Overheard: Police chief tells “one” side of gun snafu

September 28, 2009
Atascadero Police Chief Jim Mulhall

Atascadero Police Chief Jim Mulhall


A local police chief, who was overheard boasting rather loudly at a recent public school event, apparently was explaining how he and another police chief are “working together” with the San Luis Obispo County district attorney to make sure their stories are in sync about a stolen unregistered gun that belonged to Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon.

The ever evolving and morphing story of how Solomon’s unregistered loaded handgun was stolen from her unlocked police vehicle has raised an onslaught of questions about where the gun came from and why it was not registered.

At a youth football game in Atascadero last week, onlookers, who normally cheer on the teams, reported hearing a loud conversation in which Atascadero Police Chief Jim Mulhall was heard laughing and talking on a cellular phone about his role in the missing-gun snafu.

Mulhall, who has been chief for almost two years, was overheard by some onlookers at the game saying that he, Solomon, and Dist. Atty. Gerald Shea have talked repeatedly to get their stories straight about where Solomon’s gun came from and how she regained possession of her gun after it was stolen out of her car.

“(Dist. Atty.) Gerry (Shea), Lisa and I are working together to keep the same story going,” Mulhall was overheard saying. “We are all in close contact. They will get a few more blogs out of it then it will go away.”

Mulhall, Shea, and Solomon did not return calls seeking comment about the overheard cell phone conversations.

On Sept. 12, Mulhall, sporting a bright orange T-shirt and grey camouflage shorts, showed up at an Atascadero youth football game, talking so loud that others at the game could hear him, occasionally laughing as he chortled about his role in the missing-gun caper.

Normally quiet in such gatherings, others at the game could not help but hearing the police chief speaking in a loud voice.

The scene left one onlooker to quip, “Does he think no one reads CalCoastNews?”

The conversation was a lengthy one, but no one could say for sure how long it lasted or who the chief was talking to.

There have been conflicting claims about whether Solomon was required to register the gun and report its disappearance.

According to a California law passed in 1991, both the seller and purchaser of a handgun are required to make sure the transfer is recorded with the Department of Justice. Failure to comply with the law can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Solomon initially claimed she purchased the gun from an “agency” a long time ago and as such was not required to register the weapon. She did not elaborate about what agency she was referring to.

A few days later, Solomon claimed she couldn’t remember where she got the gun. Subsequently, she said she received the gun as part of a legal divorce settlement.

Officials from the district attorney’s office said that a former employee purchased the gun in 1995 and then transferred the weapon to Solomon during a divorce in 2000. District attorney officials contend that the Atascadero Police Department is responsible for taking any legal action warranted against Solomon, according to a published article.

“The handgun in question didn’t come from the district attorney’s office,” said San Luis Obispo Public District Attorney spokesman Jerret Gran. “It was, however, privately purchased from a licensed firearms dealer in 1995 by an individual who was employed as an investigator with our office between 1995 and 1999.”

Mulhall said in a KSBY interview that it was Solomon’s business about registering her weapon and he verified who the owner of the gun was before he gave the gun back to her. Mulhall admitted that not registering a gun could be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, but contended that Solomon had done nothing wrong.

Nevertheless, several onlookers at the football game overheard the chief say that the gun had come from the district attorney’s office and that Solomon had a receipt.

The origin and the significance of the receipt is unclear.

“I knew where that gun came from before I turned it over to Lisa,” Mulhall was overheard saying. “It came from the district attorneys office. Gerry’s on top of it.”

Mulhall went on to explain how he called Solomon almost every day to help her get through the embarrassing publicity of the missing gun.

Mulhall did not return requests for comment regarding his football-field conversation. However, his administrative assistant Maryann Clark questioned how spectators at the game knew the chief was the person they overheard.

“All the parents wear orange and grey, those are the team colors,” Clark said when informed the red-headed chief was wearing a bright orange T-shirt and grey camouflage shorts at his son’s game.”

Clark also questioned the legality of repeating parts of a conversation unknowingly overheard.

San Luis Obispo attorney Michael R. Pick said because Mulhall’s conversation took place at a public locale with video and audio equipment recording the event, the chief did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Christine Gasparac, press secretary for state Atty. Gen. Edmund G. Brown Jr., said the District Attorney’s office is responsible for taking any criminal actions warranted against Solomon or Mulhall.

Witnesses at the youth football game report hearing Mulhall say that the three officials are working together to make sure their stories match. However, some interviews with the three include numerous discrepancies that conflict with the three’s stories and court documents.

