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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 4:57 pm | Fair 67º


Santa Barbara Deputy DA Named San Luis Obispo County Court Commissioner

Timothy Covello
Timothy Covello

A member of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office staff has been named a commissioner for the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.

The judges of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court voted to appoint Timothy Covello to fill a vacancy created by the death of Stephen Briggs Sefton on Jan. 9.

Covello previously was employed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, working as a deputy district attorney, chief deputy district attorney and eventually the number two job of assistant district attorney.

In 2014, he ran for San Luis Obispo County district attorney and lost to Dan Dow in the June primary.

While Dow had the support of prosecutors, Covello was backed by judges and police chiefs, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

Weeks after the election, he joined the Santa Barbara County staff in the North County Office, working as a deputy district attorney. He recently was named interim chief deputy district attorney.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Covello’s new job and pending departure to her staff, calling him “a terrific addition to the office and recently the executive management team.”

He will leave Santa Barbara County employment Feb. 19 using the next few weeks to help with administrative support and transition of cases, Dudley said.

“Many of us have gone to you seeking your wise counsel, wisdom and support, and you've always been there for us — in spades,” Dudley said. “We will miss you and are very sorry to see you go.”

While Covello’s colleagues will miss him, Dudley said, they are proud and thrilled he is joining the Central Coast bench. 

Among the Santa Barbara County cases he handled, Covello was the prosecutor for two former Allan Hancock College basketball players charged with the murder of Terence Richardson, 23, of Santa Maria. A trial is set for July in that case.

While working in San Luis Obispo County, Covello successfully prosecuted the mother and son charged in connection with the 2010 slaying of Santa Maria 15-year-old Dystiny Myers. 

Although judges are appointed by the governor and elected by voters, commissioners are picked by judges in each county's Superior Court. Commissioners, sometimes likened to magistrate judges, preside over traffic cases, small-claims civil trials and juvenile cases.

Covello earned his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, and attended law school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

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