California Supreme Court Says, “Role Will Be Limited” in Dawn Rowe Dispute

California Supreme Court Says, “Role Will Be Limited” in Dawn Rowe Dispute

San Bernardino

During its conference on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 the California Supreme Court agreed to review a challenge to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) appointment of Dawn Rowe to represent the county’s Third District.  The court agreed to get involved but in a limited way in the case, Daly v. Board of Supervisors, though the court has determined its involvement will be limited. The Supreme Court will only weigh in on whether it was appropriate for the plaintiff—I.E. United—to file its action with the Attorney General instead of in Superior Court regarding whether Rowe should be allowed to remain in office.  In January the county filed a petition imploring the high court to keep Dawn Rowe in office while it appeals a judge’s ruling that her appointment should be revoked. The lower court previously ruled Rowe’s appointment was null and void and must be revoked—this was in opposition to an earlier appellate court ruling that determined differently.  In the meantime, Rowe remains in office and is running in the March 3rd Primary to secure the Third District Supervisor’s seat as she continues to enjoy the electoral advantages traditionally experienced by incumbents. Rowe however must secure 50 percent of the vote plus one to avoid a runoff election in November.  San Bernardino County is appealing the Superior Court ruling that Rowe’s appointment resulted from the BOS’ process in late 2018 to fill the Third District seat mid-term when former Supervisor James Ramos was elected to the State Assembly. In the selection of Rowe to fill the position the BOS purportedly violated the Ralph M. Brown Act which sets the guidelines for open meetings. The Superior Court has also ruled Rowe’s appointment should be rescinded. Header Photo: Dawn Rowe

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