The principles appear to agree that in 2008 Solomon’s loaded semi-automatic gun was stolen from her unlocked police car. A few days later, an Atascadero police officer confiscated the gun from a pair of burglary suspects.

According to the police report, when the officer ran the handgun’s serial number, it revealed “no record of ownership.”

Kathy Zalusky, the owner of Uncle Ed’s Outfitters, a licensed gun dealer in Atascadero, said that if the gun had been sold through a licensed dealer after 1991 as the law enforcement trio claims, running the gun’s serial number through the firearms data base would have shown the name of the gun’s last reported owner.

In addition, Solomon said that she was not required to register her gun because different rules apply to law enforcement personnel and quoted two penal codes in a Tribune article. Those codes relate to law enforcement having the ability to waive the ten day waiting period and own more than one concealed weapon, though nothing about not being required to report gun transfers to the Department of Justice.

That is not true, Zalusky argued.

“It does not matter if you are a Superior Court judge, you have to file paperwork with the DOJ,” Zalusky said.

According to California penal code 12021, government officials are prohibited from returning an unregistered gun to the rightful owner until “the firearm has been recorded in the Automated Firearms System in the name of the individual who seeks its return.”

Mulhall asserts the law does not apply to Solomon, a position that Zalusky also disagrees with.

“I was aghast” Zalusky said, referring to Mulhall returning the unregistered gun to Solomon. “Law enforcement is not above the law.”

Another bone of contention is about the trio’s claims that Solomon received the weapon as part of a legal divorce settlement in 2000.

In early 2000, after 18 months of cohabitation, Solomon filed for dissolution from then-husband Allen Rowe. While the couple battled over a portion of Solomon’s retirement benefits, the gun was not mentioned in the marital settlement agreement. It does, however, state that they have divided community property among themselves.

According to California family codes, spouses can request that any of their pre-marriage belongings become community property, though regarding items of substantial value, aside from jewelry and clothing, the declaration must be in writing.

Nevertheless, gun law experts report that guns are not transferable as community property during a divorce though the monetary value may factor in to a final settlement

“Guns are not community property. They are owned by an individual,” Zalusky said. “The way they did this was inappropriate.”

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Member Opinions:

By: cheseburger on 10/20/09

Now Atascadero P.D. is down one assault rifle. Bad guys up one assault rifle, details? Seems this loose your gun bullsh-t is contagious or are the criminals just good at what they do? Wonder if the car was locked this time?

By: johnson on 10/16/09

Hotdog: The problem is Gerry Shea or Gerald Shea was president of the California State Association of District Attorneys (DAs) several years ago.

Ya get that job not so much based on honesty and hard work as, well, the good old boy network…

….The truth is most all of the CA DAs are buddies–not just professional friends but personal friends as well. Absent a smoking gun, or even a stolen unregistered gun that belonged to Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon, nothing real will happen.

Look at what Shea has and has not done. He moves as one would who is paranoid (“NO PICTURES,” please…)that others will find out a) Shea is less than competent (def did not grad top of his so-so law school class) b) Shea is not always dealing the top card from the deck. c) back room deals are cut…

Bottomline, when average people make back room deals long enough they ALWAYS get caught in their duplicitous actions…but the media and really only the media can make it happen…

The SLO media need to step-up their game and perform some truly investigative journalism. And we residents need to rally and vote out Shea.

By: Saveslocounty on 10/10/09

Several witnesses confirming the same conversation is considered a fact beyond any reasonable doubt. So far, the reporting at CCN has been extremely accurate in their reporting and appear to be the only investigative reporters left in SLO County. After once dismissing them as just another journalistic rag, my opinion has changed based on the information which has always been validated. I agree that it would be important to include some of the many successing found within our government as they exist as well. But, the information disclosed on corruption has more of an impact on our society and warrants the attention offered. One does not need to have everything captured on video camera to substantiate the authenticity of an event. I think Paso City would be foolish to retain Solomon and Atascadero shold seek a new chief at once. Mulhall and the last chief have shown their true motives which has not been to protect the community. Of course, Chief Linden doesn’t want to be left behind and is messing up even more then the North County circus and she too has outlived her usefulness. The City Managers and Councils have the power to clean up their own shop. It will be interesting to see who has the integrity to act upon it.

