Dudley, District Attorney
District Attorney Dudley began her legal career in the Santa
Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in 1990.
She has prosecuted well over one thousand cases including murder,
arson, robbery, burglary and all varieties of theft crimes.
During this time she became an authority on the prosecution
of crimes involving sexual offenses, crimes against children
and hate crimes. Joyce E. Dudley was elected District Attorney
of Santa Barbara County in June 2010 and assumed office on
June 22, 2010. District Attorney Dudley is dedicated to fulfilling
the primary function of the District Attorney's Office which
is to seek justice for all.
Cynthia Gresser, Chief Deputy District Attorney, North County
Cynthia Gresser has been a Deputy District Attorney for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office since 2006. During that time, she has successfully prosecuted a variety of serious cases including murder, criminal street gang crimes, major sex crimes, major narcotics, domestic violence, and elder abuse crimes. Cynthia was recognized as Deputy District Attorney of the Year in 2011 and received the Santa Maria Elk’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Award for Outstanding Performance in 2015.
Cynthia attended California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2000. She went on to graduate with a law degree at Santa Clara University in 2003.
In March 2016, Cynthia was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney by District Attorney Joyce Dudley. Cynthia currently supervises all Deputy District Attorneys assigned to the Santa Maria and Lompoc offices.
Mag Nicola, Chief Deputy District Attorney, North County
Mag Nicola was appointed to the position of Chief Deputy District Attorney in August 2013. He grew up in San Diego where he attended the University of California, San Diego, and California Western School of Law. He earned his law degree in 1993.
Mag began his career in public service with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office in 1993 as a contract Deputy District Attorney with their Major Narcotics Prosecution Unit, before joining the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in 1994. Over his career, he has successfully prosecuted all types of serious crimes including murders, kidnappings, gang-violence, major narcotics, child abuse and sexual assaults. Mag has twice received the Santa Maria Elk’s Law Enforcement Appreciation award for Outstanding Performance, was recognized as Deputy District Attorney of the Year in 1998 and 2005, and is a recipient of the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Outstanding Performance. He presents training to local law enforcement groups on legal matters and has been involved in our area schools as a guest speaker on the Juvenile Justice system.
Mag oversees all administrative operations for the north county offices and serves as the liaison for law enforcement, probation, courts, and other state and federal allied agencies. He is the District Attorney’s county-wide representative for Collaborative Treatment Courts, Human Trafficking, AB 109, and the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.
John Savrnoch, Chief Deputy District Attorney, South County
John Savrnoch has been a Deputy District Attorney for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office assigned to the Lompoc Division since January of 2015. Prior to coming to Santa Barbara County, John was an attorney for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office for almost 23 years. John’s career in Fresno included representing abused children, prosecuting insurance fraud, and prosecuting serious financial crimes before spending the last decade as a supervisor/administrator. John’s administrative assignments in Fresno County included supervising the financial crimes and consumer protection unit, supervising the misdemeanor prosecution unit, serving as an Assistant District Attorney, and serving as the Chief Assistant District Attorney.
John received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. John attended law school at the University of Wisconsin where he received his Juris Doctor in 1990.
In March 2016 John was appointed to serve as a Chief Deputy District Attorney by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. John will be assigned to the Santa Barbara office and will be working with the misdemeanor trial team, the arraignment court deputy, the insurance fraud prosecution units, the treatment court deputy, the juvenile prosecution unit, and the truancy team.
Kelly Scott, Chief Deputy District Attorney, South County
Kelly Scott was appointed to the position of Chief Deputy District Attorney in August 2012. Kelly supervises the District Attorney’s Litigation Operations in Santa Barbara. In that capacity she oversees the gang prosecution team, vulnerable victim unit including sex crimes and crimes involving domestic violence; homicides and other serious and violent crimes; misdemeanor crimes; therapeutic treatment courts; real estate fraud; consumer protection; and environmental prosecutions. Kelly is also responsible for Brady compliance and ethics for the District Attorney’s Office.
