Sunday, May 28 , 2017, 6:06 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Local News

SLO District Attorney Dismisses DUI Charge Against CHP Officer as Part of Settlement

Prosecutors this week dismissed a DUI charge against a Santa Maria-based California Highway Patrol officer who crashed his vehicle in Arroyo Grande six months ago, according to his attorney.

As part of the settlement, Michael Mallory, 37, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, which carries a $1,200 fine and a required driving class.

Mallory, who was acting as public information officer for CHP’s Santa Maria office at the time, reportedly crashed his vehicle into two parked cars about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Arroyo Grande. He wasn’t on duty at the time, but was on his way to work.

Police responded and conducted field sobriety tests, which showed signs of impairment.

Mallory’s attorney, William Aron, said late last year that his client’s blood screening, which originally came back negative for both drugs and alcohol, shows that Ambien, a sedative and popular sleep aid, was present.

Aron said this week that his client and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office settled the case Tuesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. The case had been tentatively set for trial next Monday.

San Luis Obispo Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mallory originally pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, on Sept. 6.

“My client maintains his innocence,” Aron told Noozhawk. “He’s just ready to move forward with his life.”

Mallory believed a trial would be expensive, distracting and unfavorable for his four children, according to Aron.

Aron said he’s grateful Mallory received no jail time or community service.

He could not comment on what the plea would mean for Mallory’s employment. After the incident, Mallory wasn’t placed on any kind of administrative leave, but he is no longer the public information officer.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >