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Local News

Supervisors Stay Out of Political Fray in Naming Interim DA

The board opts not to appoint one of the candidates for the position, instead letting Chief Assistant DA Ann Bramsen fill the role until after June's election

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors chose to stay out of the political fray surrounding the appointment of an interim district attorney.

Instead of appointing one of the two candidates running for the office in the June 8 election — Senior Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Acting District Attorney Josh Lynn — the supervisors chose to allow Ann Bramsen, chief assistant district attorney in the division’s North County office, to fill the role until the June outcome is known.

In a statement issued in late January, District Attorney Christie Stanley announced she would retire from her position by Feb. 8. Stanley has been battling lung cancer and cited health reasons in her statement.

Chairwoman Janet Wolf said Tuesday that the board approached the matter with a “heavy heart.”

“This is a sad moment in our county,” she said. “I wish her all the best.”

Stanley was elected in 2006 and submitted a formal resignation over the weekend.

District attorney candidates Josh Lynn and Joyce Dudley will face off in the June 8 election.
District attorney candidates Josh Lynn and Joyce Dudley will face off in the June 8 election. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

According to county counsel, statutes say only that an appointment must be made by the supervisors, but they aren’t specific about a time frame or process for the supervisors to issue an appointment.

Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Doreen Farr already have endorsed Dudley, who announced in September that she would be seeking the seat.

Lynn, who has been filling in during Stanley’s absence, announced his campaign a month later.

Both candidates attended Tuesday’s meeting, sitting on opposite sides of the room, and each flanked by supporters and co-workers from the District Attorney’s Office.

More than 20 speakers came forward, nearly all encouraging the board to allow Bramsen to fill the position until the voters can choose a candidate.

Dudley and Lynn also spoke during the public comment period, and both said they fully endorsed Bramsen.

At their first board meeting after the election, the supervisors then will appoint the winner.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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