Mayoral candidate facing criminal charges

October 26, 2012

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE

A longtime Paso Robles business owner making a write-in bid for mayor has an extensive criminal history, was arrested five times in September alone, and faces felony charges for making terrorist threats while brandishing a firearm against a neighbor.

Jeffrey Rougeot’s rap sheet includes at least 10 misdemeanors and the felony, and stretches back to the late 1980s. It includes charges of knowingly purchasing stolen property for resale and several uncontested charges of driving under the influence.

Rougeot, 45, owner of a car stereo business, entered the mayor’s race Sept. 23. He was encouraged to do so, he told some attendees at a recent candidate’s forum, by “a lot of important people” in Paso Robles. The first person to sign Rougeot’s nomination papers to submit to city officials was Jim Reed, a council candidate.

Rougeot showed up apparently under the influence at the Oct. 17 forum in the Grand Ball Room at Paso Robles Inn, sponsored by CPRN2012, answering questions haltingly, and walking in and out of the auditorium on numerous occasions. He also snapped at audience members who laughed during his time at the microphone. (See the video.)

Local media has ignored Rougeot’s actions, even though reporters from both KPRL and The Tribune witnessed Rougeot’s meltdown at the forum.

His deportment in front of an audience of 75 at the forum was explained over the next two days by personalities at Paso Robles’s KPRL radio as the result of “a cold.” And in a recent article days after the forum, The Tribune blandly noted Rougeot was “running to help local youth.”

In fact,  Rougeot has been barred by court order from having any contact with his ex-wife and their two children, even through a third party, because of a domestic violence restraining order. The court has also ordered him not to molest, strike, threaten or come within a 100 yards of a puppy called “Baby.”

Efforts to contact Rougeot for comment were unsuccessful.

Paso Robles police officers have been arresting Rougeot regularly.

On Sept. 22, Micah Warnke, a neighbor of Rougeot, called 911 to report the mayoral candidate was threatening to shoot and kill him with a 9mm handgun. Police arrived to find Rougeot had fled the scene.

Jeff Rougeot

Warnke told police Rougeot arrived at his house, started banging on his front door while screaming sexual insults and “I am going to kill you,” according to a police report.

A woman who lives across the street from Rougeot came home with two teenage girls shortly before the alleged incident. She told police Rougeot appeared drunk, was yelling about not liking Warnke, and that “he was going to go across the street and do something,” the report says.

The unidentified woman told officers she saw Rougeot pull something out of his waist band and raise his arm, but because it was dark, she was unsure what he was holding. The woman related that she quickly herded her teens into the home “because of the way Rougeot was acting,” the report says.

In that same report, the officer cites other alleged instances of Rougeot threatening his neighbor while wielding a gun.

A week before that incident, on Sept. 15, police received a call that a man was slumped over the central console of a vehicle with its engine running and it headlights on in the 400 block of Creston Road. Officers arrived, turned the engine off, and attempted to waken the driver, Rougeot.

“I shook Rougeot numerous times and pulled on his shirt but he continued to sleep,” the reporting officer wrote. “After numerous attempts to wake Rougeot, we finally were able to do so.”

Rougeot told police he was on his way home and that he was tired and had not been sleeping well. Officers attempted to give Rougeot a field sobriety test, but stopped because “he could not keep up with his body.”

“My supervisor and I had to catch Rougeot prior to him tripping over the curb and falling on the ground,” officer Lance O’Brien said in his report. “During a pat-down search incident to arrest, I also noticed Rougeot had urinated on himself while sitting inside the vehicle asleep.”

Rougeot’s blood alcohol was .221 percent, according to the police report.

During September, police arrested Rougeot three times for allegedly violating the restraining order. In one of the instances, Rougeot’s ex-wife called police to report that he was repeatedly telephoning her. An officer arrived, answered a subsequent call, and asked Rougeot to stop calling while informing him that he was violating the restraining order.

“Jeffrey Rougeot then said ‘fuck you’ and hung up,” the report says.

A copy of the Aug. 28 restraining order obtained by CalCoastNews emphasizes that Rougeot cannot own or possess any guns, firearms or ammunition. The court also ordered him to sell his guns within 24 hours of being served, and to bring proof of the sale to the court within 48 hours. The court order warns Rougeot that failure to do so could result in jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Nevertheless, a Paso Robles Police Department records check revealed that on Sept. 22, Rougeot still had two guns registered in his name, one of which is a 9mm handgun.


