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District attorney says he won’t seek re-election

Delaine Fragnoli
Managing Editor

Plumas County District Attorney Jeff Cunan announced Tuesday, Dec. 8, that he would not seek a third term in office.

The announcement ended months of speculation whether the two-term incumbent would run. The decision leaves just one candidate, Assistant District Attorney Dave Hollister, in the field.

Cunan said he was troubled by the lack of candidates. “Democracy demands choices, and unless the public fields an alternative candidate … it will have no choice for the election of our next district attorney.”

The deadline to file for candidacy is March 17, 2010.

Cunan said he intended to resume a private law practice when his current term ends in December 2010. He envisions a practice that includes criminal, family, government and environmental law.

He said he was motivated by “local attorney attrition” and “the opportunity to broaden my legal career.” While he indicated he was open to working as a public defender, his real interest is in providing “quality, conscientious” family law representation.

Cunan is in negotiations with the Plumas County Museum Association to lease the historic Goodwin law office building on Jackson Street, long the office of attorney David Adrian.

If all works out, Cunan hopes to restore the building’s interior to the style of the 1860s. Museum director Scott Lawson said as far as he could determine the office was built in 1859.

Cunan was first elected in 2002 when, as assistant district attorney, he unseated incumbent James Reichle. He ran unopposed for re-election in 2006.

In announcing his decision not to run again, Cunan outlined what he considered his achievements while in office. “Our office is characterized by efficiency, with one of the best success records in California.”

He said he was “particularly proud” of his office’s crime prevention work. Establishing a Unified Family Court, fighting government corruption and maintaining a tough stance against methamphetamine traffickers were among the other high points Cunan enumerated.


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