Vendor lawyer Hall helps county official buy house

June 2, 2008

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE

A top county official’s Arroyo Grande home was jointly purchased by her and the family trusts of local lawyer Clay Hall, whose firm receives hundreds of thousands of dollars annually as the vendor responsible for the majority of San Luis Obispo County’s outside legal work.

Gail Wilcox, assistant county administrator, owns one-half undivided interest in the house on Blackberry Avenue, according to county property documents. She took a $417,000 mortgage in April 2007 to purchase her fifty percent share of the residence. Clay Hall, his wife Kristy A. Hall, and several of their family trusts own the other half. The total purchase price, according to records, was $580,000.

Wilcox acknowledged the arrangement Monday.

“This is outside of work,” she said, adding that she perceives no conflict of interest. She said she has no direct authority over payments made by the county to Hall’s law firm, Hall, Hieatt & Connely of San Luis Obispo.

Hall also denied a conflict, describing the Wilcox property deal as “making financial sense for my family.”

Hall’s firm has provided no-bid legal work for the county for more than two decades. The county presently has about 32 legal cases placed with outside, private law firms; Hall is handling three-fourths of those, said County Counsel spokesperson Warren Jenson.

A month before the Blackberry Avenue deed was granted, Wilcox’s boss, County Administrator David Edge, put a proposal before supervisors purporting to “review and update” the county’s conflict of interest codes. The resolution, placed on the supervisors’ consent calendar and approved without dissent on March 20, 2007, also contains language specifically exempting Wilcox’s residence from the conflict regulations. The exemption appears to circumvent California law governing public officials’ conduct and defining conflicts of interest.

San Luis Obispo County officials have adopted a conflict of interest code patterned after the state Government Code. Both require financial disclosures by elected and appointed county officials and specific employees. The state code prohibits any county employee from benefitting from any contract approved by his or her department.

County Administrator David Edge said Monday that he doesn’t see a conflict of interest in the Wilcox-Hall arrangement.

“I think it is not a problem. She [Wilcox] is not involved… Deb [Hossli, county human resources director] is in charge and she reports to me,” said Edge.

Hossli, who promised to provide financial and contract information for reporters early Monday regarding county payments to Hall’s law firm, was instead “in meetings” and unavailable by publication time.

Wilcox, who takes down more than $200,000 a year in salary and benefits, said Monday she is no longer the county’s chief budget officer. Other county officials, however, told UncoveredSLO.com Monday that they currently believe she still is.

Edge suggested “it was probably County Counsel” that made the initial proposal for the conflict of interest resolution changes.

Wilcox received the grant deed to her new house on May 23, 2007. On that document, she is listed as “a married woman.” She was separated from David Wilcox around the time of purchase of her Blackberry Avenue house. The neatly-groomed, single-story, 1,600-square-foot residence has three bedrooms and two baths and is located in an area of homes with a value range of $550,000 to $750,000.

Wilcox’s required statement of economic interests, filed late with the county in April, lists no reportable assets for calendar year 2007. She received a stern letter threatening sanctions from county clerk-recorder Julie Rodewald for missing the filing deadline.

SLO County employees started work on revisions for the conflict of interest code in February 2007. The result was a “resolution updating the conflict of interest code for the county administrative office to reflect two title changes due to classification changes.” In Edge’s subsequent discussion with supervisors, he said the “administrative office has made changes to their conflict of interest code. The board of supervisors is responsible for approving conflict of interest codes for county departments… and therefore [it is] necessary to approve department’s designated position list.”

According to Edge, the conflict code revision also was necessary to accommodate a change in Wilcox’s title, from “Deputy County Administrator” to “Assistant County Administrator.” Along with that change was a less conspicuous alteration; newly adopted requirements for Wilcox’s conflict reporting now specifically exclude this particular provision:

“Investments in, and income from, any business entity doing business with the County and engaged in (a) the acquisition, sale or lease or development of real property; (b) provision of insurance brokerage or consulting services; or (c) provision of consulting services of the type which have, in the past two years, or which with reasonable foreseeability, may be utilized in the next one-year period by the filer’s particular division within the Department.”

