Ortiz-Legg has 2, not 1, criminal convictions

October 2, 2016
Dawn Ortiz-Legg

Dawn Ortiz-Legg


Assembly District 35 candidate Dawn Ortiz-Legg has been arrested and convicted twice, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court records show. Ortiz-Legg, who has attacked her opponent Jordan Cunningham for his criminal defense work, has opted to conceal her criminal record, or only partially divulge it, when asked about it publicly.

San Luis Obispo police arrested Ortiz-Legg for drunk driving in 2001, court records show. Then, in 2005, SLO County sheriff’s deputies arrested her for a marijuana offense. Ortiz-Legg pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana under an ounce.

The court records contradict a claim that Ortiz-Legg made in a debate last month. They also call into question Ortiz-Legg’s attempts to paint her opponent as someone responsible for local crime, critics say.

During a recent debate on KPRL, Ortiz-Legg said she had never been convicted of a crime. She then backtracked and admitted to having a drunk driving offense in 2001. She made no mention, however, of her 2005 arrest and conviction.

“I don’t think I have been charged or convicted of a crime,” Ortiz-Legg said in response to a question from a KPRL caller. “Um, I did have a drunk driving offense back in 2001 that I am really happy that I had that experience because, you know, it was a type of thing where you learn, like wow, a couple of glasses of wine, a good thing I know now. Don’t let that happen again, so that’s it.”

Ortiz-Legg did not respond to a question about her marijuana arrest, nor did she respond when asked why she opted not to mention the drug offense during the debate.

Ortiz-Legg’s campaign and the California Democratic Party have launched fabricated attacks on Cunningham, a Republican. Cunningham previously worked as a SLO County prosecutor and now runs his own law practice.

The California Democratic Party sent out a slate mailer that describes Cunningham as a slick criminal defense lawyer who has defended hundreds of criminals.

To press its point, the mailer claimed that in 2012, Cunningham defended a man who attacked his girlfriend and threatened to kill her with a butcher knife. The mailer included a photo that appears to be a scan of a court document showing Cunningham was the attorney on the case.

Jordan Cunningham

Jordan Cunningham

“Jordan Cunningham got him a plea deal so he could get back on the street,” the mailer read.

However, the alleged court document was a fabrication.

Cunningham did not defend the man referenced in the mailer, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said.

Rather than acknowledging its fabrication effort, the state Democratic Party apologized for getting the year wrong. Cunningham recently defended the man from the 2012 case on a drug charge.

“We apologize if we did not include the correct dates for when Jordan Cunningham, as a criminal defense attorney, represented a man who attacked his girlfriend and threatened to kill her with a knife. He was certainly representing this brutal criminal by August 2015,” Chris Masami Myers, the executive director of the state Democratic Party said in a statement.

Myers went on to demand that Cunningham apologize to the public for defending the man.

Persons charged with crimes are entitled to counsel, according to the U.S. Constitution. That includes the man cited in the campaign mailer.

“We are not making claims about the Constitution, but the voters have a right to know about a candidate’s work history,” Myers said in response to a question about whether the state Democratic Party supports criminal defendants’ rights to legal representation.

Ortiz-Legg’s attacks on defense attorneys are more than a little hypocritical, Cunningham said.

“My opponent is lying again, probably to distract the voters from her own criminal history. It’s shameful. The Central Coast deserves better,” Cunningham said.


California Democratic Party mailer by CalCoastNews on Scribd



  1. AGDUDE says:

    It Only Grass Man.. Bummer MAN! The Dude Will Abide

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    According to Elections Code sec. 2150 (9) ,a requirement to register to vote is  “That the affiant(person registering to vote) is currently not imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony”.

    Ortiz-Legg had the felony DUI in 2005. Was she on parole for that when she registered to vote (assuming she registered in 2005)? If she was, she registered illegally.

    Elections Code section 18100 reads,”  (a) Every person who willfully causes, procures, or allows himself or herself or any other person to be registered as a voter, knowing that he or she or that other person is not entitled to registration, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years, or in a county jail for not more than one year.”

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • northcoastgal says:

      Shows how well you do your homework. Both were MISDAMEANORS. Please, before even thinking about speaking/writing; get your facts straight.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  3. south says:

    On Dave’s show yesterday Dawn said that the marijuana possession was not an arrest, she got a ticket. So yes, possession for under an ounce is not misdemeanor. But a ticket IS an arrest. When you sign the ticket you are promising to appear in court. If you don’t sign it you will be put in shackles and taken to court or jail. When you pay the fine, you have pled guilty.

    So, she was arrested, she was released on her own recognizance and she paid the fine, ergo she was guilty of the crime. That’s the law not the spin.

    Sorry to make so much of this, but she opened the door to this stuff. She shouldn’t have, but she did.

    (17) 25 Total Votes - 21 up - 4 down
  4. obispan says:

    I’m voting for Cunningham, Ortiz-Legg looks like a Democratic Party weasel. The “high-paying solar jobs” were low-paying, but filled a recession need. I’m voting for Carbajal, unfiltered Lompoc comments aside. I here lived here for a long time enjoying trips to the flower festival at Ryon Park with my parents. Years later, working there on rare occasion I got a broader perspective. Fareed is definitely a Republican Party Huffington-esque weasel, just macho, not homo.

    (6) 30 Total Votes - 18 up - 12 down
    • AmericaBeautiful says:

      Upvoted by mistake.
      How can you vote for socialist Carbajal and not sociaist Ortiz-Legg?

      (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
  5. RonHolt says:

    I find it interesting that the Democrat Party is now using the same sort of sleazy accusations that the GOP used for so long to tar the reputation of liberal lawyers who defended scumbags.
    Both sides are bad when they attack people for defending the rights of any and all citizens including the worst of the bunch. There is a reason for all constitutional protections of individual rights even when guilt is pretty obvious. Failure to stand up to lazy, sloppy, ignorant law enforcement and prosecution tactics opens the door for the abuse of the rights of innocent people.

    (13) 25 Total Votes - 19 up - 6 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    D.U.I. Dawn, what’s that arrest record you have going on on
    Could it be a the truth from days gone by
    And did I hear you say you running for office today
    To take your lies to Sacramento one day
    Cause you walk around town with cocktail in your hand
    Fabricating stories about Jordan Cunningham…..

    (29) 43 Total Votes - 36 up - 7 down
  7. Moss_on_Stone says:

    Imagine if someone posted about Dawns DUI as many times as Aaron Ochs has posted about KV’s ? It would take 100’s of posts to come close, 2 years .

    Relevance ? Maria Kelly is part of Team Dawn Legg and active on Calcoastfraud Aaron Ochs’s house of lies, a little community relations.

    (28) 42 Total Votes - 35 up - 7 down
  8. CARNAC says:

    The state Democratic Party generated the attack ads and mailers on Jordan and is providing big money to promote the lies and distortions contained therein.

    Jordan is a smart, upstanding, well educated family man who has made significant contributions to to the community including School Board service. We need him in the Assembly.

    Dawn is a flawed candidate and if elected would be a complete pawn of her party regardless of the consequences for the 35th district. She needs to prove her capabilities with a much lower local office before running for the Assembly.

    (35) 45 Total Votes - 40 up - 5 down
  9. south says:

    One last thing. If you get into trouble with the law twice due to drugs and alcohol, most would say you have a problem that needs treatment. I would suggest that if she has not sought help she should consider it.

    Bummer about that glass house/stone thing.

    (44) 56 Total Votes - 50 up - 6 down

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