SLO tries to parlay its legal losses to CAPSLO

January 23, 2013
John Ashbaugh

John Ashbaugh

The San Luis Obispo City Council is threatening that if the two attorneys who sued for unconstitutional treatment of the homeless do not agree to donate half of the $133,880 award of fees to the San Luis Obispo Community Action Partnership (CAPSLO), the city will appeal the award.

The council voted 4-1 in closed session Tuesday not to appeal San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall’s ruling on the legal fees and to instead offer the amount in full to attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins as as long as they agree to then hand half over to CAPSLO.

Councilman John Ashbaugh, who sits on the CAPSLO Board of Directors, voted in favor of making the deal to help enrich the controversial non-profit. Ashbaugh said he did not hold a conflict of interest on the matter.

“I’m not an employee of CAPSLO,” Ashbaugh said. “In no way am I compensated by them.”

Ashbaugh also said city staff told him he could vote on the payment request.

On the September 27 Dave Congalton show, Ashbaugh said the city would fight against paying the fees requested by Rizzo and Jenkins. Ashbaugh also said he trusts City Attorney Christine Dietrick’s legal advice and that, “She is amazing.”

Mayor Jan Marx, who is the only attorney on the council, cast the dissenting vote against requesting that Rizzo and Jenkins give half of the $133,880 to CAPSLO.

Dietrick announced the vote during her report on closed session at Tuesday’s council meeting. The council did not need to disclose how it voted in closed session, but Dietrick said the council chose to do so on the matter of the legal fees.

If Rizzo and Jenkins reject the offer, the city can still appeal the fees. Doing so would risk costing taxpayers more money since Rizzo and Jenkins could ask for more in fees if the appellate court upholds the trial court’s ruling.

Jenkins said Dietrick has yet to contact him on how the city plans to proceed with the ruling on the fees.

 


  1. msminiver says:

    How about this as a compromise Councilman Ashbaugh, since you and the other inept leaders led us down this path to a legal cliff why don’t you, the other council members, Litchig and Dietrick pay the tab and reimburse the residents (i.e. City funds) the cool $500,000 you have ineptly wasted?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  2. R.Hodin says:

    Is an ego-massage considered compensation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  3. NCT says:

    Why don’t we float this solution?

    If the attorneys for the city of SLO will donate their fees, then
    perhaps the attorneys representing the homeless will do likewise.

    What??

    You mean it works only one-way?

    SLO-City seemed to think it was a great idea for the homeless attorneys to donate their fees
    but for they seem to feel that the same idea for them to donate theirs really stinks !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2

  4. obispan says:

    I congratulate the city for trying to make a point. Like Molski’s lawyers, they’re in it for the money. Molski-style awards are now limited to remediating the complaint, not enriching the plaintiffs and their lawyers. More likely Rizzo will use his cut for more freeway billboards, typical advertising for your local, respected, community-minded solicitor. This lawsuit was not even for social services for these people, but for the right for them to refuse social services, remain addicted, and s**t in the creek.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 26

  5. justchuck says:

    How about the city council members donate 1/2 their salary to homeless causes?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 7

  6. Mr. Holly says:

    Ashbaugh’s head is getting larger everyday. Unfortunately the brain matter is not keeping up with the size of the empty cavity.
    It’s pretty simple-play the game pay the price, As Kelly Gearhart would say “man up”.
    The best of Ashbaugh is yet to come. Along with Marx’s the two of them should take the heat off of any other government agency with the exception of the 2 baffoons on the Bopard of Supervisors, Hill & Gibson.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 4

  7. SanSimeonSam says:

    This wimp Ashbaugh just doesnt read the writing on the plastic bag. His hero Adam Hill is washed up. He just lost another power bid by losing the APCD chairmanship. He and that other little bearded Napoleon moral midget Gibson have finally exposed so much comtempt for the citizenry and so much personal perversion that even the most apathetic of our residents have awaken. Soooo why is Ashbaugh blatently stealing taxpayer money and giving it to fund Adam Hills Mistress. Remember that Dee Torres is a paid director at CAPSLO so this is a clear payoff to Hill. Maybe Ashbaugh has an upcoming scandal and needs a place of employment for an administrative assistant or maybe he owes Gibson a favor and wants to create an opening for a very qualified person at CAPSLO…if only they had the funds….never fear….the taxpayers will be happy to fund this via a payout to the lawyers…of course if the lawyers won’t cooperate the city won’t pay them and will go to court. BUT THE CITY WILL FIND A WAY TO GET THE MONEY TO ADAM HILL’S PAID PAL….I MEAN SHE, LIKE CHERIE , IS THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB AND WE MUST KEEP HER FINANCIALLY SECURE OR WE TAXPAYERS WILL FACE THE CONSEQUENCES…..REMEMBER GAIL WILCOX….SAME DEAL THERE

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 5

    • Downtown Bob says:

      Was the picture of Ashbaugh from when he was an Grade school teacher? Looks like a school picture for sure.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Citizen says:

    Mr. Ashbaugh lives in his own world:

    First he wants to surveil the homeless with video cameras, then he wants to require these “homeless advocate” attorneys to donate half of their award to CAPSLO, a non-profit group where he sits on the board. Either he is extremely naive about legal rights, or he’s loosing touch with reality.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 2

  9. abigchocoholic says:

    The San Luis Obispo City Council is threatening
    —————–
    All bark and no bite.

    Who cares what a small group of non-lawyers think about a legal ruling? They have zero expertise on what they are jammering about. Zero.

    Unless I hear expert opinion–from experienced appellate attorneys on the issue, all I’m hearing is that the city council is going to double or triple the award because that’s what will happen if it goes up to the court of appeal and gets affirmed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3