PATTERN OF ABUSE
When it comes to political corruption in Santa Barbara, anyone familiar with the workings of this county knows that nothing happens without the tacit approval of the good District Attorney Tom Sneddon. Often referred to as “the single most powerful person in all of Santa Barbara County,”1 his admirers point to the fact that he has run unopposed for the last six terms as evidence of his beloved status. Butterball sidekick Jim Thomas, former sheriff of Santa Barbara, defends him, insisting: “Tom Sneddon is and has always been an aggressive prosecutor, which is why he’s been re-elected so many times unopposed.”2 To understand the method of Tom Sneddon and how he operates, one only needs to consider the testimony of several persons who have borne the wrath of his prosecutorial obsession.
One of the worst examples of such behavior is Sneddon’s attack on Santa Maria attorney Gary Dunlap. Sneddon had charged Dunlap with a slew of charges including perjury and witness tampering. After being acquitted of all charges, Dunlap filed a $10 million lawsuit against Sneddon and his hood of bandits for violating his civil rights during the investigation.3 In an interview with the highly respected MJJForum, Dunlap leveled a number of serious charges against Sneddon and those in his office. This gentleman has been a practicing attorney in the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara area for nearly forty years and is not pulling stories of horrific prosecutorial misconduct out of his behind. In fact, a number of persons who do not even know each other are claiming the exact same thing with tangible proof of said misconduct. Among the many charges that Dunlap levelled against Sneddon: