A 12-year veteran of the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will be its new second-in-command, helping manage the direction of the office and signing off on all its major cases.
Eric Dobroth, who joined the DA’s Office in 2005, will be its new assistant district attorney, following the retirement last week of Lee Cunningham.
His appointment is effective Jan. 1.
On Wednesday, District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement saying that Dobroth was selected from a pool of six candidates from within the DA’s Office and two from outside the county. Dow said as assistant, Dobroth will help lead the office as it “deals with the challenges of increasing crime and a more complex criminal justice system.”
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Eric Dobroth has earned the admiration and respect of his peers, the defense bar, and the judges of the Superior Court because of his strong work ethic, his legal acumen and his sound judgment.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow
“Eric Dobroth has earned the admiration and respect of his peers, the defense bar, and the judges of the Superior Court because of his strong work ethic, his legal acumen and his sound judgment,” Dow said.
Dobroth is currently assigned as the team leader for the office’s Consumer and Environmental Protection and Major Fraud Prosecution Team. He formerly worked as a deputy DA in Ventura County from 1998 to 2005, where he prosecuted misdemeanor and felony jury trials, including complex white collar fraud cases, and was recognized as Prosecutor of the Year in 2003, according to the DA’s Office.
He currently acts as chair of the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Enforcement Group and liaison to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.
Dobroth earned his bachelor of science degree in geology and environmental science from Oregon State University in 1995 and a juris doctor with emphasis in natural resource law from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in 1998.
Over his local career, Dobroth has prosecuted several high-profile cases.
In July 2009, he prosecuted a pair of men who conducted an ill-fated home invasion robbery of a Los Osos resident who turned the gun on his assailants, killing one of their accomplices. After separate trials, Jesse Baker-Riley and Ryan Johnson were each convicted of first-degree provocative act murder and sentenced to 35 years and 26 years to life respectively.
In February 2010, he secured a 24-years-to-life attempted murder conviction for Michael Simmons, who slashed the throat of a patron at Mr. Rick’s bar in Avila Beach with a box cutter following an argument.
In October 2012, he prosecuted Clifford Scott, a San Diego gang member who led CHP officers on a high-speed pursuit through Paso Robles and ambushed a CHP officer, shooting the officer three times. Scott, who was also shot several times, was convicted of attempted murder of a peace officer and sentenced to 65 years to life.
In August 2014, he worked out pre-trial agreements with five Cal Poly football players who robbed a fraternity house near the Cal Poly campus. One former player, who used a gun during the robbery attempt, was sentenced to five years in prison, but the others received what their attorneys called fair sentences of County Jail and probation that allowed them to continue college.
Most recently, Dobroth tried Rodney Jarmin and Tammy Jordan, two former Paso Robles hard money lenders, who were acquitted by a jury of fraud charges in November following the longest ongoing white collar crime case in recent county history.
Despite the verdict, alleged victims once critical of the DA’s Office’s handling of the case told The Tribune that they were impressed and grateful to Dobroth, who was assigned prosecutor years after charges were filed and brought the case to trial.
The salary range for assistant DA is between $147,712 and $179,712, according to Dow.