[b]John Sterling, Art Montandon move on[/b] The rest of the story Catch up with five years’ worth of news BY SUN STAFF [b]Date: 03/31/2005[/b] The last time the Sun sat down with either former Santa Maria City Attorney Art Montandon or former Santa Maria Police Chief John Sterling, we had a tangled web on our hands. Suffice it to say that this web spanned two cities between 1996 and early 2004 and involved a purported videotape, a massage parlor, the District Attorney, alleged bribes, and other conspiracy theories. (To read the whole story, which ran on Jan. 29, 2004, visit www.santamariasun.com.) Santa Maria has picked up the pieces after both Sterling and Montandon retired from their positions-Sterling in mid 2003 and Montandon in late 2004. Both Montandon and Sterling have also picked up and moved on-though not too far away. Art Montandon Just before Montandon left Santa Maria to work full-time in Cambria, he filed a claim against the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office. He alleged, among other things, that DA officials were intent on marring his reputation and injuring him personally. The claim stemmed from a 2003 DA investigation into Montandon’s alleged involvement in a case being prosecuted by the DA’s office. In July 2004, the county received Montandon’s claim, subsequently denied it, and put the ball back into Montandon’s court. Montandon then dropped the matter. “I chose not to pursue it at the time. I didn’t want to add that much aggravation in my life,” Montandon recently told the Sun. “I had no desire to get any money from the county. My goal in life is to make it more fulfilling and productive, and that just didn’t seem like a productive thing to do.” Montandon said the DA’s office had also filed a complaint against him with the state Bar Association, but the association exonerated him. The attorney is currently the full-time legal counsel for the Cambria Community Services District, a position he held part time for three years while he was Santa Maria’s city attorney. Though he said he misses his friends in Santa Maria, Montandon said he’s happy to meet one of his goals: to spend more time with his family and to take care of his ailing wife. “My commute is two miles each way rather than 60 miles,” Montandon said. “I have more time with the kids and my wife. We work on making her healthier every day.” Source: http://www.santamariasun.com/index.php?p=showarticle&id=356

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