DDAA Awards

Each year, the Deputy District Attorneys Association recognizes outstanding prosecutors, investigators, police officers, and support staff for their efforts on behalf of the People.  

Nominations for the awards are received from members of the DDAA, and the DDAA Board selects the recipients.  

San Diego County Prosecutor of the Year

Outstanding achievement by a prosecutor who has demonstrated excellence and fairness in the conduct of a specific case or cases or public policy accomplishment  with the most significant impact to the County of San Diego during the last year.

Click on their names to read about their cases.


District Attorney Investigator of the Year

Outstanding District Attorney Investigator who has demonstrated excellence in criminal investigation and a commitment to law enforcement in a specific case or cases during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – David Collins
  • 2015 – Randy Alldredge
  • 2014 – Vincent Giaime
  • 2013 – Robert “Bobby” Dean
  • 2012 – Marco Mercado
  • 2011 – Perry McIvor
  • 2010 – John Diaz
  • 2009 – Mike Porretta
  • 2008 – Darrell Brown
  • 2007 – Robert L. Marquez
  • 2006 – Ken Freshwater, Richard “Buck” Henry
  • 2005 – Patrick Russell
  • 2004 – Phil Sowers & Larry Davis
  • 2003 – Al Lutzi
  • 2002 – Richard “Buck” Henry, Frank Eaton
  • 2001 – Roger Bohren
  • 1997 – Dan Ahrens, Michael Howard
  • 1996 – Terry Jensen

Child Support Program Attorney of the Year

Achievement by a lawyer in the Child Support Program who has most demonstrated distinction to the Department during the last year.

  • 2013 – Mark Merriles and Erik Welton
  • 2012 – Todd Faucher
  • 2011 – Chris Uvieghara
  • 2010 – Janette Mittman
  • 2009 – Shannon Welton
  • 2008 – Robert Harris
  • 2007 – Natasha Esses
  • 2006 – Terry Edlund
  • 2005 – Dionne Mochon

Government Official / Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Outstanding public servant or law enforcement officer whose efforts have had significant local or statewide impact on public safety or the criminal justice system during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – Det. Mark La Vake, Oceanside Police Department
  • 2015 – Det. Ron Newquist, San Diego Police Department
  • 2014 – Det. Steven Hobbs, San Diego Police Department
  • 2012 – Det. Angela Tsuida, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • 2011 – Sgt. Anthony K. Johnson, San Diego Police Department
  • 2010 – Ed Phillips, Department of Public Works
  • 2009 – Det. Sandi Oplinger, San Diego Police Department
  • 2008 – Det. John Tefft, San Diego Police Department
  • 2007 – Det. Patrick Gardner, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • 2006 – Det. Randy Alldredge, San Diego Police Department
  • 2005 – San Diego County Sheriff William Kolender
  • 1997 – Supervisor Ron Roberts, District 4

Charles Nickel Award for Excellence in Training, Public Policy, or Legal Education

Outstanding prosecutor honored for his or her professional excellence and contributions which have had significant local or statewide impact in the area of public policy, legislation, training or education in the criminal justice arena.   

  • 2016 – Andrija Lopez
  • 2015 – Brenda Daly
  • 2014 – Valerie Summers
  • 2010 – David Lattuca
  • 2009 – Laura Tanney
  • 2008 – Catherine Stephenson
  • 2007 – Summer Stephan
  • 2006 – Robert Phillips
  • 2005 – Robert Locke
  • 2003 – David Williams
  • 2002 – John Massucco
  • 2001 – Anthony Samson
  • 2002 – John Massucco
  • 1999 – Paul Greenwood
  • 1997 – Charles Nickel

Edwin L. Miller, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award

Outstanding prosecutor who exemplified excellence, professionalism, ethics, respect, knowledge, team work, communication, and accomplishment in his or her career.