When asked if the new resolution’s wording might refer specifically to her own residence, Wilcox said, “I’m not aware of that.”

Wilcox said, “I don’t think this is a conflict of interest because I don’t have any authority over Clay. I don’t deal directly with Clay Hall contracts. Deb Hossli deals with them, she signs off on Clay’s bills. I’m not involved in securing his services. That goes through Deb (Hossli) and David (Edge).”

Wilcox was asked if she thought her financial arrangement with Hall posed a potential conflict of interest.

“Nope,” she said. “I even checked it out with my boss before I did the deal. He said there was no conflict.”

She said she couldn’t recall if that particular exchange was verbal or written.

When asked if he perceived a conflict of interest, Hall replied that the house on Blackberry Avenue “is my wife’s investment. She wanted to get into the real estate investment market. The house was purchased jointly. She has half.” Hall then added, “And [Wilcox] pays rent. But she has half, too.” Hall offered no explanation regarding the rental agreement.

Edge said the Hall firm was picked by the county in “a decision of risk management years ago.” Edge said he did not know if “a specific contract” with Clay exists. County officials have been unable to locate such a contract. A Ventura County claims administrator, Carl Warren and Co., receives county disbursements to pay Hall’s firm. That contract also was unavailable.

Jenson said Hall’s law firm “has been doing the bulk of the [county’s outside] work, and they’re good at it.”

Jenson added, “I don’t think competitive bidding works well in professional services.” And he said Hall’s firm “is the only experienced law firm specializing in this type of work.”

Asked why his firm gets so much work from the county, Hall said, “We’ve been doing cases on and off since the early 1980s. We are the only pure defense firm in the county. The others do plaintiff work; you get conflicts when you do both.”

Tags:, conflict, county officials, San Luis Obispo County


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Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Possibility 3. Regardless of *good friends* and all that they still broke the law. They should have known better and Gail earms 200K a year so why would she need her friends to go *halfsies* on a house unless she is a blooming financial flake who is managing the county budget. Grow up, stop with the niavety, give us all a break and loose the sarcasum with the tin foil hat crap.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

What "tragic thing" happened in Gail's life? SHE WALKED OUT ON HER HUSBAND AND TWO CHILDREN. Any tragedy she suffered, she caused.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Possibility #1: Gail, Clay and Clay's wife are long-time friends and business associates. Something tragic happens in Gail's personal life and, as good friends sometimes do, Clay and his wife help her out by agreeing to go "halfsies" on a house. Maybe not the best investment, as it turns out, because of the timing, but–hey–this wasn't really about investments, it's about friendship. Add in the fact that County Counsel is the one that reviews conflicts, and that the Board of Supervisors approves contracts, and Gail's on the periphery of that legal loop. From the outside, okay, it looks worth questioning, but there are your answers.


Possibility #2: Oooooo! Gail left her husband for Clay and he's sneaking around behind his WIFE'S BACK and he bought a house for his new g/f Gail!! And *giggle giggle* you know what HIS return on the investment is, don't you??? WINK WINK and the whole gubmint is CORRUPT and vote for MY GUY not THEIR GUY and….


Oh, c'mon. Grow up, and get real. You're all acting like retarded schoolgirls, giggling over who kissed Johnny went the lights went out. Take off your little tinfoil hats and show some maturity.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Is Wilcox at work today? Any body seen her or is she hiding from the public. I want to see some records. Like Halls invoices.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Engaging in sexual misconduct. Is there any proff of that? It doesn't sound like it's common knowledge. Very few bloggers have mentioned that they knew that sexual antics were a part of all this.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Please consider this insider info:


An INVESTIGATION should be immediately undertaken by the BOARD of SUPERVISORS and the GRAND JURY in order to determine if Mr. Hall has VIOLATED the State Bar California Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, affecting his continued retention in his $1,ooo,ooo.oo no-bid contract with the County.:


