Joyce Dudley, District Attorney


Joyce E. Dudley has a BA in psychology, and two Master’s Degrees in Education; one with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education and the other with an emphasis on Educational Administration. In 1990 Joyce received her JD degree. The day she passed the Bar she was hired by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office. For 20 years Joyce was a Deputy District Attorney specializing in prosecuting violent crimes against vulnerable victims. In 2010 she was elected District Attorney.


In 2016 she was appointed by Governor Brown to be the Chair of the Police Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST), a position she still retains. Joyce also presently serves on the Executive Board of Fight Crime Invest in Kids and works closely with the national organization, Prosecutors Against Gun Violence.


Joyce has received numerous awards including: Attorney of the Year (Santa Barbara Women Lawyers), Woman of the Year (Junior League), and Mentor of the Year (Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse).

Sonia Balleste, Chief Deputy District Attorney, North County


Sonia is a graduate of the University of California Irvine where she earned a degree in Social Ecology. She received her juris doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.

Sonia began her career as Deputy District Attorney in Southern California where she prosecuted violent crime cases. Sonia specialized in homicide trials and investigations. She successfully litigated capital cases, gang cases and domestic violence cases.  Sonia is also proficient in forensic investigation and litigation including her experience in Rapid DNA and genetic genealogy investigations.

Sonia joined the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office in 2019 prosecuting arson, gang and homicide cases. In May of 2020 she was promoted to the position of Chief Deputy by District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

As Chief Deputy, Sonia's primary responsibilities include the supervision of all Deputy District Attorneys assigned to the Santa Maria Office, she also acts as the Rapid DNA liaison and is in charge of cold case investigations.

Patrick Clouse, Chief Criminal Investigator


Patrick Clouse was appointed to the position of Chief investigator of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in March 2018.


He began his law enforcement career in 1991 as a police officer for the City of Watsonville. In 1994 he lateraled to the Santa Barbara Police Department where he worked as a patrol officer, narcotics detective and a member of the S.W.A.T. Team. In 2001 Patrick transferred to the Santa Clara Police Department. While at the Santa Clara Police Department he worked as a field training officer, narcotics detective, internal affairs sergeant, patrol sergeant and undercover narcotics unit supervisor. In 2014 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant where he served as a watch commander. During the last 2 years of his career with the Santa Clara Police Department he served in the Special Operations Division. Responsibilities for that division included acting as liaison for all Federal, State and Local law enforcement partners as well as managing Human Trafficking investigations. Additionally, he managed the planning and deployment of law enforcement operations for all events at Levis’ Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play.


Patrick deeply values finding proactive solutions to the challenges of our ever evolving criminal justice system through technology and partnerships. As Chief Investigator, 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. He manages both sworn and non-sworn investigative personnel in the Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc District Attorney’s Offices.


Patrick was born and raised in Northern California. He attended Santa Barbara City College and Cabrillo College in Northern California. He possesses a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice

Kelly Scott

Kelly Duncan, Chief Deputy District Attorney, North County


Kelly Duncan was appointed to the position of Chief Deputy District Attorney in August 2012.   Kelly's primary responsibility is supervising  the District Attorney’s Litigation Operations in a Major Gang Case in Santa Maria. 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. 

Mag Nicola, Chief Deputy District Attorney, North County

Mag Nicola 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. Mag was appointed to the position of Chief Deputy District Attorney in August 2013.


Mag supervises the attorneys in the Lompoc and Santa Maria Juvenile offices, 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 countywide representative for Collaborative Treatment Courts, Human Trafficking, AB 109, and the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council. 


Megan Rheinschild, Victim-Witness Assistance Program Director

Megan 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 has been the Director of the Countywide Program since 1997. She is responsible for oversight of a program whose staff annually serves over 3,500 victims of violent crime and their family members countywide.


She oversees a range of victim service programs including the Human Trafficking, Elder and Dependent Abuse Units, the Victim Compensation and Restitution Recovery Contracts with the State of California. She also has administrative oversight of the Countywide Sexual Assault ResponseTeam.


In addition to her local responsibilities, Megan is on the Board of the California Crime Victim Assistance Association and is Chair of the Statewide Training Committee.

Barbara Ross, Executive Assistant to Joyce Dudley


Barbara Ross joined the District Attorney's Office as Executive Assistant to District Attorney Joyce Dudley in December 2019.  She also provides administrative support for the Executive Staff.  Prior to joining the DA Team, Barbara was Executive Assistant to developer and philanthropist Michael Towbes for over 22 years.  She has a BA in Political Science from Allegheny College.  Barbara moved from the east coast (Washington, DC) to Southern California (Santa Barbara) in 1995. 


Barbara enjoys cooking and has become a very proficient sourdough bread maker.  She has a passion for the nonprofit community in Santa Barbara and is an active volunteer at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

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 now serves as the Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Santa Barbara office.

Michael Soderman, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer


Michael Soderman has been an integral part of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office since October 2015. He was brought on as Business Manager and has served in his current role as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer since 2017. Michael is responsible for all Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, and Legal Office Support.


Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office, Michael served as Accounting Supervisor for the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavior Wellness. Michael’s work history also includes managerial accounting experience within the private sector. Michael’s diverse background in both sectors provides him with a unique vision to navigate the District Attorney’s Office toward innovative and effective business solutions. He has been instrumental in developing and implementing financial and administrative improvements.


Michael grew up in Santa Barbara County and moved to Northern California to attend California State University, Sacramento, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Michael feels fortunate to be able to bring his accounting and finance skill set back to his hometown where he can be a part of Santa Barbara County public service.


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