By: ConcernedPB on 10/8/09

I am getting increasingly disheartened with the level of integrity in local news reporting. Since when are “overheard coversations” at public sporting events considered cold, hard fact or damning evidence against someone? I find it frightening that the public is being fed misinformation, innuendo, and gossip as “real news”, and that so many people are taking it as fact and publicly slandering those involved. This site in particular seems to feel that anything they’re told from unknown sources is print-worthy. I hope most people who read these reports keep in mind that they are only getting small portion of information and that even that cannot necessarily be trusted as ‘fact’.

By: hotdog on 10/8/09

I filed a complaint with the AG about our lame DA and questionable cop chiefs. I got a rejection letter back, pretty much saying lacking serious charges of impropriety he is playing hands off the local yokels. Too bad, we could use someone who cares about the law and can tell the difference between right and wrong to look at all this.

By: cheseburger on 10/4/09

Throw down, cover up, both chiefs above the law. These are valid complaints, do we the people deserve this, from the people we pay to protect and serve us. The bottom line, this is the way it is, is it fare, hell no, has it always been this way? Yes! Can we change it? Maybe, file those complaints! Will there be negative consequences for filing such a complaint. Meaning retaliation from law enforcement agencies, against those who only ask for transparency, accountability and proper integrity?

By: DanBlackburn on 10/4/09

To Saveslocounty:

Can you contact me please at djblackburn@


By: Saveslocounty on 10/4/09

Dan; You should know by now that the DA total controls the direction and focus of the Grand Jury. That is why we rarely impanel a criminal grand jury as they have the authority to properly and legally address the level of misconduct currently seen in the North County. The existing grand jury is and has been spineless, powerless and gutted by the DA resulting in a waste of time. This is fact, not just my opinion. How many times has the grand jury handed down an inditement in our county, at least in modern times?

Joe Cortez is a class act but may not have the enacity to take on years of tradition within the Sheriff’s Dpartment to be an effective agent of change. Still leaning toward Lenthall for that but this is gettign way off the taget of the article.

By: DanBlackburn on 10/2/09

More to the point: A Grand Jury with a mandate to investigate CRIMINAL behavior, private and public. Ours here is limited to civil bureaucratic studies. Show some stones, supes.

By: mccdave on 10/2/09

JorgeEstrada: “a north county vote is less socialistic”

The ironies embedded in that statement are too many to list in their entirety, but it’s well known that the north county is rife with recipients of multivariant forms of welfare, both individual and corporate. The only private businesses of any significance are:

— the drug trade: wine and meth, with wine producers receiving subsidized water and meth producers receiving price supports in the form of the “war on drugs”;

— the always-high-integrity property development trade, which has now been exposed as a fraud and receives too many forms of federal subsidy to enumerate;

— the livestock trade, which is so enmeshed with subsidies and price supports it makes Soviet communism look like Adam Smith’s wet dream.

The net confiscatory transfers from other parts of the state and nation into Pascadero must be in the billions. Jorge sounds like Sarah Palin denouncing socialism while standing in a state where every resident collects a large check from the oil industry just for breathing.

The Tribune should replace Lon Allen and Phil Dirkx’s columns with commentary by Booty_Juice. He’s harsh, but he’s right.

By: Cindy on 10/2/09

There is a guy named Michael Teixeira running that I’m going to take a close look at. He’s been in law enforcement 36 years. 30 of those years were in LA so he’s relatively new to the area and hasn’t been inducted into the Good Ole Boy’s hall. He say’s he has a great deal of gang experience and will donate 20% of his salary to the budget earmarked for fighting the war on gangs. I’ve been told by some LE whose opinions I respect that Joe Cortez is a good person to take a close look at for Sheriff.

By: Use_it_or_Lose_it on 10/2/09

BRAVO Pixieboohoo

By: pixieboohoo on 10/2/09

If Lenthal is crooked on development favors for friend who donate-what’s he going to cover up for those same friends who donate as sheriff?-NOT the right person for top cop-has shown his true colors as puppet good ol boy with alliances to those he stands to profit from.Wants to run in the “big leagues” and has deviated from the law to do that. NO MORE!

By: soca on 10/2/09

Fractured is correct. When carrying a weapon, one has a responsibility – no booze, no fighting, etc. If you have a firearm as a back up and you leave it your car because you are going to doing some boozing or fighting, etc, you secure it better than putting it in your glove compartment.

Folks this is logic 101, not policy.

That a police chief did this is beyond hubris – It’s “gomerism” a rookie would be fired.

The whole nonsense about the registrations is a red herring. I hope that Karen will go after the changing stories.

