Tribune exclusive, Wilcox accuses Edge of sexual harassment

June 18, 2009

The Tribune reports that Assistant County Administrator Gail Wilcox has filed a lawsuit that levels allegations of sexual harassment against deposed County Administrator David Edge.

In May, CalCoastNews first broke the story that Wilcox had lodged allegations of sexual harassment against Edge.

The strangest part of the law suit, which names the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors as Edge’s codefendants, is the rapidly promoted Wilcox’s claims of workplace discrimination as one of her causes of action. This is, in fact, one of the county’s steamiest law suits ever according to a Tribune update.

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By: George on 6/22/09

HonestyPlanet> it was Machiavelli not Marx who

gave that advice.

By: HonestyPlanet on 6/22/09

If a person, male or female, puts up with any outrageous conduct, and thereby benefits from their inaction through promotions and salary increases, what public good is promoted by allowing them to sue/recover when things turn against them? Their inaction promoted the very conduct they now base their claims upon, and worse yet, they enjoyed personal power and profit along the way. We need to rethink our entire tort system, as well as our civil service rules. I’d be a whole lot more concerned if the circumstances were not dealing with two of the highest paid County employees. Makes me wonder if the Plaintiff actually figured out that the County’s retirement system will likely be broke by the time she qualifies for benefits…….or just following the words of Karl Marx….”the ends justifies the means”…

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 6/22/09

In regards to banning certain people from this site I ask what for??

I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if we don’t agree.

I find about half of the people on here I disagree with but I would defend their right to post, just as mine.

This is what makes us a great nation. We can agree to disagree.

By: R.Hodin on 6/22/09

Perhaps WiseGuy would offer his/her impeccable editorial guidance to CalCoastNews in the most effective manner — by volunteering his services to Karen, gratis. That way we could enjoy the fruits of the association in the articles, without the need to suffer the pedantry of the “wise guy” posts?

By: Afriendindeed on 6/22/09

I vote that we ban WiseGuy from this site. He has nothing to add to the conversation.

By: rogerfreberg on 6/21/09

Okay…. over the years, there has been much ‘talk’ about these two and one wonders how much — if any — is true. Was there a personal relationship between those two that went south as has been widely speculated? Was she (as my daughter might call her) a ‘honey bun?’

I may be mistaken… and , lordy, that happens all too often… but didn’t Ms. Wilcox head up the county’s social services department before civil service jumped in and asked about her credentials?

It might go a long way to uncovering the truth if ‘someone’ would do a chronology of Ms. Wilcox’s career in county administration and ask whether her meteoric rise was ‘typical.’

Lastly, I wonder why the Trib decided to break this story — as opposed to so many others — didn’t Ms. Wilcox have a relative who once worked/ works for the Trib?

SoOoOoo many questions…. and no transparency.

Roger Freberg

By: WILLPOWER on 6/19/09

Time to get real.

When you are number 2 at the county you know the score. When you sit for 10 years silent about sexual harassment on the job something is fishy. She could have handled that 9.9 years ago with a “behind closed door” meeting. He was her responsibility as second in command if not for herself and it would have ended.

Wilcox is doing an “end around” to cover her ass and her complicity.

This thing will settle fast and for very little if any money.

She has a reputation herself witch is not untarnished. Everybody has heard the rumors or seen it first hand.

This is merely and simply a “CYA” move on her part to try and salvage her already sketchy reputation.

In the 18-page complaint (I read every word) the attorney said the same things over and over and over. There really isn’t much ammo there…especially when factor Wilcox into the mix. Seems pretty tame to me.

This will go away quietly and very cheaply. My cut is that Wilcox should be fired as well. As second in command she had a responsibility to thousands of employees to say something 3649 days earlier!

By: JorgeEstrada on 6/19/09

Another David and Goliath or just an unwilling edge over a wilcox? The State and our County have paid allot of doe’s big bucks before. Some of these ladies have shared the money and kahum hum, with me. I could use another free meal so there MUST me a case, I know nasty talk is worth millions. How dare those private conversations between two adult, feed me feed me….get everyone involved!!!!