  • 2016 – Dominic I. Dugo
  • 2015 – Greg Walden
  • 2014 – David A. Williams
  • 2013 – Gregg McClain
  • 2012 – Garland P. Peed IV
  • 2010 – Jeff B Dusek
  • 2009 – George Bennett
  • 2008 – Carlos Armour
  • 2007 – Mark V. Pettine
  • 2005 – Josephine A. Kiernan
  • 2004 – Louis Boyle
  • 2003 – Brian Michaels
  • 2002 – Thomas McArdle
  • 2001 – Edwin L. Miller, Jr. (Lifetime Achievement Award re-named this
    year in honor of Mr. Miller)

Outstanding Achievement Award – DDA

Achievement by prosecutors who have distinguished themselves through hard work and dedication in seeking justice in criminal prosecutions in the conduct of a specific case or cases or public policy accomplishment during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – Gina Darvas, Susan Gust, Shawn Tafreshi, Keith Watanabe, Michael Zachry
  • 2015 – Marissa Di Tillio, Michelle Ialeggio
  • 2014 – Jodi Breton, Nicole Rooney
  • 2013 – Anthony Campagna, Chris Lindberg, Joseph McLaughlin, Wendy Patrick, Dino Paraskevopoulos
  • 2012 – Victor Ou, Claudine Ruiz, S. David Bost
  • 2011 – Christine Israel, Brock Arstill, Kathryn Gayle
  • 2010 – Per Hellstrom,  Jill Schall, Frank Jackson
  • 2009 – Sophia Roach, Lucy Weismantel, Kim Lagotta
  • 2008 – Nicole Cooper, Patrick Espinoza, Michael Runyon
  • 2007 – Betsy McClutchey, Blaine Bowman, Robert Amador,
    David Grapilon
  • 2006 –  Steve Carver, Robert Hickey, Kurt Mechals, Garland Peed
  • 2005 – Corrine Miesfield
  • 2004 – Valerie Summers, Pat Espinoza, Michael Runyon
  • 2003 – Chandra Carle
  • 2002 – Robert Stein
  • 2001 – Valerie Summers, Tia Lisa Quick
  • 1999 – Kimberlee Lagotta, Garland Peed, Josephine Kiernan
  • 1998 – Summer Stephan
  • 1997 – Peter Deddeh, Allen Williams
  • 1996 – Kerry Wells, David Cox
  • 1992 – Luis Aragon, Al Barrett, Jim Koerber

Outstanding Achievement Award – DDA 7 years or less

Achievement by prosecutors who have distinguished themselves through hard work and dedication in seeking justice in criminal prosecutions in the conduct of a specific case or cases or public policy accomplishment during the first seven years of their career in this office.

  • 2016 – Steve Schott, Garret Wong
  • 2015 – Kristie Nikoletich, Scott Pirrello
  • 2014 – Chris Moon, Ryan Saunders, Brendan McHugh
  • 2013 – Laurie Hauf, Robert Eacret
  • 2012 – Dan Owens
  • 2011 – Roy Lai
  • 2010 – Matthew Williams, Melissa Vasel

Award for Judicial Excellence

Exemplary jurist with judicial temperament who has provided outstanding public service to the County of San Diego during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – Judge David Szumowski
  • 2015 – Judge Charles Rogers
  • 2013 – Judge John Einhorn
  • 2012 – Judge Frank Brown
  • 2011 – Judge David J. Danielsen
  • 2008 – Judge William Kennedy
  • 1996 – Judge Napoleon Jones

Outstanding Achievement Award – Paralegal / Support Staff

Achievement by paralegal or support staff who has distinguished themselves through hard work and dedication by assistance in the conduct of a specific case or public policy accomplishment or service to the DDAA during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – Lilma Doromal, Support Staff – Gangs Division
  • 2015 – Marshelle Newby, Support Staff – Gangs Division
  • 2014 – Meredith Dent, Paralegal – Cold Case Homicide Division
  • 2013 – Rayna Simon, Paralegal – Superior Court Division
  • 2012 – James Kelly, Assistant Director of Training
  • 2011 – William J. Reich, Paralegal – Cold Case Homicide Division

George “Woody” Clarke Award for Prosecutorial Excellence

Outstanding prosecutor whose contributions in a particular subject matter area of the law promoted justice, fairness, and equality in the prosecution of cases with an important and sustaining impact on the legal community as a whole during the last year or over the course of an entire career.

  • 2016 – Laura Tanney, James Koerber
  • 2015 – Linh Lam, Appellate Division
  • 2013 – The late Honorable George “Woody” Clarke
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