Union negotiator resigns in aftermath of sex scandal

August 5, 2009


Tony Perry says that his affair with Gail Wilcox began long after the sheriff’s union contract was negotiated and announces his resignation as executive director of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA), in an e-mail to members of the DSA on August 2.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors terminated former County Assistant Administrative Officer Gail Wilcox on July 14 because of the affair with Perry that allegedly began sometime in early 2006.

Perry on behalf of the DSA and Wilcox on the county side sat on opposite sides of the bargaining table. Perry contends the relationship followed union negotiations and had no impact on the results.

“The DSA contract currently in effect was entered into and effective February 7, 2006 following negotiations which concluded in late 2005,” Perry says in the e-mail. “The relationship central to this controversy did not begin until long after that contract’s implementation. Bottom line, there is no correlation between the DSA’s contract and the personal relationship I maintained.”

In addition, Perry reports that he had not disclosed the affair with anyone in the DSA until shortly before the investigation report was to be released. At that time he notified DSA President Dale Strobridge, according to the e-mail.

Perry expresses his devotion to the union and reports his wife asked him to step down.

“I wish I could be there to assist in those endeavors, however my family wants me back and they will and must be my priority from now on,” Perry says. “I am grateful that even during these difficult times, my wife still supports and believes in me.”

Perry’s e-mail:

“Dear DSA Members,

”Due to the obvious array of personal issues which were forefront during the past week and the time and attention I needed with my family, I have been unable to email the membership until this time. I apologize for the delay in the receipt of this and would like to thank the scores of you who have provided me with your friendship and support during these difficult times. I will attempt to be as brief as possible under the circumstances.

”I sincerely regret and apologize for the recent circumstances that have resulted in the media attention that detracts from the many important issues and challenges that the DSA is facing. I bear full responsibility for those personal actions. Moreover, it has become a distraction to the important work the DSA performs on behalf of its membership. After much reflection and upon the request of my wife, I will retire from DSA service and step down as DSA Executive Director effective immediately. Regardless of my resignation, I pledge to continue supporting DSA causes as needed and the DSA organization from now and into the future.

”There are two issues of concern which I must address immediately for the health of the organization. First, there have been questions about who had knowledge of my activities prior to the release of the Robertson Report. I did not disclose any of these matters to anyone within the DSA, and kept this information strictly confidential until it became clear that the Robertson Report was likely to be publicly released. At that point, DSA President Dale Strobridge was notified of my regrettable involvement in the controversy.

”Secondly, the DSA contract currently in effect was entered into and effective February 7, 2006 following negotiations which concluded in late 2005. The relationship central to this controversy did not begin until long after that contract’s implementation. Bottom line, there is no correlation between the DSA’s contract and the personal relationship I maintained. The various layers of oversight necessary to close the contract included conforming to parameters established by the Board of Supervisors, CAO David Edge’s recommendations, and County Counsel review followed by ratification of DSA membership. There is a distinct reason that the Robertson Report was unable to conclude any wrongdoing as it relates to DSA negotiation matters. The simple unequivocal answer is because there was no wrongdoing. Both the County and the DSA continued to be represented professionally during labor relation issues without exception, without compromise.

”The DSA is a tremendous organization. In the past thirteen years, we have come a long way. I have many fond memories of what we have been able to accomplish as a cohesive group. Our interests in common are far greater than any differences that exist between job classifications and it is time to reunite the organization and move forward together. I am hopeful that the differing factions that exist today will put aside their agendas and put forth their impassioned energy towards positive collective change; not that which will harm others. In the future, the DSA will be negotiating against contracted professional County negotiators and as an organization, we will need every conceivable tool in the toolbox. Most important will be your association’s desire to stay committed to a political agenda and to support candidates for public office that are in the best interest of the DSA organization. It’s not always easy, sometimes politics are downright nasty, but in my opinion, it is the most important action we can and must continue to take for organizational effectiveness.