Oh…I gotta snap outta this halarious truth and be more professional or atleast remember who pays for this scam, YOU.

By: Clemintine on 6/19/09

WiseGuy: My Point?

It is as simple as a chicken jumping on a Junebug.

As long as the news that effects the public is not buried (lets assume for advertising interests), I can live with a few headlines that you might percieve as salacious.

Our county is embroiled in dishonest conduct that ultimately destroys the quality of life for the average Joe and Josephine.

If any news source exposes the truth (even with a few salacious headlines) I say “go get em”

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 6/18/09

I give up on Wiseguy. He will argue this all day and ignore the bigger fact that started the story, which is harassment.

No lets nit pick the wording. Point made. Now how about giving us your WONDERFUL insite to feelings of harassment.

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

Hi Clemintine. I had a point with my comments. What’s YOUR point?

And why should I suffer the bother of having my own website when I can say all I want right here?

And, personally, I have to disagree with you about the pursuit of journalistic integrity. I don’t think holding up standards of journalistic integrity is “crap.” And THAT is part of MY point.

By: Clemintine on 6/18/09

Wiseguys arguements are full of hot air … a bag of gass if you will.

You have an axe to grind? Give it up? Whats your investment in all this and don’t give me that pursuit of journalistic integrity crap.

Why not start your own web news site since you have all the answers?

I for one am thankful that Cal Coast News has put some tremendous public interest stories(including corruption)out to us peons and if a word like “steamy” is used by Trib or Cal Coast … So what!

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

Frankly, Scarlet, even when he was alive, I could kick ass on The Shredder any day of the week. But, my dear, it’s nice to know you’re thinking about me.

By: yelapop on 6/18/09

WiseGuy: I’m laughing so hard my sides hurt. You’ve obviously been spending a good deal of time on this site (much of it devoted to educating us nitwits). I’d say you’re just the target market CCN is looking for.

P.S. It’s CalCoastNews’ not CalCoastNew’s

By: Scarlet on 6/18/09

Is it just me, or does WiseGuy sound an awful lot like the Shredder…..?

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

You’re right. The term “steamy” is incredibly hokey and lame, and harkens back to a time when you couldn’t show a man and a woman in the same bed on TV shows and newspapers weren’t allowed to use words like homosexual or lesbian.

“Steamy” is an outmoded slang term from that era that means “erotic.” So first The Tribune, in breathless, lurid tones, tries to tell us that the Wilcox lawsuit is “erotic”, then CalCoastNews tries to tell us the Tribune is claiming it is the most erotic lawsuit in county history.

And the evidence to back up these wild, exaggerated claims of legal-history-making, record-setting eroticism? A question about “sore nipples.”

Sex sells. So does lameness

By: sj660 on 6/18/09

This is far from scandalous as far as sexual harassment claims go. “Steamy?” Really?

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

Saying a lawsuit is “steamy” is NOT AT ALL the same as saying a lawsuit is “one of the county’s steamiest law suits ever.”

Just like saying “Use It or lose it” is ignorant is NOT the same as saying he/she is “one of the county’s most ignorant citizens ever.”

Maybe you can’t see the difference, but I do and so do others. But defending sloppy writing and reporting will only increase the ignorance that is all too prevalent around here. Sloppy writing equals sloppy thinking.

I guess there’s a market for anything these days. Perhaps I’m not part of CalCoastNews’ target market because I can tell the difference between quality and slop.

By: Use_it_or_Lose_it on 6/18/09

Amazing. Simply and utterly amazing.

How many say “steamy” is a word Karen made up?

How many malign her journalism because she used the word “steamy”?

Did ya THINK to click on the link? It goes straight to Bob Cuddy’s Tribune article that begins, “In a steamy legal document…”

No. You didn’t. You simply do what you accuse Karen of doing, which she did not do. S*** for brains.

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

No way, BeeenThere. The Tribune story does NOT say the lawsuit is “one of the steamiest…” That is Velie’s claim, and yet she tries to imply that some other news source is saying it, not her. Sloppy, weasly or purposely misleading. You decide.