Of course allied agencies would not want a police chief embarassed over a mistake. But as has always happened, the cover up is much worse than the “crime”. In this case, Karen is clearly sending the sound that Mulhull is trying to absolve himself – as well he should. The only f*up was party girl.


Insider: Many of us still caaaarrrreee. Out of sight does not necessarily mean out of mind!

By: AA101 on 10/1/09

I also contacted the Santa Maria ATF at 805-348-1820. I left a message with the gun control division agent by pressing 2. I haven’t heard back yet. Good going Nancy Gear I’ll climb on board with you. Does anyone know the serial # of the gun?

By: Nancy on 10/1/09

I have contacted an agent with the ATF in Santa Maria to investigate this. Anyone interested in supporting this effort should e-mail me at


We need a collective effort to get this ball rolling and make our concerns known. The fact that the AG had the nerve to tell us that the statute of limitations had passed is outright condescending. This is indeed a political environment that we are contending with. I also believe that we need a citizens review board. LETS GET STARTED.

By: MartyTracey on 9/30/09

To Insider: That you are irritated enough to respond to my posting tells me and everyone else that you care. And if you care, what more do I need?

By: dhgscw on 9/30/09

Booty – after your latest rambling no one knows what to say. Maybe that is a good thing.

By: easymoney on 9/30/09






you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

I agree with Jorge…

By: insider on 9/30/09

to MartyTracey

You don’t get it. No one caresssssss.

By: JorgeEstrada on 9/30/09

Put down the Booty Juice/Vodka, have cup of coffee and know that the north county has fewer people per acre or a north county vote is less socialistic. We grow the grapes for SLO wine, we catch the water for SLO toilets, we sweat during the summer while SLO politics wordsmith a hummer. Ra Ra ra for the north…Actually, I do realize we are all one….

By: Booty_Juice on 9/30/09

Let’s look at the average north county voter. Chances are, they are one or more of the following:





I really don’t see how this is going to reach any of them. Most of those constituents have Cali Pikey as a first language anyway and are too busy trying to master eating with a knife and fork to be bovvered with an unregistered bang. Most of you posters here use the Internet with Macs and Blackberries. The only macs and blackberries those voters know about are at Micky D‘s and down by the railway embankment, covered in used scratch cards.

Now there’s a thought. Spread the message on chip wrappers, cans of Bud Light, rolling papers, pizza boxes, and benefit forms. Straight to your core vote.

By: MartyTracey on 9/30/09

If you need to be reminded as to how the Wade McKinney organization works, please revisit this CCN article: http://www.calcoastnews.com/news.php?viewStory=172074

By: JorgeEstrada on 9/30/09

Where are the Feds? Our county seems to be over spiced with hypocrisy. This why no one reads the paper anymore, bs vs bs. What a waste of time……

By: Saveslocounty on 9/29/09

Roger, I think you nailed it with the TR quote. That is really beautiful and is exactly on target with my messages.

We should remember the people like Patroldog who go out there every day and give us an honest and energetic service. My hat is off to those men and women and they deserve an ethical leader, which is becoming much harder to find in this county. A clean sweep seems in order for Atascadero, Paso Robles and of course our Sheriff Pat Hedges.

Each of you should be embarassed and stop listening to your damage control advisors. It is time to make that decision to do the right thing and depart on your own before the wheels of justice finally catch up and run you over.

By: Jordan on 9/29/09

It’s odd that who ever reported the stolen gun into the state system made an error and so it never got reported. Good thing the local APD were such good friends and knew it was the Paso Robles police chiefs weapon! Otherwise the criminals would have been in possession of an untraceable .380 SS.

At least they gut “lucky” on that one.

By: Rany on 9/29/09

and another thing. The AG said that the statute of limitations had run its course on Solomon’s failures. Well what about Mulhall, who is a licensed gun dealer who makes 200K a year at his side job, he broke the law when he gave the gun back to her and he knew he was breaking the law ? Then he lied about it. Now what excuse does the AG have?

By: PatrolDog on 9/29/09

As a Peace Officer who has been in law enforcement for many years I have to say that there is no good reason why any peace officer would carry an unregistered weapon. We as peace officers of the law are all familiar with gun registration requirements, that’s part of our job.

On behalf of myself and many honorable law enforcement officers (who have offered opinions ) we find this entire episode to be an embarrassment to our honored profession.

I am off duty and have logged onto this site from a personally owned PC.