”In closing, DSA representation has been nothing short of an adventure over the years. I will truly miss representing your interests. It is more important than ever that this organization support its leadership as the challenges ahead will be extensive. Seasoned and experienced representation will be crucial. Dale is a tremendous resource and will play a vital role in organizational stability and the protection of your interests into the future. I wish I could be there to assist in those endeavors, however my family wants me back and they will and must be my priority from now on. I am grateful that even during these difficult times, my wife still supports and believes in me. She has always supported the DSA’s causes, still cares for the DSA family that we have represented, and is truly appreciative of the words of comfort and support conveyed to her during her thirteen year tenure as a DSA Widow. On a personal and family note, we are in the process of healing and there is no doubt that my family will survive this ordeal intact.

”We represent a noble profession and it is the good people within this department that has made it an honor to serve. With a positive and unified front, the DSA and its membership will flourish. Without it, individual new=20 associations will likely suffer incomprehensible prevailing wage setbacks (at the hands of hired negotiators for the County) that will obliterate much of the positive progress achieved over the years. Reunification under the DSA umbrella is the only solution due to the prevailing wage protections afforded by existing contracts. Together, the classifications represented by the DSA will continue their history of great accomplishments.

”Thank you for your continued support through the years….Take care and be safe. Strength Through Unity!!!

”Tony Perry, Executive Director”


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Member Opinions:

By: paperboy on 8/10/09

Sheriff Pat needs to fire this guy. The district attorney, grand jury, state A.G., SOMEBODY needs to further investigate this affair and get to the real truth here. Perry’s behavior at the least violates any ethics clause that should be in all police officer’s contracts, or did he f*** us out of that too.

There is no way he should walk out of this unscathed. He MUST be disciplined. Bust him down to dog catcher but the sheriff has to DO SOMETHING.

By: RoscoeRules on 8/9/09

Oh, and when does the rest of the DSA “leadership” resign?

By: RoscoeRules on 8/9/09

When does Perry apologize to all Sheriff’s Department emlpoyees and the public not just the remaining DSA members?

By: Cindy on 8/7/09

Westside85- That was one hell of a “heartfelt” post. Need anyone say more?

By: rogerfreberg on 8/7/09

I do feel sorry for Tony. He doesn’t get it.

As for the county, I think we need to look a bit higher up on how all this was allowed to happen.

By: Black_Copter_Pilot on 8/7/09

Right-0n, Westside

Even more reason to embrace your 2nd ammendment right

By: Westside85 on 8/7/09

Kudos to you Marty, you hit the nail right on the head with your commentary. I am in complete agreement with your frustration with the official heads of our county government, we have been receiving nothing but lies and unethical negotiation tactics from them, and instead of admitting they’re faults like an individual whom has a heart and is truly sorry for their actions, not because it’s cost them something, but because of the pain that they have caused, they continue to switch dates and lie as much as they possibly can.

It has become more apparent than ever that the residents of our County can not trust our Sherrif’s Department nor our County Goverment………what happens if I am the one who is in need of assistance, or my neighbor, or perhaps the Mother of my son’s friend……..what happens when WE need help, the actual people of San Luis Obispo County???? You know what happens, NOTHING- because we don’t matter. All the fat cats care about is helping each others wallet’s and houses get bigger, even if that means co-signing your co-workers ability to purchase a home, and do you think any of these people, from Wilcox straight to Clay Hall hold an ounce of remorse? No! they’ve been conniving with each other, drinking their single malt scotch and saluting one another for being Kings of their little Universe for YEARS now. Well, finally their world is crumbling down and the walls have been broken to show their true hypocritical, corrupt, heartless and plain evil dispositions.

By: insider on 8/6/09

pre insertion or post insertion who’s to say at what point he had the most influence on Miss Wilcox. Maybe she did whatever he wanted just to get him to deliver the goods. Relationships are as much mental as physical and he could of had her wrapped around his finger from the day he said “how ya doin”. As to his appology to the comrads hell nailing one more is a badge of honor to a cop this thing belongs on his resume.

By: hotdog on 8/6/09

God gave man a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run one at a time.

Robbin Williams

By: Haveaniceday on 8/5/09

What a pathetic moron!

The only thing that you sincerly regret and apologize for is the fact that YOU GOT CAUGHT! If this had not happened it would be business as usual for you. I feel bad for your family, what an embarrassing situation for your wife and kids. Now all of a sudden they are so important, when really they should have been the focus of your attention all along, for the past 13 years. Why did Gail get fired and you didn’t? Why aren’t your resigning from your position on the Sheriff’s Department?

