Bonnie Dumanis

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Bonnie Dumanis
US Navy 050330-N-0050T-010 Speaking at a luncheon to commemorate Woman^rsquo,s History Month, District Attorney for San Diego County, Bonnie Dumanis, gives a speech to the staff of the Personnel Support Detachment.jpg
San Diego County District Attorney
Assumed office
Preceded by Paul Pfingst
Personal details
Born Bonnie Michelle Dumanis
(1951-12-16) December 16, 1951 (age 65)
Brockton, Massachusetts
United States
Political party Republican
Residence San Diego
Alma mater University of Massachusetts Amherst
Western State University College of Law
Occupation Attorney
Website Official website

Bonnie Michelle Dumanis (born December 16, 1951) is the District Attorney of San Diego County, California. She has held the office since 2003. Dumanis is a Republican, though the office she holds is officially nonpartisan. She is the first openly gay or lesbian DA in the country.[1] She is the first woman and the first Jew to hold the post of District Attorney in San Diego.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Dumanis grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ann and Abraham "Abe" Dumanis.[3] Her father was a truck driver as well as a professional musician; her mother worked for a government program assisting women and children.[4] Dumanis received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Western State University College of Law (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law) in 1976,[5][6] and was admitted to the bar in 1977.


Her first job was as a junior typist in San Diego County as she studied law at night. Following admission to the bar, she served as a Deputy District Attorney from 1978 to 1990.

In 1994, she was elected to the Municipal Court where she served for four years and started the first Drug Courts in San Diego. In 1998, she was elected to the San Diego Superior Court where she started a program called Domestic Violence Court to reduce recurrences by perpetrators.[7]

In 2003 she ran for District Attorney and defeated incumbent Paul Pfingst.[7] She ran for re-election unopposed in 2006 and 2010. She faced two challengers when she ran for a fourth term in 2014,[8] but won re-election in the June primary by getting 55% of the vote.[9]

In 2012 Dumanis ran for Mayor of San Diego,[10] did not advance from the primary election,[11] and later endorsed Carl DeMaio in the general election.[12]

In 2006 she campaigned for California Proposition 83 (2006), California's version of Jessica's Law, which restricts where paroled sex offenders can live and requires them to wear tracking devices (which she calls "the LoJack for sex offenders") for the rest of their life.[13]

In January 2017 she said she would not run for a fifth term when her current term expires in 2018. In April 2017 she announced her intention to resign her office effective July 7. She said she is considering running for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.[14]

Selected cases[edit]

D.C. v. Heller[edit]

Dumanis filed an amicus curiae brief in the case D.C. v. Heller, supporting the District of Columbia's ban on keeping functional firearms in the home for self-defense, and on the possession of handguns.[15][16][17]

Cynthia Sommer[edit]

In April 2008, a woman accused and convicted by Dumanis's office of murder, was released, after two plus years of incarceration. Cynthia Sommer was convicted of fatally poisoning her Miramar Marine husband with arsenic. Charges were dropped on reasonable doubt after conclusions reached by toxicology experts during a review, prompted by the defense, of the evidence used for trial and conviction. Dumanis said her office acted based on available evidence when it charged Sommer with murder in March 2006 and tried her in January 2007.[18]

Marijuana persecutions[edit]

In February 2009, the District Attorney's office filed charges against 33 individuals charged in a drug investigation called Endless Summer. In a press conference for the operation Dumanis said the investigation was to protect military housing.[19] After further investigation it was revealed that 14 of those arrested are medical marijuana patients who were the initial target of the investigation named Green RX. Most of those charged were shown not to have any ties to the military, as initially claimed by Dumanis' office.[20] Since that time at least two of the 14 medical marijuana defendants have been acquitted by juries; jurors said the law was unclear or ambiguous.[21][22] One of those defendants was acquitted in 2009 and tried a second time in 2010 based on a different raid; he was convicted but the conviction was overturned. In October 2013 Dumanis' office took him to trial a third time in San Diego Superior Court. The case has been described as "a symbol of the effort by Dumanis and other prosecutors across the state to criminalize storefront medical marijuana dispensaries".[23]


In 2008, Dumanis was inducted into the Women's Museum of California's Hall of Fame honoring her career and achievements.[24]

In 2013 the Log Cabin Republican Club of San Diego named her "Woman of the Year".[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Broder, John M. (2002-11-13). "In a First, a Lesbian Is Elected District Attorney in San Diego". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  2. ^ Lantry, Jim (2003-01-17). "Three Jews Sworn Into County Office". San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage, archived via Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hong, Peter Y. (February 22, 2003). "New D.A. Breaks Down Old Stereotypes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Meet the DA – San Diego County District Attorney: Bonnie M. Dumanis". Archived from the original on 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  6. ^ CA State Bar Records. Retrieved 2011-06-16
  7. ^ a b Wilkens, John (2003-01-05). "Her path to success". Sign On San Diego. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  8. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Garske, Monica (June 4, 2014). "DA Dumanis to Serve 4th Term". NBC San Diego. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dumains picks up two more endorsements". 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  11. ^ R. Stickney; Artie Ojeda; Lauren Steussy (6 June 2012). "San Diego Mayoral Race Results". KNSD. Retrieved 13 November 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ Craig Gustafson (29 October 2012). "DA Dumanis endorses DeMaio, blasts Filner". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Lehrer, Jim (January 17, 2008). "Laws Restricting Lives of Sex Offenders Raise Constitutional Questions". PBS Newshour. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Moran, Greg (April 21, 2017). "Dumanis to resign July 7, mulls run for county board". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Richard Rider (2008-02-27). "DA Dumanis 'Strong Supporter' of 2nd Amendment?". North County Times. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  16. ^ "District attorney wants D.C. handgun ban upheld". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  17. ^ Kamala D. Harris; et al. "D.C. v. Heller Amici Curiae brief of District Attorneys in support of Petitioners" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  18. ^ Littlefield, Dana. (2008-04-18) Case vs. Marine's widow is dropped. Retrieved 2011-06-16
  19. ^ 33 Busted in Operation Endless Summer. NBC San Diego. Retrieved 2011-06-16
  20. ^ Many in drug sting lack military ties. Retrieved 2011-06-16
  21. ^ Medical Pot Patient Acquitted Of Drug Charges – San Diego News Story – KGTV San Diego. (2010-03-25). Retrieved 2011-06-16
  22. ^ Manager of medical pot dispensary is acquitted. Retrieved 2011-06-16
  23. ^ "Third Trial Begins for San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensary Operator, After Winning Landmark Right to a Defense". ENews Park Forest. October 21, 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  24. ^ New name, big plans for Women's History Museum in 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-19
  25. ^ Ramirez, Nicole Murray (October 3, 2013). "Bonnie Dumanis honored". LGBT Weekly. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Paul Pfingst
San Diego County District Attorney