By: rogerfreberg on 9/29/09

“Honesty is not so

much a credit as an

absolute prerequisite

to efficient service

to the public. Unless

a man is honest, we

have no right to keep

him in public life; it

matters not how

brilliant his capacity”

Theodore Roosevelt

By: AA101 on 9/29/09

Interesting rant Rany. They did cover each others stories didn’t they. They worked it out and tried it out on the press. It almost worked and I’m certain they have done it before. When I revisit my thoughts on this what comes to mind is that they tried to tell us that they are the police, they are special and they can do no wrong.

I will contact the ATF, I think that is where we can gain some government support, oversight and action.

By: Rany on 9/29/09

It really “irks” me that Mulhall and Solomon had the nerve to tell more lies to KSBY and the Tribune thinking the public would believe them and it would be over. The DA is in this over his head. Isn’t he the one that told the Tribune that he agreed with Solomon’s interpretation of the law! Didn’t Lisa claim that she didn’t have to register her gun because she is a police officer? didn’t Mulhall who is a gun dealer also break the law and say no one did anything wrong? How dare they, that really takes some nerve. They all knew better and that’s why they keep on lying. They all deserve the boot.

By: PaulJones on 9/29/09

I had the opportunity to listen to the Dave Congalton Show on my way home. It’s my opinion that this was covered up from the moment it occurred. Jay Short should have been arrested on the spot and that’s a no brainier. These attempts to cover up are now transparent and have escalated beyond all plausibility.

Lisa Solomon and Jim Mulhall both need to resign or be removed. The district attorney needs to investigate and report to the public or be investigated himself.

Good post Truthsayer and Clementine.

By: Clemintine on 9/29/09

Truthsayer wrote “We all make mistakes in this life, though maybe not of this seriousness–but it is those of us who admit to them and have remorse, prove their true character.”

Your words speak volumes!

By: Truthsayer on 9/29/09

I for one would suggest you refrain from the excuses and feeble attempts of subterfuge on our local air waves.

I find it very sad to think that my wife, son or daughter could have been assaulted or killed by the firearm of a police chief.

You should be more than ashamed and simply step down…

We all make mistakes in this life, though maybe not of this seriousness–but it is those of us who admit to them and have remorse, prove their true character.

Perhaps this person and our current sheriff, Pat Hedges, should go into early retirement and perform community based work that proves they really care about the families of our county rather than simply themselves!

By: R.Hodin on 9/29/09

In which world are people above the law, can walk around with unregistered firearms, not held to standards of truth-telling, get all of the pay and benefits that they ask for, are publicly praised for their heroics (real or inflated), are routinely protected by their peers and higher-ups and are, in sum, not responsible for their actions?

By: Saveslocounty on 9/29/09

I wonder if Mr. Mulhull still thinks “They will get a few more blogs out of it then it will go away?”

One other thing I find interesting with this piece is that there are many more bloggers than normal. Also, many new names that are not familiar to the site. It appears to have pushed a button with many readers.

I hope the two Chiefs have large severance packages in their employment contracts. It looks like they are going to need it.

By: paperboy on 9/29/09

Many police and LE agencies resell confiscated guns once their evidentiary usefulness is over or they’ve been turned in by people who don’t want them anymore.

Then again, many more agencies do not, preferring to destroy them and take the guns off the street forever.

So it would not surprise me to find out that the DA’s office does this or used to do this. Solomon’s ex-hubby Allen Rowe if he was with the DA’s office at the time could easily have gotten the weapon, maybe even more than one. But there still should have been someone who registered the weapon going back to when it was first manufactured and sold. There has to be some kind of paperwork on this gun.

I thought at first this was a major joke of a story but as these boneheads get sucked into it further, the more I think there may be something more to it. I hope the AG decides to look into it.

BTW, police chiefs are NOT elected officials, nor are their bosses, the city managers. If you folks in Paso or A-town want this investigated, you need to demand it from the mayor and city councils who most definitely are elected officials.

A complaint with the Grand Jury might also be in order, hard for Shea to ignore them, like he does the media.

By: Michelle on 9/29/09

drumshril – I find you amusing. We know the GOB’s/ “County” are satisfied with telling us that everything was done appropriately, nothing is wrong, no laws were broken,and they even arrested Mr. Short just like they should have. That’s why we are filing complaints with the AG, ATF and FBI.

“If the taxpayers only knew… ”

Are you having fun yet drumrl??

By: scooterman on 9/29/09

Once again the shit is flowing deep and the people who are supposed to be enforcing the law think it doesn’t pertain to them. If it was Joe citizen they would nail him to the wall. I knew I should have been a cop it would be fun to be above the law..