1. Wrongfully enetring into a business transaction with a client [rule3-300]


and,


2. Wrongfully engaging in sexual relations with a client [rule 3-120]

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Take a look at the deed and Clayton Hall is there. It was he who said that it was his wife's investment. As an attorney he should know better than to make that statement. As an attorney he certainly knows what community property is. This could be the first shovel into the hole that is going to bury these 2 along with Edge.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Why is everyone so upset about Wilcox. Her boss Edge told her it was OK. I wonder what he has been getting out of all this? Just look, I bet you'll find it.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

With all of the problems that Atascadero is having with their city attorney, city manager and the brawling city council maybe Wilcox and Hall would fit right in at Atascadero.

All of there problems just seem to get swept under the carpet and business goes on as usual.

An E ticket to bankruptcy.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

It strikes me rather funny to think about the possibility (as implied earlier) that Hall and Wicox might be making each other extra extra cozy. Come on, Wilcox is living in a home that belongs to 1/2 Hall's wife. Now thats a good one. On the other hand Hall and Wilcox have already engaged in careless behavior. Whatever they are thinking it isn't very smart.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Just a note;


The Feds are looking into the DA's lack of interest in the EFI and Hurst case, so this issue is something they will uncover.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

This is not whether Hall wins or loses his cases or how much he saves the county. It's about how much he is awarding county staff in order to maintain his no-bid arrangement with the county. It's called graft or corruption whichever word is the easiest for you to understand. Irregardless of the record this is a reckless way of doing business which can and uusually does lead to abuse, such as we are seeing here.

The expense account would be very interesting. Also it would be very very interesting to see his time cards for the work performed. Like most attorney's I'm sure you would see some double dipping.

Changes need to occur and they need to happen real quick.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Concerning this question of "conflict of interest". I can understand that Gail might not have known better but what does this say about Clay? As an attorney he certainly should have known what the ramifications were. I can only assume that he didn't care or thought no one would find out.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Who the hell do you think that your kidding, US? Sorry Spot but there are ethics rules and laws in place for a reason. It looks like some have not only been skirted but mis-represented.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Hall doesn't "win" most cases. He settles cases after he charges absorbent fees and files all sorts of motions and drags them out. After he makes enough money he does was he should have done in the first place. He settles it. The tax payers end up paying two to five times the amount that they should/would have.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Well. I guess Goldwater told us! Dan Blackburn will be on Dave Congalton's 920KVEC talk radio show Wednesday during drive time @ 5 p.m. to talk about this little deal and a whole lot more.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

It's always amusing when people — Edge and Wilcox in this case — flatly deny the potential for conflict of interest simply because there's no apparent direct conflict. Such denials would have more credibility if they could acknowledge at least the appearance of a conflict and address it honestly, instead of pretending that it doesn't look bad.


People in government have to meet a very high standard to avoid understandable suspicion, especially in a case like this involving the awarding of contracts and significant amounts of money, and that standard goes beyond the letter of the rules about conflicts.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

So Wilcox and Hall decide to practice a little capitalism and invest their own money in a house hoping to make a profit. BFD!

Hall and Hiett have been doing legal work for the county for 20 years; and it wasn't Gail Wilcox or David Edge that signed their first contract with the county.

They continue to represent the county because they are a competant firm that wins far more cases for the county than they lose. This means that we pay out less tax payer money to people looking for a free ride on the county. That is money that goes instead to programs at drug and alcohol services, the parks department, the road department, etc.

The people criticizing Wilcox and Hall sound like a bunch of whiners who would rather sit on their ass and wait for a handout instead of working for something.

