Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Mendo DA's to Prosecute Marijuana Cases

New staff for DA reverses pot policy

Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
Updated: 09/23/2009 12:00:14 AM PDT

Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott has appointed three
new deputy attorneys.

The new hires restore the DA's staffing level, giving her the ability to
go back to prosecuting marijuana cases based on individual merit rather
than the 200-plant, 20-pound limit she established in an internal memo
in May.

Lintott said that policy of not prosecuting cases with fewer than 200
plants or 20 pounds of marijuana was not iron clad, but necessary at the
time because of staff shortages.

"It was not so much that we would never do it, but I have to move cases
through the system in a businesslike fashion," Lintott said.

Lintott said she sent an Aug. 19 internal memo which officially
terminated the May policy.

Now Willits and Fort Bragg will also have two attorneys assigned.

The three new deputy district attorneys are Douglas V. Parker, Sergio
Fuentes and Sara Dabkowski.

Parker is assisting Lintott in developing the district attorney's new
environmental and elder abuse unit. These new programs are possible due
to settlement funds received by Mendocino County in the statewide
pollution litigation against MCM Construction.

"We just got back from meeting with the Water Agency," Lintott said. "We
are in the process of developing our unit."

Before joining the District Attorney's Office, Parker was working for
the national business litigation firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver &
Hedges. He also worked as a law clerk for the United States
Environmental Protection Agency. Parker received his bachelor of arts
degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and his law degree from
Ohio Northern University.

Fuentes, who is bilingual, is continuing his career in the District
Attorney's Office as a deputy district attorney. Fuentes began his work
at the District Attorney's Office in 2001, following his graduation from
Santa Clara University. While working as a victim witness advocate,
Fuentes attended Empire Law School of Law. His years as an advocate and
his fluency in Spanish make him a valuable addition to the attorney
staff, Lintott said. Fuentes is currently assigned to the Willits Branch

Dabkowski, a recent Santa Clara School of Law graduate, interned at the
San Francisco and Santa Cruz District Attorney's Offices. She hit the
ground running, getting a jury verdict of guilty in her first driving
under the influence case. Dabkowski is assigned to the traffic court in
Ukiah and will be handling the Attendance Improvement Monitoring truancy
cases. AIM is a program established by Lintott in 2007 to increase
school attendance as a crime prevention strategy. Additionally,
Dabkowski is handling drug treatment court.

http://www.ukiahdai lyjournal. com/ci_13400276

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