DA notifies SLO County lawyers of employee’s false testimony

August 15, 2018
Tracy Nix

Tracy Nix

Defense attorneys around San Luis Obispo County have now received notification that a longtime district attorney’s office staffer who previously testified in court as an expert witness with a college degree, never graduated. [Cal Coast Times]

Tracy Nix, an 18-year DA’s office staffer, testified in court and wrote in her resume that she holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly. Nix later admitted she did not graduate from Cal Poly, in a Cal Coast Times exclusive report.

In 2014, the DA’s office used Nix as an expert witness in a sexual abuse case that made numerous headlines in SLO County. In that case, Ronald Cowan was convicted of sodomy, oral copulation and lewd acts with a child and was sentenced to 65 years to life in state prison. Later, a state appeals court reversed Cowan’s conviction due to prosecutorial misconduct unrelated to Nix’s testimony.

During the 2014 trial, Deputy DA Kelly Maderino provided a judge with Nix’s resume, and Nix testified that she had a degree from Cal Poly.

Nix also testified that she taught an advanced psychology class at Cal Poly every quarter for five years for a lecturer in the Psychology and Child Development Department. The lecturer stated, however, that Nix did not teach the class, but rather appeared as a guest speaker.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court case (Napue v. Illinois), prosecutors have a responsibility to correct the testimony of witnesses they know to be false. Prosecutors also have an obligation to inform other defendants about issues relating to the credibility of their witnesses.

This spring, District Attorney Dan Dow said the DA’s office was notifying every defendant’s attorney in cases in which Nix testified as a witness of the fact that Nix did not receive a bachelor’s degree. Defendants and their attorneys can decide whether to file a motion seeking a retrial.Tracy Nix

Dow previously claimed Nix did not commit perjury because “she believed she had a degree” since she participated in a Cal Poly commencement ceremony. Still, Dow hired an investigator to look into whether Nix committed perjury.

Students who have not graduated are allowed to walk at commencement so long as they agree to finish their degree within two quarters.

Nix is married to SLO County Sheriff’s Commander Aaron Nix. For more than four years, Nix supported the election campaigns of both Sheriff Ian Parkinson and District Attorney Dan Dow. On Facebook, Nix has asked friends to vote for Dow and to contact her in order to get a Parkinson campaign ball cap.







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CentralcoastRN

Everyone whom she testified against at minimum need new trials. Shame on SLO County. 

kayaknut

Isn’t this convenient for Dan Dow, he knew his “expert” was a liar long before the election but he waited until it was over before getting all the notices our to those attorneys who’s cases Nix presented perjured testimony. One has to wonder if the election would have turned out differently had Dow done the right thing when he first knew about his friend’s lying.

DocT

rukidding

Probably the best qualified person in the county with or without a diploma. Too bad that a misrepresentation was made.

There are two aspects to this. Competence and Character. Nix may indeed be competent in her work as a forensic interviewer/college lecturer. I do not have any knowledge to the contrary.

However, her character is lacking. Lying about one’s achievements and qualifications under oath shows poor moral and ethical character, which negates any competence she may possess.
Her job is to help DA Dow and his staff of the best and brightest get convictions. If she lies about her education on the stand, what else might she lie about in order to gain a conviction?

Jorge Estrada

Sadly, not knowing the law (that which govern credentials) is going to cost the taxpayers and the job security of those who are still around and choosing to use a mop instead of the rule of law that everyone else must follow. Yes we are not perfect and forgiveness is a reasonable coarse of action for an honest mistake but then again in the legal world ignorance would be a hard sell and certainly has the face value of a deliberate fraud against the public.

George Bailey

Folks,

I cannot help but criticize the actions of SLO County DA Dan Dow as it relates to using this lying expert witness.  Because he did not perform due diligence in vetting this so-called ‘expert witness’, Mr. Dow has exposed taxpayers to the likelihood of expensive retrials and has jeopardized public safety because sexual criminals may receive leniency from the system.

I quote the article: “Dow previously claimed Nix did not commit perjury because “she believed she had a degree” since she participated in a Cal Poly commencement ceremony. Still, Dow hired an investigator to look into whether Nix committed perjury.”

DA Dow: please explain what the investigator discovered, and why Mrs. Nix has been allowed to continue in her role, despite the fact most reasonable people would conclude she committed perjury by claiming degrees she never earned.

We deserve answers.

George

bischbubba

how about the DA who hired her? how about the subsequent DAs who employed her? any thoughts about them? I would like to hear your thoughts about lack of performing due diligence with respect to the past DAs who failed to do so as well.

ffarmchicken

She will get a pass and nothing will happen to her. She’s married to a cop. Just the way it is in SLO county. They always protect their own.

rukidding

Probably the best qualified person in the county with or without a diploma. Too bad that a misrepresentation was made. I hope the judicial system does what it needs to do and there will probably be cases that will be dismissed and or retried which is probably the right thing to do. The DA’s office needs to own up to their mistakes. Unfortunately there will probably be a few guilty people let go and have their records erased.

kayaknut

You call it a misrepresentation most people call it a lie. We have to wonder since she lies about having a diploma, and clearly telling lies is easy for her, what else has she lied about? And isn’t there something about not lying under oath?

sweethome

Have you ever thought that maybe an innocent person will get out of jail because of this? God knows a lot of corrupt cops,
politicians, and CAPSLO employees are walking around free.

horse_soldier

Are you kidding?

CentralcoastRN

Um, no. She’s FAR from the “best qualified”. She took a two day inservice YEARS ago. Yes, she has experience in social services, but that doesn’t make her an expert by court standards. Not even close. 

sweethome

Welcome to the Central Corruption Coast!