As for Wilcox's salary, what do you think executives are paid in both government and the private sector? How much does Warren Baker, the President of Cal Poly make? I don't hear any of you lambasting him and the investments he makes with his money. Probably because he is an "educator" and they are above criticism…

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Thank you Whistleblower. You are a true patriot! This stinks so badly. Somebody needs to call the F.B.I. or report this to the local Grand Jury.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Please consider this insider info:


1. The County pays Hall more than $1,ooo,ooo.oo PER YEAR for legal defense.[Multiply that by 20 years of service?]


2. Hall has NOT taken a County defense case to trial in over 10 years.


3. Instead, Hall SETTLES the claims, paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars to claimants.


4. Check out Hall's EXPENSE VOUCHERS to see him spending taxpayer funds on wining and dining Wilcox and Hosli.


5. Hall can be seen regularly on his KID's baseball field well before 4:00 pm. during his "work" week.


6. This type of easy money has enabled Hall to open ANOTHER OFFICE in Santa Barbara.


Does that explain WHY he would buy his boss a house?

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

New addition to the Webster's new world dictionary:

fbleg=nimby

It it was not for growth most of us would not be able to live here. You should consider others and just yours, Patterson, Gibson & Adam's personal agenda.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Please delete comments that are off topic — these allegations are far too serious to ignore. County employees need to be posting what they know about Edge and Wilcox.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I'll stay on topic and applaud Karen and Daniel for getting us this story. I hope there will be follow-ups because this sure stinks bad.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Patterson has been there 4 years, Patterson 2 years.


Name one thing they have done to stop this corruption.


Did they rubber stamp the conflict of interest policy


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Newsome, get a clue. On the viewshed ordinance: The original staff recommendation from county staff protected land that included land owned by Gibson. The "Protect our property rights" fringe group had an alternate proposal that protected many fewer acres of viewshed- not including Gibson's property. When the vote was up for the staff recommendation for adoption, Gibson recused himself because it directly affected his property. Our three "turn SLO county into Orange County" supervisors, Lenthall, Ovitt & Achadjian, voted not to adopt the staff recommendation. Then they took up the POPR proposal, which did not affect Gibson's property. Thus, Gibson, had no conflict of interest, and voted against this gutted ordinance with Patterson which passed 3-2 with the help of the "SLO will be Orange county" crowd. That's the facts on this.


If you want SLO county to look like Orange county vote today for Lenthall.


If you don't want to repeat the mistakes that Orange county has made with regards to sprawled growth, traffic congestion, and toll roads, vote Hill.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Gibson and Patterson are the first dope smoking SLO supervisors ever and if Hill wins there will pot shops on every street corner.

Go Adam!

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

BEWARE OF INSIDER. He/she slimes every blog. We have learned not to respond to him (unless you agree). He will not stop otherwise. He is obsessive and always tries to turn the topic on the blogs to Wal-Mart or hating Brennler. He occassionally cahnges names but you will learn to spot him.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Don't be fooled. Gibson & Patterson have their network of Good Ole New Boys that have their own special agenda. Nothing new here they are all the same with the exception that the New Ole Boys want to take your rights away.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Can these Comments be correct? Wilcox has been seen out on "dates" with Hall???? Is this why she walked out on her children and husband???? We need some answers. Fast!

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Cindy Sasur: Wasn't Gibson conflicted out of the viewshed debacle early on? Then didn't he end up voting on the issue in the end? I am not sure that story has fully played out yet.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I'm just amazed that anyone thinks that politicians will solve this problem! One way out: from UncoveredSLO.com-to-Attorney General-to jailer.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Change the Board majority today, Elect Hill, re-elect Patterson, and we will rid our county of this criminal behavior!!!!!

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Gibson is a nightmare just in it to take his niegbors property rights at ever turn. As to Patterson Ditto.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I's say Edge, Hall and Wilcox have to go.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Patterson & Gibson are both honest and stay away from the "Good Ole Boy" clans. They have never had a conflict of interest. They are the peoples, people.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

The Edge administration is crooked and demoralizing. Wilcox became Edge's attack dog, and now we see that she's been lining her own well tailored pockets. I hope we see a new Board that will clean house of this corruption. Bye Bye to all the good old boys (and girls).


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

This is beginning to sound like a Clinton-Lewinsky affair.I wonder if Hall has a large desk and smokes cigars, And you want the liberals Gibson and Patterson to clean this up?

If she loses her job and the lawyer loses his no bid arrangement with the county they can apply to Gibson &

Patterson and apply and receive the first approval for a marijuana distribution center to supplement their 'income."

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I've heard that there have been some "irregularities" in the county's pension plan. Supposedly the DA's office is looking into this. Does Wilcox and Edge have anything to do with the pension plan? Does this Hall character give advise on the pension plan? This entire issue could be a bombshell within the county governemnt.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Wilcox & Hall have been seen out on "dates" recently!

They are descreet but this is a very small area to try and hide in.

Someone is going to lose a job on this deal…or a "no bid" contract with the county.

This stinks to high heaven!

Hite a private investigator and get to bottom of this fast!

Wlicox has been slinking around since this came out!

Dig deeper! Let's end this crap now!

And folks wonder why few trust government!

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

WOW, We are new to this site. There sure is a tremendous amount of excellent reporting going on here. I haven't had a chance to read the blogs yet but the stories are very informative. I'm glad to know there is someone like Carol and Dan around doing this. Thanks, I'll tell my friends and so will Arlene.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I agree that there is a lot more to root out. This trully is only the tip of the ice berg. I work for the county and some of us have talked about questionable activities in the past. I'll ask some of my co-workers to come and read this. It seems that salaries, perks and deals come before the best public interest with some of our officials. I'm a county employee but I'm a tax payer and citizen first, so are my children.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I don't know much but I do know that the firm Hall, Hieatt & Connelly are paid on a by case basis and they charge hourly fees. Some cases have cost the county in excess 250K in fees. I also know that there is has been no obvious change in her job duties or her salary. If she isn't in charge of the budget any more I don't know who is. Certainly not Deb (I hope not) I don't think she would be qualified unless she has two different diploma's/degrees.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

See how much the Halls contributed to the Lenthall and Ovitt campaigns.


There's more. There's more.

Thank you Dan & Karen. Root out this rot at the center of our county government!

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I encourage everyone to contact Jim Patterson & Bruce Gibbson. They won't take this minkey business lightly.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

Since when is it the duty of the Human Resource Dept to award and over see outside legal contracts? The HR dept oversees the hiring process of personnel and is the Employee advocate. The HR dept upholdsall state and federal laws pertaining to employment.Outside legal servives is something that doesn't fall within the realm or guidlines of the Human Resources Director. This whole deal reaks of payoffs in one form or another.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

What are the responsibilities of Gail Wilcox? What is her relationship to Hall?

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

If the county farms out all of its legal work, why have so many attorneys on staff? This seems a prime way of cutting back the budget and saving $$$$$.


Someone please call Bob Cuddy at the Tribune and tell him to wake up.

By: Anonymous on 6/3/08

I'd like to see the no bid contract that someone has provided to Hall and his firm. I'd like to know what they have been paid and what the billing was on a per case basis or do they get a fixed fee? I hear they are paid hourly! Doesn't sound like a good deal for the citizens to me. Sounds like a taxpayer rip off. I want the records tomorrow.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

The obvious quesrion is whether or not this is the only house Gail Wilcox owns.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Who is kidding who? Does anyone know of anybody who was buying property (particularly a single family residence) in 2007 as an investment. We have two surposedly intelligent people purchasng a home together as an investment last year. But what I really want to know is who decided that Wilcox is worth 200K a year to the tax payers? Someones head needs to roll. I'm really very angry about this. Even 100K is a lot to pay her.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Contact Patterson & Gibson. They will do something. Contact county Employee's and get all the info you can, then post it here. Encourage Employee's to post here anonymously. Stand Up Now.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

So, Hall could not find ANYONE else to invest with, other than the administrator for the county responsible for his "no-bid" contract.


Edge, who has a questionable history of his own, thinks it's no problem?


fishy? I smell a rat.


Time to clean the house.


By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

We need to become the media we need on the Central Coast. It's obvious that the local media lacks the resources or the energy to get involved. The watchdog function is dead except for here.


Here is what we need to do. Everyone who reads this article needs to email it to (1) anyone they know who is a county employee and (2) email the link to Jim Patterson and Bruce Gibson (3) any friend who you think might give a shit about what is happening inside the county building. The more people know, the better.