By: drumsrlrl on 9/29/09

Scarlet, Cindy, et. al. – I wish I could disclose my identity, experience with local government, etc. – unfortunately, that would be suicide.

There is plenty to report in the County – you, CCN and basically the rest of the press are quite honestly just looking under the wrong rocks. I can assure you that the “County” are satisfied with where you are focused. If the taxpayers only knew…

By: dhgscw on 9/29/09

Again, the coverup is worse than the crime.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 9/29/09

The way things are going in the county, we could keep a whole F.B.I. office working full time on S.L.O. for years!!

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 9/29/09

Check saveslocounty’s first post farther down.

By: BeenThereDoneThat on 9/29/09

Saveslocounty has an excellent point to me.

If you go to the A.G. it is still dealing in the world of politics.

Go to the F.B.I. and get out of the sphere of politics.

It is the same with the Financial mess in this county. We aren’t getting anything local and our only hope, if anything, will come from the F.B.I.

Same here.

Good post SaveSloCounty

By: hotdog on 9/29/09

Well Red, you may want to divert attention from what looks like a massive coverup-you’ll never get away with that. The items of interest to us are everything that happened, not just one bit. Like scarlet pointed out, a piece of tape found over a lock on the watergate hotel 35 years ago led to the downfall of a crooked president. First a minor crime, then a huge coverup-same old story with the knuckleheads here. They can’t keep their stories straight, and don’t mind lying to save their sorry butts.

By: Saveslocounty on 9/29/09

Sorry Red Hat lady, you are the one missing the point. The Paso Chief messed up and left her gun in an unlocked car, true. Problem? Yes. Huge deal? No. The REAL concern is the misinformation and attempt to cover the issue up that has created all of the stir. Solomon should have recovered her gun, made sure it was registered and then issued a press release announcing her error. That, would have been the end of the entire story. Oh sure, a couple of blogs and then move on to the next issue. I, along with most people in this community, can understand a person making a mistake and then respect them for accepting the responsibility for that error.

Unfortunately, when a person lies to cover a mistake, then the issue becomes credibility, integrity and respect. But, to make that work, Solomon had to drag in her buddies (Chief Mulhull) who had to lie to cover the tracks. Combine that with the officer making the stop on the guy with a stolen gun being told to let him go, impedes justice. An armed crook deserved a ride to the county jail but escaped that fate to protect Solomon’s reputation. Now, to cover that by filing charges after the fact merely proves the cover up. While the term “Cover Up” sounds sinister and cloak and daggerish, it is appropriately used in this case.

The DA would want to make this problem go away to protect Mulhull and Solomon and to cover his own hind quarters because his employee provided the firearm. He does not want to be splashed with any of this trash. Consequently, he won’t investigate an event that involves his own employee, but should request that the Attorney General conduct an independant investigation. That is what he did with the Sheriff Hedges case and that is what he should do in this case. Of course, they will likly find no fault, but the monkey is off of Shea’s back.

Funny, really. I had never followed local politics and was perfectly content with the integrity and service provided by law enforcement and the DA’s office. Then about 3 years ago I started reading all of the bad decisions by the Sheriff starting with deaths in the jail, death during a minor arrest, wiretapping, conducting a marijuana investigation then calling in the Feds and saying it was there idea, and so on. (By the way,I oppose medical marijuana under the current laws.) What began to imerge was a pattern of deceit, lack of believability and poor leadership resulting in the deteriorization of a once functioning legal system. The good side was that I started researching the information on the internet and learned alot. The down side was the more I read, the larger our local problem became. Coincidental for sure, but it is apparent that our entire government system needs to be re-tooled. We are still operating the way we did in the 1970’s except that we lost our integrity along the way. The kids that grew up lying in order to avoid punishment are using that tactic in their adult professional life with some success. That is where the problem stands and it can be fixed by the city councils, the county board of supervisors, the grand jury and the district attorney which must demand the integrity from their leadership, or else dismiss them.

That is enough soap boxing for any one day and I appologize to red hat if your feelings were hurt. This is a serious topic that must be repaired. Both Chiefs now have ownership in this mess up as well as the DA.

By: Scarlet on 9/29/09

RedH: That’s like saying “The original point was there was a break-in at Watergate Tower,” and claiming the rest of what was subsequently discovered didn’t matter.

By: RedH on 9/29/09

Who are you people RedH stands for Red Hat as in Red Hat Club. I happen to be a grandparent of one of the youth football players. I think everyone is missing the original point here…the Paso Chief Of Police left the weapon in an open vehicle.