69 Comments

  1. abby62 says:

    In my honest opinion this man needs to surrender to the fact that his life is out of control and no amount of alcohol or other substance is going to help him with his issues. It is not just character defects that are guiding him down the path of causing unnecessary problems to himself and his family. I met Jeff many years ago and he was a kind and enjoyable person to be around who seemed to have alot going for him. Alcholism is a progressive disease that gives you the illusion that you have control of your life but in reality it is quite the opposite. There are many people including myself who have been in the same situation and have used programs and the help of others to get their life back on track. I hope Jeff has a moment of clarity seeks the help he needs before it is too late.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Chandon says:

    Jeff was arrested today at his son’s football game. He was wearing an Uncle Sam costume, standing out ostentatiously amongst the coaches and players. He drew attention to himself to the hilt in a place he is court ordered by at least two restraining orders to stay away. Arrested once again and released in only a few hours. How is that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • buddykona says:

      He was at the football game, but not with the coaches and player on his son’s team. He was on the opposite side of the field unbeknownst to most of the coaches and players of his son’s team, hopefully.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      • Chandon says:

        Buddykona, don’t underestimate the players, coaches, and especially his son, you really think he wouldn’t recognize his own dad? Why do you think the police were called if he was unnoticed? And why would he be arrested if not doing something he shouldn’t? Halloween was last week. Uncle Sam was just a little hard to miss.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        • lifeisgood says:

          Chandon…. no I think it’s you who missed Buddykona’s point! The point was that if you are going to post something….get it correct…. Jeff was NOT standing with his son’s coaches or
          players.. he was standing on the other side of the field away from the players and coaches on both teams! THAT’S the only point that was trying to be said…. the post wasn’t
          defending his actions — just trying to get the correct info out there so those of you who want
          to do somemore bashing have the correct facts!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          • Chandon says:

            Does my post say he was standing with his son’s team? No. Are his restraining orders (both the criminal and family court, yes.. two different orders) instructions for him to stay 100 yards from his kids and ex-wife? Yes. Are the field sidelines 100 yards away from the field and stands? No.
            Enough said.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          • Chandon says:

            Does my post say he was standing with his son’s team? Read carefully… NO. Are his restraining orders (both the criminal and family court, yes.. two different orders) instructions for him to stay 100 yards from his kids and ex-wife? Yes. Are the field sidelines 100 yards away from the field and stands? No.
            Enough said.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • letsbhonest says:

        Buddykona what difference does it make what side he was on? He’s an ass period!!!!!! His poor
        Son one can only imagine the embarrassment he is to his own son!!!! A very dysfunctional
        Alcoholic he needs serious help!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        • buddykona says:

          The point was….the coaches of his son’s team were not aware. The original post made it sound like he was standing next to his son’s team. That post made it sound like the coaches of the Paso team allowed him to stand there. He would have been removed if he had been on that side of the field immediately.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

          • Chandon says:

            Buddykona, I do believe you have missed the point entirely. Jeff Rougeot has a domestic violence and a criminal restraining order against him to keep him at a distance of 100 yards from his ex-wife and children.There are reasons those have been placed for their protection. He has been arrested on multiple occasions disregarding the judge’s orders. He was in violation. In a ridiculously loud costume. How are you making justifications? Have you bothered to read the other 50 comments about thus article? Many people fear this to be a situation that is going to have a bad ending. I did not see one post that vouched for Mr. Rougeot’s credibility, rather many accounts of less than pleasant experiences with him…or him being the butt of a joke.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

            • buddykona says:

              No Chandon, I get the whole point and know the situation. I am not sure how the post could be misunderstood. the ONLY point I was making is he was not standing with the PR coaches who would of removed him. This post was not to defend Rougeot’s actions in any way, shape or form, Get a grip.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

              • Chandon says:

                Your point is moot. He was not following his orders of restraint. And that is
                definitely NOT the coaches’ responsibility to remove him. It is a criminal matter, he made the choice to disregard the restraining order, and as a consequence, was arrested. Just like all the other crimes that ended in a free ride to the county lock up.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

            • MaryMalone says:

              I agree, Chandon. Folks like “Buddykona” aren’t helping the situation by enabling Rougeot’s behavior.

              The big issue with Rougeot is that he does not seem to be able to identify and restrict himself from violating boundaries. Whether we are talking about the kind of “boundaries” normal people would respect at a candidate’s forum, or the numerous restraining orders placed on Rougeot’s behvior.

              If Rougeot is violating restraining orders, then the police had better do a little more than pouring him coffee at the jailhouse until his son’s game is over.

              SOMEONE has to communicate to Rougeot that he really is not that danged special, and that he has to behave in ways appropriate for the situation, or he will suffer the consequences.