Meanwhile, we've got to get county employees who might know about Gail Wilcox to post what they know on this site anonymously. Your identity will be protected. What can you tell us about this woman other than she apparently walked out on her family?


Contact the Tribune and ask them to investigate. If they won't do investigate reporting (1) cancel your subscription or (2) pull your advertising.


This is the moment. We have to act. Nobody is going to do this for us anymore. We've got to do it ourselves.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Whilcox & Hall may be shadowing Cunningham. You may have turned the light on here. Wouldn't it be interesting how Wilcox may have furnished this "rental" home? Now I wonder how she may have purchased her vehichle unless we the taxpayers are providing one for her. Looks like there are going to be many more things to look into. I don't think I'd want to be on Blackberry Ave. tonight let alone go to the government center tomorrow.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Once again we find ourselves getting important information from only one media source. Where would we be without Dan and Karen?


TRIBUNE! NEW TIMES! KSBY! KCOY! CONGELTON! WILL YOU GUYS WAKE THE HELL UP AND GO OUT THERE AND DO SOME REPORTING????????????


By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Look, something stinks at the county building. There is still time for us to do something: Go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Adam Hill and Frank Meacham for supervisors. We new new blood with sharp eyes.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Tell us whats going on over there. What do you know? What is Wilcox positin, powers, friendships and relationship with Hall?

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

I think someone needs to complain to the board of supervisors. I also think Karen will have more info later.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Interesting article.

A real estate deal brought down a very arrogant congrasman who "WAS" above the law. He only got 8 years in the big pan. What a county!!!!!

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

With all of the reported corruption going on in this county I certainly hope the voters will vote for the right people tomorrow. We will definetly need people that will support the Sheriff and build more jails to house these criminals.

I hope the common sense candidates, Lenthall and Arnold, who know the difference between right and wrong are put in place so that these scoundrels will be processed to conclusion.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

I want to see te escrow records, trust deed, mortgage payments and are they 50/50? Rent payments, etc. Cough it up Ms. Wilcox. I also want to know how many cases went to the favorite law firm and how much they were paid in the last 5 years. Someone needs to examine the contract and the billings. This stinks

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Excellent reporting. Thanks for the update. Please keep us all posted, I know there is a lot more to al this. Its time for some jail time. I'll bet there is more clandestine activity going on here than has already been uncovered.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Who do you trust?

Remember that lawyers are at the top of the list of those who are trusted the least. Even Realors and car salesmen get more respect than lawyers. Could the result of this story only confirm those FACTS?


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

They say that "where there is smoke there is fire". I see the kindeling burning. Keep looking, it's about to get real big.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Stay tuned, hopefully the truth will come out on this blog.

$200,000 a year and you can't afford to buy a house so you get the vendor that does your work to buy it for you. I think that is graft. If they bought it together I would love to see the loan application and see if Wilcox was even mentioned. If it's a 50-50 "deal" it will be interesting if Wilcox and Hall are splitting the costs 50-50. If they arn't there is definetly a financial advantage for Wilcox from the lawyer Hall.

Sounds like it could be a definite conflict to me.

If they are on the up and up they will provide the necessary documentation for a clarification of this issue. If they don't, it will only get deeper.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Ms. Wilcox walked out on her husband and two young children recently. I have zero sympathy for her.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Sorry if I wasn't clear on who bothers me.


1) I appreciate this website and the digging Dan and Karen do. They are expert journalists, and we need them to continue.


2) Conspiracy theorist BS and drawn conclusions from the peanut gallery is stupid, insipid and unfair, particularly to the "players" in this story. Posters like that were the subject of my wrath and will continue to be so. Christ, we're not in Atascadero!!!


