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Court edict: Ex-sheriff’s star should be untarnished

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POSTED June 5, 2014 1:33 a.m.

Baxter Dunn’s star should be untarnished.

That’s what the courts made clear when they granted the former San Joaquin County sheriff a writ of coram nobis several years after he was convicted as part of a corruption scandal.

It doesn’t simply mean the Manteca resident was exonerated. It basically was a finding of the court that the charges were not appropriate nor justified in the first place. It is an extremely rare writ and has an exceedingly high bar to clear before it is granted.

It is understandable why Dunn feels a sting whenever his 2005 conviction is brought up. An appeals court basically determined the criminal prosecution was unjustified under the law. That forced him to end his public service career by resigning as sheriff. 

Dunn has quietly worked to get his life back. He just finished working on Pat Withrow’s attempt to unseat Sheriff Steve Moore.

The writ was designed to try to make Dunn whole again. He voted in Tuesday’s election. He has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He can own long and short guns. He has state clearance to work as a private investigator. And the Alcoholic and Beverage Control board cleared him to have a partnership in a wine bar.

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