              Making excuses for him is doing nothing but harming Rougeot and his family.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

              • Chandon says:

                Thank you, MaryMalone, for your voice of reason. The general public understands that the laws apply to them as well as everyone else around them. It’s sad that Rougeot has gone from being a respected, liked, responsible father to just a shell of the man he used to be. He worked hard his whole life to lose everything and end up in jail. Considering all his alcohol; related offenses and that with the gun, we are all safer for it..

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • slowtime says:

      I noticed his business wide open today, no customers, but open. Is he in custody? He should be. He is a menace. A walking time bomb.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. Booty JuJu says:

    Yes it’s shocking that a violent, psychotic drunkard is connected to north county city politics/government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • NorthCountyGuy says:

      A whole gang of violent criminals has political connections with the City of Paso Robles and its corrupt police dept. Any citizen who isn’t a member of the organized crime clique of Paso Robles is hosed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. letsbhonest says:

    Is this clown serious? Running for mayor of Paso Robles?
    Lord help us all! With his rap sheet how could this clown possibly
    Be of a good role model to the city? I’ll be voting for Mickey Mouse
    Before I would vote for this side show!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  5. diamond says:

    This is going to end very badly. Putting himself in the public eye will only inflame his personal problems. I fear we will soon be reading tragic headlines about Mr Rougeot and hope no one else is swept up in his downward spiral.This man is unhinged.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

    • Chandon says:

      Thank you for making this point. This is a sad and scary situation for his family and children. I hope that people can respect what a devastating situation it is for them and be respectful of that. As amusing as this is for many, this is a real family in crisis. It is important that his problem is recognized, as he has been an upstanding, responsible family man for many years until recently. It is unbelievable that he is not in jail, but I’m sure his time will run out, hopefully before someone gets hurt. He is still on the roads, beware!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    • MaryMalone says:

      I agree, diamond. The Paso Robles Police Department appears to need some education in dealing with perps of domestic violence.

      According to the U.S. Department of Justice Report, “Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges,” for the abuser to have a gun available greatly increases the likelihood of the abuser killing his partner. Yet someone indicated Rougeot was allowed to have possession of his firearms even after a restraining order had been placed. This document (url is below) is directed towards law officers and judges, and gives logical recommendations for addressing instances of domestic abuse.

      Rougeot breaking a restraining order(s) multiple times, with the last instance only ending up with him being detained at the police station for a couple of hours, is sending the WRONG kind of message to someone like Rougeot who clearly believes he is above the law.

      http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/225722.pdf

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • NorthCountyGuy says:

        At least one member of the Paso Robles Police Dept is suspected of committing domestic violence against his own wife. One particular member of the PRPD gets a power charge out of abusing Senior Citizens with threats of deadly force. This particular member of the PRPD also gets a power charge out of denying emergency medical aid to the injured victims of his secret Ol’Boy Clique.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Citizen says:

    I had never planned to vote for Jeff, and after the forum knew that I would not vote for someone who would come to a forum drunk, but never knew the extent of his problem until this article was published. He is certainly someone who needs an intervention now before he hurts himself or others.

    This reminds me of the illegal immigrant convicted felon on the run from the law who got a business license from Paso and opened a store in plain sight off of 24th street.

    Do we have any requirements for candidates running for mayor or city council? C’mon, are we really the hick town we seem to be. What about things like resident of the city, citizen of the US, not a convicted felon, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

    • Kevin Rice says:

      The requirements for running for office are minimal by design and entrusts voters to see through bad candidates. Being a resident is about it. Adding more requirements is a bad idea as it tempts those in power to set requirements that favor keeping power.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  7. The Gimlet Eye says:

    You can’t blame this man for wanting to get into government. Actually, it’s pretty smart of him. For the smartest criminals, government is the best water hole to put your fishin’ rod in by far.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 12

    • MaryMalone says:

      I think Rougeot seems to already have the police department and its chief in his hip pocket. Since PR politics, to date, have been based on cronyism, Rougeot would be well suited to hang with Picanco and his pals.

      Fortunately, the voters of Paso Robles have sent a clear message to the City Council and City management of Paso Robles: cronyism as a city’s #1 management and decision-making tool is now considered to be out of style….and, by the way, so are you. Buh-Bye!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • NorthCountyGuy says:

      Why work for a living when one can be a thief robbing the taxpayers at the point of a government gun. The Organized Crime Thugs of the Public Sector Unions are getting a free ride with totally free retirements and totally free health insurance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. paul72852002 says:

    If you really want to send a message up the government ladder, elect this bum. Let the council deal with his crap several times a month and they’ll be too involved in his drama to rob you blind.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 29 Thumb down 18

    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      What makes you think that the council is any better?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

  9. R.Hodin says:

    Florida is so very backward. There they ban felons from voting. Here we run them as Mayoral candidates.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 5

Comments are closed.