District Attorney Dan Dow rebukes Judge Matt Guerrero’s ruling

December 11, 2020

Statement from SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow

First, let me be clear I have deep respect for the judicial process and the judges who are called to make difficult decisions.

With that in mind, I respectfully and strongly disagree with Judge Guerrero‘s findings and decision to recuse the District Attorney from prosecuting criminal activity that occurred during this summer’s protests. 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 receive fair treatment during all portions of the criminal proceedings.

There is absolutely no conflict in this case. To the contrary. While I have been personally attacked on many occasions since the arrests in these cases, I have continued to conduct my duty in a manner that is above reproach without bending to popular opinion and public pressure. I am proud of the professionalism that our office has maintained under months of immense public pressure. We have thoroughly, fairly, and objectively reviewed volumes of evidence, conducted additional independent investigation, and made every decision based on the facts and the applicable law. We have never wavered from our steadfast commitment to ensure that every defendant receives fair treatment while we perform our important Constitutional duty.

To recuse an elected district attorney who has been chosen by the voters of San Luis Obispo County to enforce the law in our community without any evidence of an actual conflict undermines the role and independent nature of an elected prosecutor and sets a dangerous precedent.


I don’t follow why the da was recused can anyone explain more clearly?

Is it politically motivated?

Like does the attorney general office get involved in these matters?

The department of justice get involved and that’s why this happens?

Is it just a judge in his courtroom type thing?

Niles Q

Supposedly, Dow’s wife made a campaign video that was sent out to his supporters to garner donations for his 2022 election run, saying, (I paraphrase) “Help Dan fight the extremists and enforce the law in SLO County” or something to that effect.

Since he used the case, even though the case was not mentioned in any way nor any of the defendants, the judge said he has a conflict because he used it to raise campaign funds, and because he has a conflict, the whole DA’s Office was disqualified.

I find it odd that people who march down the street and onto the highway screaming, “No Justice, No Peace!” don’t want anything to do with justice when it comes knocking on their doors.


“Conduct my duty…”. Hahaha. You’re a bright one.

Adam Trask

I understand your position, but last time I checked a judge has more power than a district attorney. 90% of your cases come down to a plea bargain anyway, and when you do face a jury, your percentage of convictions drops below 50%, so why waste your time and the county’s money trying a case which is so politically charged? Walk away, Mr. D.A. and save the community the aggravation.

mb business owner

Great news. Keep your Right wing religious views out of the political office.


In the current system of things, wrong is right and right is wrong. There are better times ahead though.

Darrell Queen

You GO Dan your our man!




Dan you appeared a bit conflicted to me. As you admit you were personally attacked. Human nature says you wouldn’t like being attacked—it just does. Which on its surface wouldn’t put you over the top on a “conflicted” scale, but coupled with your need to publicly comment on this matter with opinion pieces prior to charging her may. Articles that were politically self serving, as that was the only value they served.

As a matter of course your office should refrain from commenting on cases until investigations are complete and charging determination is made. You did not do this here. You milked it politically. And you still are.

If you truly had respect for the judiciary as you say you would have taken your lumps and moved on —quietly Yet you run to CCN to publicly question the judge’s decision? You took his judgement personally too—and produced this article is the result. Which kind of proves the point for the judge; that you have a hard time separating personal issues from professional ones. This article alone affirms it was a good call by this judge.

As public official you are to avoid conflicts of interest or the mere appearance of a conflict. Your personal investment in this case clouds your current judgment. Move on Dan. There are Aryan Brotherhood members killing our neighbors. Try focusing on that scourge instead.


The protesters do not get to harass Dan Dow at his home and then say that gives him a conflict.

Also, it is not a conflict for Dan Dow’s wife to say he is fighting the wacky anarchists who want to defund the police. The email does not mention protesters, BLM or any of the defendants. Dan Dow can be against teenagers having sex, that does not mean his entire office should not prosecute a rapist teenage.

Hopefully, either the DA or attorney general will appeal so that a judge not as partisan as Judge Guerrero can review his ruling.


The Judge was the one who ruled he had a conflict. That is who the DA is reacting to in this article, not the protestors.

Mr Dow was personally stressed by this case, perhaps rightfully so, and as such should have recused himself to ensure the integrity of the case he holds so dearly.


Not a conflict?? Why is the DA sending out an email begging for money? We are already paying him a handsome salary to do his job. The last thing we need is the person who gets to decide who gets charged to be owned by whatever special interest groups he grovels to for money. Very unethical and wrong!

Mitch C

Thank you Mr Dow for a well stated opinion. There appears to be some integrity left in the legal process.


Who cares what Dan Dow has to say? He BOTCHED the prosecution! BOTCHED! His salary is a waste. I am completely pissed. The flag burin’ twerp becomes a heroine. UGH!


I agree with you 100 percent.