That kind of crap is exactly why people accuse reporters of putting things in stories “just to sell more papers.” Usually that kind of allegation is B.S., but here it pretty well seems to hit the mark, except that CalCoastNews doesn’t have any papers to sell but seems desperate to try to build up a buzz to keep the venture alive.

I guess its the ol’ “any publicity is good publicity” attitude.

I’m all for CalCoastNews thriving—and I’ve put my money where my mouth is a while back—but not if its going to sink this low so often.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 6/18/09

O.k. So I’ll give you that she added Ever but she did quote rest right.

She could report for CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC. They have added or changed news to sensationalize for YEARS.

By: Nameless on 6/18/09

Interesting “steamy” comments by the supervisor for years. I think the report should have a picture of her for us to make a judgement about her look and “nipples”. Until that, too many unanswered questions remains. Why would someone put up with such a personal intrusion? I know if I made comments like that continuously to a woman, I’d be kicked in the groin ten years ago.

She had a compelling reason to tolerate it, or the whole story is too one sided.

Just a question; what constitute the definition of a prostitute; Someone who goes for a $100.00 or $1,000,000.00? The difference is the price.

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

You want an example of sloppy misleading reporting in CalCoastNews? Check out the above four sentence story and you have plenty of evidence.

Notice the statement: “This is, in fact, one of the county’s steamiest law suits ever according to a Tribune update.”

In fact, as far as I can find, The Tribune story does not contend that this lawsuit is “one of the county’s steamiest law suits ever.”

And even if it did make that claim, who is making that judgment? How many lawsuits have they read?

“Steamy” is a slang term for “erotic”. So basically, CalCoastNews, is saying this lawsuit is one of the most erotic lawsuits in county history. Yeah, right.

You don’t think that is sensationalism at its worst? First of all it is an unprovable claim. Second, I’ll wager there have been more than a few lawsuits that have had more erotic details than provided in the Wilcox statement.

So, bottom line, even in the brief four sentence story above, there is a bunch of total, sensationalistic B.S. that does absolutely nothing to help bring a greater understanding to the readers. In fact, it will now encourage readers to go around repeating the lie that this Wilcox suit is the most sexual, erotic lawsuit in San Luis Obispo history. What a complete crock.

By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

Notice how on the Tribune’s latest update, that is linked above, they have wisely dropped the “Exclusive” from the headline. If it was truly “exclusive” yesterday, it would still be exclusive today.

The term “Exclusive” should only be used on a story that is truly exclusive, such as a jail-house interview with person who has not previously spoken to the press on a particular subject and is only willing to grant an interview to a single news source. In that case it would truly be an “exclusive interview.”

True “exclusives” are rare, but that doesn’t stop people from carelessly and incorrectly using the term.

As for the criticism of me: Is it really too much to ask that our news media not try to juice up reporting with misleading and salacious terms? Aren’t the facts enough?

Do the vigorous reporting, bring out the hidden details, compete tooth and nail with the other news sources, but don’t throw out basic and useful journalistic standards in the process.

I’m all for Cal Coast News continuing the good fight, but since it appears there is a lack of editorial oversight to temper the sometimes over-reaching enthusiasm of the reporter, I feel it is fair and perhaps worthwhile to offer these types of critical observations for whatever some might feel they are worth. Take them or leave them. But at least I’m saying what I think needs to be said as my part in this online community, at a time when journalism standards seem to be declining at both old and new media institutions.

I’ll repeat again: Cal Poly can’t even get together a journalism department that can meet accreditation standards! Yet they turn out reporters and editors that run our local media. Can’t you see the obvious problem with that? And readers don’t even understand enough to know when they are being fed second rate reports.

Is it too much to ask for quality along with the quantity of news we now receive?

By: karen on 6/18/09

I will be on The Dave Congaltons Show at 5 p.m. to discuss this issue. Tune in at 920 AM or listen live at

By: Cindy on 6/18/09

Karen – If or rather actually when you go on Congalton post it here so people will know to tune in. This is going to be a good one.

