resigned from the SLO County District Attorney’s Office after losing a bid for district attorney to Dan Dow. Covello served as a local district attorney for more than 20 years before accepting a position at the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Covello will preside over a variety of calendars including traffic, small claims, juvenile drug court, family treatment court and truancy cases. He will begin his employment with the superior court on Feb. 22.

Jorge Estrada

I’ve heard the term “hostile witness” which usually disqualifies the validity of a witness, so if you are a hostile DA, voted out and replaced by the new guy, how impartial can one be as a judge on the same turf? Something about this sounds practical but questionable at the same time??That said, good luck and a better experience.


This is a double win for SLO. We get a solid DA and an excellent judge. Tim is a man of integrity. I hope he is elevated to SCJ soon.


Not true. Tim Covello is as good as it gets.

Welcome back.


I’ll dispute that one. He was also made aware of potential crimes at the San Dist and did nothing cause there was not beyond a doubt evidence.Who was supposed to do the investigating if not him or the DA’s office then?


You must not watch TV crime drama. The police investigate, the DA prosecutes. This is not true in most European and SA countries where the prosecutor and sometimes even the judge is part of the investigation.

If there is a multi jurisdiction crime where a city and a town are involved, such as in this one, the investigation falls to the jurisdiction with the most overall control, the Sheriff.

A citizen or group of citizens can’t show up at the DA and ask to investigate. They can show up at the Sheriff however. Put the blame where it belongs.


your comment is asenine. who charges the cops when they commit crimes, as they so often do? themselves? no, the last man standing with the badge. the DA.


JW – the trouble with commenting without knowledge is that you come across as dumb or uninformed. You are probably neither, but just in case you are one or both of the former, the DA does charge but does not investigate. In the cases where police are investigated another agency (typically with higher authority such as the Sheriff, FBI or SAG) conducts the actual investigation and makes recommendations or requests prosecution in the jurisdiction of the crime, sometimes State or sometimes Federal court.

Now get out of the basement and wash those pajamas.


Just follow the money in the elections. If you doubts, go back and look at the list of contributors.

This was expecially true today as you look at the City Council of SLO supporting Big Bad Adam! The Democratic Party does not care who they put up for elections (Just look at the Clintons). As long as they have a “D” by their name that makes all good.

I which Mr. Covello a “Congratulations” and sincerely hope he can be equal to Mr. Sefton who was an outstanding member of our Community and a fair and hoinorable justice.


Who brings charges against the sheriff? your logic keeps falling over.

The DA can charge whoever whenever they want with any evidence presented to them.



Sheriff deputy in officer involved shooting. Case goes to FBI or CHP. Referral or recommendation made to DA. DA dismisses or charges.

CHP officer involved shooting. Case goes to FBI. Referral or recommendation made to DA.

If feds determine a constitutional violation, case goes to AG for federal prosecution.

DA has investigators who assist in a case already submitted. Often the prosecutor needs clarification or additional evidence. They do other stuff to, and are often assigned to task forces.

If the DA did primary investigations they would be in conflict to prosecute as they would be in peril of becoming defense witnesses or subject to cross.

The DA may recommend investigations, may give advice, and certainly must assist in search warrant writing. But that’s it. So lay off with the innuendos about Covello not investigating the San. It’s “crap”


couldnt agree more. he was too busy backing SLO PD’s 771 drunk in public cases to charge someone ripping off 38,000 ratepayers of millions, nevermind that he would have to prosecute someone who contributes to his DA campaigns.


His new focus will be to extract money from people who commit victim less crimes.