Dawn Rowe was selected to fill the empty San Bernardino County Third District seat after then Supervisor James Ramos was elected to the State Assembly 40th District in November 2018. The appointment process was recently deemed to be a violation of the Brown Act according to the ruling handed down by San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Janet Frangie. In her ruling the appointment of Rowe as Supervisor needs to be vacated and that Governor Newsom be the person allowed to make an appointment.
The process to fill an empty seat for the County Supervisors is an appointment by the sitting Supervisors. The process they chose was to take applications and then narrow the applicant pool by voting on each of the 48 qualified candidates prior to interviews, over a weekend and not during a public meeting. The petitioner, Inland Empire United, stated the Supervisors violated the Brown Act by method of an unacceptable serial meeting. As stated on the I.E. United website, “This petition was never about the candidate selected to the seat; it was about protecting public transparency and accountability of our elected officials.” The county has appealed the Judge’s decision and so for now nothing changes and Supervisor Dawn Rowe remains in office awaiting a decision from a higher court.