Prior to her appointment with the District Attorney’s Office Kelly was Deputy County Counsel for the County of Santa Barbara where she represented the Sheriff and District Attorney. At county counsel she specialized in civil rights litigation and was in-house counsel to the Sheriff’s Office. Kelly began her legal career with the California Department of Transportation where she litigated cases involving allegations of dangerous conditions of public property, inverse condemnation, eminent domain, and employment law.
Kelly grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and came to California to attend Pepperdine University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and later a law degree from Pepperdine.
M. Saunders, Chief Criminal Investigator
David Saunders began his law enforcement career in 1986 as a
Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff. During his eight years with
the Sheriff’s Department, David served as uniformed patrol
deputy, a Special Enforcement Team member, a member of the SWAT
team, and as a Special Operations Division detective.
David transferred to the Ventura County District Attorney’s
Bureau of Investigation, where he served as an investigator
for eight years, raising to the rank of Supervising Investigator.
In 2002, David was appointed as the Chief Investigator for
the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office where
he oversees the daily operations of the Bureau of Investigation.
He manages a staff of 22 sworn peace officers and six civilian
investigators. His primary responsibilities include providing
the investigation needed to prepare difficult cases for court;
guiding and directing cases of a sensitive or complex nature;
acting as a liaison to members of federal, state and local
law enforcement agencies; making recommendations to the District
Attorney regarding office policies, procedures, and security
matters; and providing budgetary oversight and recommendations.
David is an honors graduate of California State University,
Northridge with a Masters degree in Public Administration.
He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree
in Public Administration from the University of La Verne,
and holds a Professional Certificate in Accounting from the
University of California, Santa Barbara, Extension.
David is an associate member of the Santa Barbara County
Law Enforcement Chiefs Association (CLEC), a member of the
California Peace Officers Association (CPOA), and a Lifetime
Member of the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA).
Kerry Bierman, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer
Kerry Bierman joined the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in October 2014. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s office, she served as the Chief Financial Officer in Santa Barbara County’s Community Services Department. Kerry has a diverse background and has held financial positions in both the public and private sector. Before joining the County, she served as the Director of Budget & Financial Planning for large academic medical center in Portland, Oregon. Kerry has extensive experience in developing comprehensive and sustainable financial plans and has also enjoyed focusing on improving business process through the use of technology.
Kerry attended the University of California, Davis and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics. She went on to graduate with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Marylhurst University in 2013. Kerry is responsible for the following functions for the District Attorney: finance & accounting, information technology, human resources and legal support.
Riker-Rheinschild, Victim-Witness Assistance Program Director
Megan Riker-Rheinschild graduated from the University of California,
Santa Barbara and studied at the National Autonomous University
in Mexico City receiving her degree in Sociology and Spanish.
Megan has been employed in the Santa Barbara County
District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance
Program since 1994 and been the Director of the Countywide
Program since 1997. She is responsible for oversight of a program
whose staff annually serves over 3000 victims of violent crime
and their family members countywide.
She oversees a range of victim service programs including
the Domestic Violence, Elder and Dependent Abuse Units, the
Victim Compensation and Restitution Recovery Contracts with
the State of California. As of January 2008 the District Attorney’s
Office assumed administrative oversight of the Countywide Sexual
Assault Response Team for which Meganis also responsible.
In addition to her local responsibilities Megan
is on the Board of the California Crime Victim Assistance Association
and is Chair of the Legislative and Statewide Victim Compensation
Debbie Fox, Assistant to the District Attorney
Debbie Fox joined the District Attorney’s office as the Assistant to the District Attorney in November, 2016. Prior to this, Debbie spent the previous twelve years working for the Santa Barbara Superior Court as a Judicial Secretary to a group of judges in the Criminal Division.
Before moving to Santa Barbara in 2001, Debbie lived in Lake Tahoe where she worked as a Funding Manager in the financial industry.