SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby has died of COVID-19 complications. She was 46.
Ernby, who specialized in environmental and consumer law, joined the Orange County District Attorney's Office in 2011. District Attorney Todd Spitzer described her as "an incredibly vibrant and passionate attorney."
"Her enthusiasm was contagious and she invested every ounce of her enthusiasm into her work safeguarding Orange County as part of our Environmental Protection team," Spitzer said on Twitter.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner also expressed sadness at her "sudden passing."
"Kelly was an outstanding public servant and an even better person," he said on Twitter.
Ernby had been a vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions during the pandemic. It was unclear if she was vaccinated herself.
"I don't know, quite frankly, whether she was vaccinated herself. Quite frankly, it's none of my business," Spitzer said. "But I can just tell you this -- some of the comments and dialogue on my county web page have been just cruel."
Ernby was planning on running again for the California State Assembly after a failed attempt in 2020. She had been expected to announce her candidacy in the June primary this week for the 74th Assembly District.
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