SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow tussles with governor’s office

May 31, 2021

SLO District Attorney Dan Dow


San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow chastised the governor’s office on Friday for announcing the release of an inmate serving 50 years to life in prison for multiple violent crimes without first informing the victims.

Less than 30 minutes before announcing the medical reprieve of Tracey Pabon, Governor Gavin Newsom’s office asked Dow to help locate Pabon’s victims for notification purposes, according to the email request. If appropriate housing is found, Pabon will be need electronic monitoring after his release.

“If you have contact information for victims, we would be grateful if you could share this information with them or put us in contact,” the email says.

In 1994, Pabon was sentenced to 50-years-to-life for two counts of robbery as a third strike. Pabon had two previous convictions for serious or violent crimes.

“What possible urgency is there for you to announce this clemency at 4 p.m. on a Friday without notifying the victim and their family?” Dow asked in his response to Newsom’s office. “Our criminal and victim justice system has failed victims for too long and actions such as yours today are another prime example of putting offenders ahead of victims.”

In his email to Governor Newson, Dow asks for a prompt reply.

“I look forward to your prompt reply with a compelling explanation for why you neglected to notify me or attempt to make contact with the victim prior to making such a public announcement,” Dow wrote.

Earlier this month, Dow joined 43 district attorneys in filing a lawsuit challenging the early release of 76,000 prison inmates. While claiming an emergency, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the new rules, which fall in line with Governor Newsom’s budget summary.

The district attorneys are asking the court to prohibit the awarding of additional conduct credits that facilitate these early releases by as much as 50%.

“It is time for our governor and all other officials in our California legal system to start respecting victims’ rights,” Dow said. “Victims deserve the courtesy of contact and an opportunity to be heard before action is taken to release an offender early or taking other action that may affect the victims.”

Adam Trask

Mr. Pabon has been in prison for 27 years. Isn’t that long enough, punishment enough? According to the governor, Pabon “has maintained a good disciplinary record, has engaged in self-help programming, and has been enrolled in educational coursework.” After all, I like to think our society, so often said to be based on Christian principles, would be able to forgive someone who has expressed penance and has attempted to improve himself.

However, I do agree with Mr. Dow that the victims should have been notified ahead of time.


Interesting. Dan Dow failed to contact my family regarding my daughter being ran over at Paso High a couple years back. Do you guys remember that? I waited for him to call because I thought he would care about the victim in my case (my daughter) and HE NEVER CALLED TO TALK TO MY HER BEFORE HE LET THAT FAMILY WALK SCOTT FREE! Sorry Dan, but you ONLY care when it is a situation that has media coverage. To us regular citizens, well, we don’t mean much. My daughter almost died and we lived in Stanford for 3 months! 4 surgeries! He is a fraud.


Pray tell: How do we know about the existence of this letter, Grandstanding Dan?


Well, I for one, appreciate hearing about it!! I want to know who is being put back onto the streets after being convicted of violent crimes. I understand Dow has skeletons in his closet too. Newsome is failing to protect us by letting these violent criminals free into the world they do not belong! And Dow seemed to turn a blind eye in his own fiascos. The more Grandstanding, the more we hear about these grandeos failures. Don’t you agree?


What is your problem with that?


Ironic, Pro Dow friends whine & moan about releasing inmates, yet plea deal Dan sets them free before trial. Dow is a political hack who covers for corrupt white men & those who abuse women. Why did the California Attorney General start an investigation against Dan Dow, after he chose not to prosecute the cop accused of 3 separate rapes while on duty. The ex cops own department wanted him prosecuted, handed overwhelming evidence to Dow. Dow dropped the case. Instead the woman has sued the Paso Police Department after a judge agreed with the victim, she has enough evidence to sue. Taxpayers will get stuck with Dans deliberate Spectacular failure to do his job. He betrayed the community. Dan doesn’t deserve his job.


Did you ever actually find out why he didn’t prosecute the case? Do a little research about what it takes to file a case and specifically the FACTS in this case before you go spouting off.


If Dow is as you say…why did he personally prosecute a a sexcual assault case a couple of years when nobody thought it could be won. Against the #1 defense attorney in the county…at considerable risk to his reputation…and get a conviction?


Dow, who reluctantly prosecuted Ryan Petite, now Ryan Wright for an actual violent crime amongst other crimes. Dow who has failed to take any action against Petite / Wright or Belcher for their Ponzi scheme embezzling tens of millions of dollars from residents according to articles and post on this website. Dow who did nothing for years about Kelly Gearhart’s Ponzi scheme (Charles Ponzi). The LA court finally took up the matter and Dow’s office failed to cooperate at all. Dow who has repeatedly failed to prosecute local government employees for dozens of crimes published on this website. Dow, who after 76,000 prisoners have been released early from California prisons and jails now in a pompous self-serving email to the Governor that is somehow released to the press questions the governor’s office for the release of 1 prisoner out of 76,000. Dow is another fine example of an incompetent local public servant.


Only in SLO are people as ignorant as you on what it takes to prosecute a case. You have to be able to prve it and if you file a case without all your ducks in a row and enough evidence you are screwed. You will lose and not be able to refile due to double jeopardy.


Just one of 76,000 inmates being released into our communities with no advance notice. And you wonder why we have so many homeless men here…

kevin rise

Our last dipshiat Gov who won a recall hates Trump, Arnold. If any of you rich pension socialist farts remember, state employees were furloughed constantly due to that idiot, and soon as he left, I WENT to community college for free under the BOG grant thanks to my taxes. Fk the recall and the Stop the Steal right wing nationalist Christian Terrorists committing ALL of the mass shootings in the US, God Bless us all. Pensions are socialist, so are cops. Fact


I hope you need the cops some day and they don’t come.

kevin rise

I feel the DA should focus more attention locally with actions vs political bias commentary on litigation way above his academics, his pay is over 250k annually btw. How many more slain officers and special class folks will get let off or investigated by the Feds? This guy political panders and Should Not, it’s obvious when he does it. Compensating for that hair loss maybe. Vote Gavin, can this old bygone days wash, he has so much blood and corruption on his hands and never prosecuted wealthy criminals. Like the Resnicks, the Owner of Whale Bird Kambuchabu who was caught in a prostitution ring and let off, Holland, etc, John Wallace etc, Paso Rapist cop, bad sheriff’s, etc etc.


While agreeing with the complaint to the Governor, why is a public official spending his time on this? Is there something that made DA Dow the “go to” for the response to the Governor? Were any of Pabon’s victims located in SLO County?


You obviously posted before reading the article and doing any research.