By: Cindy on 6/18/09

I don’t see anything wrong with this CCN update. If you want to understand what Karen eluded to in the last part of her paragraph read the link she posted. All the sorted details are attached right there as expressed in the law suit.

Frankly I don’t have a great deal of empathy for Wilcox. I think she lacks professional ethics and maturity. She isn’t 14 she is over 40. If she tolerated the behavior that she claims was inflicted upon her by Edge for 9 YEARS then she must have liked it. She wasn’t a single mother when this started and I also believe she could have found another job in 9 years or reported the problem immediately. The fact is that she took the promotions, perks, and advantage of county contacts (like purchasing a home with the assistance of a county contracted attorney)this is called whoring yourself and then complaining that you liked the money but not what you did to earn it. 9 YEARS – give me a break. I hope the BOS doesn’t settle with her for one single dime. Take it to a jury and she better hope that I’m not on it.

By: yelapop on 6/18/09

Thanks for the update, Karen. It was very nice of you to cite the Trib….

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 6/18/09

I’m kind of lost here on who is on the sauce and what is wrong with the article. I thought it was pretty straight forward and easy to understand. Is it the big words?

And before everyone starts crying gossip etc. and all the crap that goes with it, just think. Would you feel the same if this was your wife, mother, or daughter. Let’s be honest.

Harassment shouldn’t be tolerated. It is uncomfortable to work with.

I love that people want to act like sexual harassment doesn’t exist in the workplace.

By: Clemintine on 6/18/09

Say Wiseguy: You don’t seem to sees the trees from the forest. You are so hung up on the issue of sensationalism that you dismiss the fact that CalCoast News has broke some very important stories which would have otherwise remained under the public’s radar.

You sound like an envious or disgruntled journalist who would do the public a better service if you would get your pencil, pad and hips out in world and start bringing the citizens what they need most … news about malfeasance and corruption.

By: Kat-a-list on 6/18/09

It’s going to cost the County $250,000 dollars, have of which Edges home owner policy will pay for adn most of which will go to attorneys. Wilcox will end up with less than $50,000.00 and no job as she is now toxic goods. The County will try to place her and each placement will be considered a hostile work environment.

Somehow I think there are also photos floating around. Seems to fit the profile to a “T” or should I say “T-T”.

I’m just sayin’


By: WiseGuy on 6/18/09

Get this news site an EDITOR, please!

I admire the tenaciousness of Velie, but the tone and style is that of a sleazy gossip rag. And what’s worse, is that to compete, The Tribune seems to be sinking to the depths of cheap sensationalism as well. Oh the “steaminess…Sore nipples!”

And Velie basically copies all her facts in this story from The Tribune, and adds an extra element of sleaze-tone, and thinks its cool by throwing the Tribune a bone and going along and calling the Tribune report an “Exclusive”, which, as others have pointed out it is NOT

This is not the first time Cal Coast News has thrown around sensationalistic terms that are not accurate. Time for a refresher course in journalism school. Any coincidence that Velie took journalism classes at Cal Poly, in a journalism program that LOST its accreditation?

By: mbactivist on 6/18/09

Regardless of how this article is written, it is an important update because it confirms that CalCoast News had the basic facts right from the beginning. Yet, there were denials right and left. Good for you, Karen. The even bigger message is the fact that the County has apparently been doing a very poor job of protecting its employees from harassment. Were they afraid to complain? I see another story here.

By: Truthbeknown on 6/18/09

Excuse me while I go to the Tribune web site to get the story. Like McDave, I can’t understand this article.

Might want to proofread before posting, or at least lay off the sauce.

By: InTheKnow on 6/18/09

Didn’t Bruce Gibson say Edge’s firing had nothing to do with sexual harassment? I for one would like to see honest and open government.

How much will this cost the county in the end?

By: mccdave on 6/18/09

That first paragraph is baffling. Might want to take another crack at it, so we know what the heck you’re saying.

By: Paso_Guy on 6/18/09

So, is this is a news story about the nipples of Wilcox or that the Trib has an update…either way, facinating!