By: Saveslocounty on 8/5/09

There are some basic human principles that are very telling regarding Mr. Perry. First, one lie begots another, and another, and another. I doubt he even remembers which lie he told when. Second, no man has ever been caught the first time he cheats. He cheats for years and then one day it all catches up. The same basis is applied to registering sex offenders as they will continue their sick behavior regardless of consequences. Finally, it is difficult to write advertising that actually sells the product. Your pathetic little letter certainly took you hours to conjer up, but it lacks sinserity and truthfulness and nobody is buying it. Perhaps Ian Parkinson’s brother could have helped you write it.

Whatever good you think you accomplished during the last 13 years with the DSA has been totally undone by using your winky to think with. I agree that law enforcement is a noble profession, but you have not done one thing to prove your entitlement to that honor.

Your history of unethical behavior from your arrest, wiretapping, and on-going sexual affair with the opposion demonstrate your total lack of integrity.

My best advice to you is the look up the words from the theme song to M*A*S*H*. You, and only YOU are responsible for ruining the DSA, destroying your family and setting the profession of law enforcement back many years, well at least 13. How can you look in the mirror knowing the pain you have caused. What a total tool.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 8/5/09


You got inside my head and stole my though process!! LOL!

After reading your post I can’t reply anything that could have stated it any better. ;-) ;-) I’m done.

By: Gordo on 8/5/09

Anthony Ray Perry, my oh my you’ve come a long way baby.. It seems like just yesterday when you flew out of the back of that pickup truck trying to keep sheets of plywood from sailing away while driving down the road in Grover.

Now you’re having affairs with big shot county officials, sneaking around, making secret deals, living the high life, lying to your wife and everybody else around you.

I wonder if you even remember who you used to be?

You have hurt your children, humiliated your wife publicly, and endangered everything you and the deputies fought for over the last 13 years. NICE WORK..

And for what? A piece of tail! If it meant that much you should have quit the DSA, divorced your wife and then been out in the open. But no, not you, you had to burn the candle at both ends. You had to live dangerously. You had to have it all….

I cannot imagine calling for help from the sheriff’s department and having you show up on my doorstep. Guys like you give vigilantism a good name..

By: Cindy on 8/5/09

I think Marty is right on, Perry can’t say anything other than what he is saying. We all know he isn’t about to come out and admit that he was having the affair while he was negotiating the contract, but what do you all want to bet that he told his wife the exact opposite! I can understand why his wife isn’t leaving him. She has 4 children and they probably love their dad. It’s not so easy when you’ve got children to think about. The fact that it doesn’t appear she is leaving him doesn’t mean that she is standing by him.

By: WazzUp on 8/5/09

Marty…right on. You are absolutely right. Ican’t believe he says he wife still supports him. She must be a weak individual. I need to give her the name of a good lawyer so she can kick his ass to the curb. As far as the DSA is concerned, he’s just a GOOD OLE BOY. When they all found out about his affair he probably got High Five’s and several slaps on the back.

By: marty on 8/5/09

What a self serving piece of shit..

FIrst off, Tony, you never answered any questions in regards to dates of the affair. You deferred to Gail, who had to change her dates when she realized they conflicted with contract negotiations. Secondly, you told several people during the original contract negotiation in 2005 that you had taken her out “drinking and dancing”, so please don’t act like this affair just sprang up later on. You were having it while negotiating with her.

Finally, after you got bored with her you broke it off, until faced with the real possibility the deputy sheriffs were going to form their own association and oust you and Dale. Then suddenly you rekindled your affair with your “soul mate” so you could use her to crush the deputies bid to get out from under your thumb.

You have shown your true colors for all the world to see and my only regret is that when the Attorney General gets his referral about your tampering with negotiations (A FELONY) he won’t have the nuts to act on it… And you will slither out of trouble just like you did with the bugging incident, oh yeah you didn’t remember any details about that during the depositions either, did you…

Ed Williams should have fired you years ago…

By: skyler on 8/5/09

Tony makes it sound like an “ordeal” that he is surviving… like he is the victim here. What a cad. Good ridance-