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Christie Stanley, 1948-2010

Longtime prosecutor served nearly one term as Santa Barbara County's first woman district attorney

Retired Santa Barbara County District Attorney Christie Stanley passed away at her Santa Maria home the morning of April 25, 2010, at the age of 61, after a long battle with lung cancer. She is survived by her husband, Gary; her daughters, Renee Edman and Dawn Wright; her stepchildren, Mark Stanley, Ryan Stanley and Tami Millican; her mother, Jeanette Claycamp; and her grandchildren.

Christie Stanley was elected to the position of District Attorney in 2006 by a vote of nearly 70 percent of the people. She was the first woman elected as District Attorney in the history of Santa Barbara County, and she has served as an important role model to countless young girls and prosecutors alike.

She served as District Attorney until forced into early retirement due to her illness on January 29, 2010, after three decades of dedicated service to Santa Barbara County. Christie graduated magna cum laude from Ventura College of Law while raising her two daughters. She then spent two years in private civil practice before joining the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in 1980.

She was also the first female prosecutor in the District Attorney’s North County Offices and she became the Assistant District Attorney for the North County Offices in 1991, the position she held until taking the oath of office as the District Attorney in January 2007.

Christie was a dynamic, powerful woman who carried herself with poise, dignity and grace. She was a skilled and polished trial lawyer and a considerate and thoughtful administrator. Christie was a leader in California’s criminal justice system and in the community where she lived and served. She leaves behind a strong legacy for prosecutors who strive to be as exceptional as she was inside and outside the courtroom. Her death is a tragic loss to the criminal justice system and the community. She will be sorely missed.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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