By: BIG_SMILES on 9/29/09

drumsrlrl, How many different stories have we been told about this gun and we still don’t have the truth? All we know is that it’s unregistered and has never been registered to anyone! Do you think this story should go away because we were told that nothing is wrong?

Don’t you think if District Attorney Shea is all that you tell us he is that he would want to look into this and maybe even take some action. Are Lisa Solomon and Jim Mulhall above the law or not? Their collective deceit is what has created this sensationalism, not CCN or Karen or the spectators at a game.

By: yelapop on 9/29/09

Interesting points, ogMOM2009. I like to think that CCN would print only what can be verified. Do you think the other info you allude to could not be verified? Can you share it here?

By: Cindy on 9/29/09

drumsrlrl – If DA Shae and his office are not involved in this then DA Shae needs to contact Mulhall and inquire about the receipt that he say’s Lisa Solomon produced. According to Mulhall the gun came from the DA and she had a receipt. Mulhall can’t deny that he said this so it’s up to the DA to set the record straight. Inquiring minds want to know.

By: ogMOM2009 on 9/29/09

I for one am disappointed with CCN. This story is withholding additional information on what Jim Mulhall said. I don’t know why Jim was talking loud, maybe he had a poor connection but he almost sounded amplified. The fact is that he was heard by more than one or two or even three people who were collectively gathered together for the purpose of watching a game. No one has any reason to make this up who don’t even know each other outside these weekly activities.

He was actually making fun of us for being so gullible as if he is above the law. Keep laughing Jim.

By: Scarlet on 9/29/09

drumsrlrl: Well, if Shea is such an upstanding kinda guy, he’ll distance himself from these two publicly and welcome a thorough investigation, won’t he?

“I was begining to think CCN was starting to report and post real stories, but I am again having to reconsider.” So in your world collusion and cover up are not newsworthy?

By: karen on 9/29/09

I will be on the Dave Congalton Show today at 4:30 p.m. to discuss this issue. Turn your radio to 920AM or listen live at 920kvec.com.

By: drumsrlrl on 9/29/09

This story seems to have run it’s course. The County tax payers should be thankful that they have Shea as ther DA. Anyone who know him and the way he has admministered his staff would likely agree.

As for Lisa Soloman, it sounds like her days and time are short.

I was begining to think CCN was starting to report and post real stories, but I am again having to reconsider.

It is obvious what Lisa and Atascadero PD did. Dragging these other into this, is just sensationalizing.

By: Use_it_or_Lose_it on 9/29/09

WHY- Why why why are you focusing on these two – there are OTHER people in the race. Lenthal is a loser and Parkinson is a wannabe loser.

Hello people…if you do not like the schennagins you read about here, don’t vote for either of them. Absolutely don’t or you WILL get more of the same. You all can see this, right? Right? Hello?

By: Cindy on 9/29/09

Scarlet!!!!! RedH stands for Red Head, hahahha that was funny, good one, you might be right. Anyone else have a guess?

SaveSloCounty, Your post is informative and has been well noted by me. I’ll take those actions. This is a convoluted event with many elements to address. Would you possibly be willing to prepare a simple, pointed complaint to address the issues and post it here for people to cut and paste? We might get better results if people keep it simple and we make it simple.

By: Scarlet on 9/29/09

Thanks, mcdonald. I too was laughing picturing RedH tagging along behind Mulhall for the entirety of the game. On the other hand, maybe RedH stands for Red Head and he actually IS the chief….

By: mccdave on 9/29/09

Nice to know the Atascassippi chief of police is licensed to sell cyanide-tipped armor-piercing cop-killer bullets.

“law enforcement having the ability to wave the ten day waiting period” –> “waive”

By: Laura on 9/29/09

“Also, since Mulhall is a licensed firearm dealer on the side, he is mandated to transfer weapons properly and knows or should have known the legal requirement. That falls under the jurisdiction of the ATF http://www.atf.gov/contact/hotlines.htm

WOW A licensed gun dealer / police chief that won’t follow the law and lies to the public about what the law is! Now I’ve passed ANGRY.

By: MartinW on 9/29/09

In my expierence, CCN doesn’t write anything without proof. Ramos is now editor and has cleared this story for print which means that he had to be convinced that this story is accurate.

By: mcdonald on 9/29/09

Web definitions for red herring =

Any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue.

Glad RedH was at the game and followed Mulhall around the entire time and never saw or heard him speaking on his cell phone.