If there is wrongdoing, let's let it be brought to light, then disparage the doers. And if there's wrongdoing, Wilcox, et al, deserve public humiliation on this site. Right now there is only the appearance of wrongdoing. So keep it in you pants.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

What in the hell is this? You mean to tell me that she is earning 200K annual! That is outrageous. Who the hell determined that sort of salary? Another thing, what's this crap about not not taking bids and giving 75% of all the county legal work to one law firm? Somebody neegs to look into this bull and I mean right now.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

This is way too fishy. I'd like to rest of the information. A waiting answers from the county.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Uncoveredslo.com has proven that they are a legitimate reporting source. You can keep yours in your pants and I'll return the screwing that we taxpayers have been getting from the likes of Wilcox, Hall and Edge.

Silence on articles like this are no longer accepted and hidden by other news reporting agencies. Uncoveredslo.com is doing the county a creditable job of finally being a source to tell us the truth.

If you like it the way it is keep it in your pants and your fingers of the keyboard.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Who in the world would decide to began real estate investing in April 2007. Not a very good excuse. I would expect more from the only local attorney with the where with all to do county litigation.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

whatis going on in this county? Looks as if evryone is in on something while the taxpayer must pony up more and more. If they invest for a higher return, they are milked, if they have any penny left, they just have to give it away either in legal fees or taxes.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

All of you commenters seem to be clamoring for dirt, and crying foul.


I think you need to put it back into your pants until the full story comes out. Could be it just LOOKS bad.


Nice job of uncovering, Karen & Dan. Keep up the good work.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Wilcox got divorced? What are the chances that she walked away with little or nothing-slim to nothing. If she is making $200,000 a year and can't buy a house she is holding down the wrong job at the County as far as I'm concerned. I guess if this is true we may have some of the answers why the County is running out of money.

This changing titles and special exemptions for Wilcox's is really looking dirty. Too bad Hillary isn't going to be the nominee, it looks like Wilcox and her lawyer buddy would fit in very nicely with the Clinton clan. Could she be the Monica Lewinsky of San Luis Obispo?

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

I'll bet they all wish they could put the bullet back in the gun on this one since they probably have lost 100k in value since that purchase date.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

Maybe this is an example on how the County Planning Department is going to put an affordable housing program together for the needy.

I guess the requirements will be that you make at least $200,000 a year, then a vendor for the County will purchase the house and put your name on the title. You then pay rent, at which rate we don't know yet and everybody is happy. Of course the happiest person is the lawyer Hall who keeps doing the business for county on a no bid arrangement. I wonder if he is getting the $800 or $900 hourly rate that was paid to the retired judge to investigate the Sheriff. Has anybody looked into to see if the judge got in on the affordable housing program for the County?

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

This is nothing like the North County hard money deal. Sounds like she was getting divorced and needed a new home. She knew someone with money who she most likely met through her time at the county. So she got together with this atorney or him and his wife or just his wife if you are to believe them and bought a house for investment purposes that could be sold at a future date with the profits being split. Gail probably pays fair market rent "maybe less" then her and the wife split the rest of the costs for the mortgage, taxes, HOA, etc. Sounds perfectly legal and small potatoes. This is going to come down to very poor judgment on both thier parts and could cost Gail her job and the law firm a plumb client. Very Very poor judgment. I'm sure they thought they were doing Gail a favor and making an investment at the same time. The perception of conflict is however all it takes to create havoc for both parties. I say let it go. Even as it stands Gails career is duly damaged at this point.

By: Anonymous on 6/2/08

This smells fishy to me. Wilcox is one of the highest paid persons in the County and has an attorney who gets most of the County's work buy her a house? Why didn't she buy it herself? She supposedly owns half of the house but only pays rent? It will be very interesting if we see who is making all of the payments like the mortgage, insurance, taxes etc.. Wilcox says she is paying rent? I wonder if Hall is declaring that on his taxes? Is she paying market value for the rent?

I guess if they are clean we should have all of this information tomorrow, that is if they are available and out of meetings. Or, we are going to get a quick lesson on "lawyering up" 101.

EFI, Hurst and Gearhart I think you guys are going to the back page on this one. The mud from the mudhole is cresting the grade and going downhill. This is going to be an education on the tip of the iceberg theory.

Once again a great story from Dan & Karen. Is any other news agency going to address this?


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