Prosecutor resigns after ticket fixing conviction
SAN DIEGO — A veteran San Diego County prosecutor convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice and other misdemeanor counts for asking a San Diego police sergeant to fix a seat belt ticket she got while riding with a colleague has resigned, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Allison Debow, also known as Allison Worden, faces up to a year in jail when she is sentenced March 8.
Had she accepted the ticket, Debow would have had to pay a $142 fine as a first-time adult offender, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
The 37-year-old former prosecutor was supposed to be sentenced today, but defense attorney Paul Pfingst told Judge Louis Hanoian that he needed more time to file a motion for a new trial. Debow was not in court for the brief hearing.
Debow had been on paid administrative leave since last year pending the outcome of the criminal case. She submitted her resignation Tuesday, effective at the end of the month, said district attorney’s spokesman Steve Walker.
Debow testified that she used “poor judgment” by telling the officer who issued the tickets to her and fellow prosecutor Amy Maund that they were deputy district attorneys.
The defendant said she told investigators from her office that she believed her friend, Sgt. Kevin Friedman, had dismissed the tickets.
Friedman told investigators that he didn’t get rid of the citations, and an attorney representing Debow told her that a police official higher up the chain of command probably deleted the tickets from the system.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Murphy said Debow was a passenger in a car driven by friend and fellow prosecutor Maund, who was pulled over on May 28, 2011, in Pacific Beach because Debow didn’t have her seat belt on. The two had just had pedicures.
Debow became angry when the officer issued them both citations and called her friend Friedman, Murphy told the jury. Within six hours, the tickets were out of the system, according to the prosecutor.
During the traffic stop, Debow told the officers that she and Maund were deputy district attorneys and didn’t violate any laws.
Pfingst said the officer who issued the citations acted inappropriately by leaning into the car on Debow’s side and invading her personal space.
Friedman, who was also charged in the case, pleaded no contest last May to destroying a traffic citation and later resigned from the department.