By: Saveslocounty on 9/29/09

All of the complaints to the Attorney General will probably produce nothing. Jerry Brown wants to be Governer once again and won’t step on the toes of a couple of Chiefs of Police because they have a very stong union lobby. Yes, that is right, the Chiefs belong to a union that financially supports candidates for state-wide office. We saw his lack of action on the Sheriff wiretapping case which was a crime.

But, there is an alternative. Continue with your complaints but include a copy to the FBI at http://losangeles.fbi.gov/contact.htm

Government corruption is in the FBI’s top four priorities. Also, since Mulhall is a licensed firearm dealer on the side, he is mandated to transfer weapons properly and knows or should have known the legal requirement. That falls under the jurisdiction of the ATF http://www.atf.gov/contact/hotlines.htm

Mulhall is a very loud talker and it would not surprise me that he was (or could have been)overheard in a public place. Regardless of the validity of the story, this case needs an official investigation which will seperate fact from rumor. Based on the supported facts, they may be cleared or have criminal charges filed. But, it would resolve this issue for the public who are so disappointed in the local law enforcement.

By the way, I’m with Cindy, Lenthall is the better choice than Parkinson for Sheriff. Parkinson is a puppet and Lenthal is decisive. Don’t like his development position but respect his law enforcement experience. But, that is another topic.

By: Cindy on 9/29/09

RedH- Hahahha LOL, I thought I recommended that you ask the Chief if he had the conversation and then come back here and tell us all what he said!

I don’t need to argue with you about this because I know what I’m talking about. I do agree that something is odd isn’t it?

By: Rany on 9/29/09

“Kathy Zalusky, the owner of Uncle Ed’s Outfitters, a licensed gun dealer in Atascadero, said that if the gun had been sold through a licensed dealer after 1991 as the law enforcement trio claims, running the gun’s serial number through the firearms data base would have shown the name of the gun’s last reported owner.”

I suspect that this gun was actually in the possession of the DA as evidence from a crime. Since it was a nice expensive gun and unregistered the DA’s office hated to see it go to waste so they passed it on (maybe even pocketed some money for it). This explains why it was never registered and why no one seems to be able to get the real story out of these three.

RedH = red herring?

By: hotdog on 9/29/09

Chief (redh), anyone who has followed the public comments of these two chiefs smells a rat. No need to have been at the game-nice try but no cigar for trying to bury this thing again.

I have filed a complaint too, and urge all to follow suit. Let’s just see where the chips fall.

And by the way, it’s “were” you at the game? “Where” is the wrong word.

By: RedH on 9/29/09

Cindy – where you there at the game? If the answer is no then you are just ignorant as all the rest and jumping on a gossip band wagon.

By: Cindy on 9/29/09

I just filed my complaint and asked for an investigation. Took all of 3 minutes.


By: Use_it_or_Lose_it on 9/29/09

Please- let’s not narrow it down those pathetic two. After all this do you really want to elect more of the same? That’s insane.

By: Cindy on 9/28/09

pixie – I’ll take Lenthall over Ian Parkinson.

By: Cindy on 9/28/09

RedH – It’s better that you try to make the denial rather than Mulhall. I’ll say nothing more right now. Try asking Mulhall! Tell us what he say’s.

By: Cindy on 9/28/09

WOW ApathyWillKillYou, You caught my attention with that link you posted to the NT. I didn’t recall ever reading anything much about McKinney. HOLY Mackrel, what a read! I thought I knew a few things about the buddies he hired from Shafner but I didn’t know all of this. I suggest people check it out.


By: RedH on 9/28/09

Have any of you people ever been to a youth football game? There is never any quiet time! I was at that game – he never had a conversation within ear shot of anyone on his cell phone. Something doesn’t sound right here.

By: pixieboohoo on 9/28/09

Wade McKinney? Like he’s going to be a straight shooter. Had enough of his crooked antics too?

By: pixieboohoo on 9/28/09

Sounds like a case for Jerry Lenthall-king of corruption!

By: ApathyWillKillYou on 9/28/09

Quit complaining and start calling, writing and emailing!

Gerald Shea, SLO DA, has to answer to…


California Department of Justice

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

Attn: Public Inquiry Unit

P.O. Box 944255

Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

(916) 322-3360


James Mulhall has a boss…


City Manager Wade G. McKinney

City of Atascadero

6907 El Camino Real

Atascadero, California 93422

(805) 461-5000


New Times Article about Wade McKinney


Lisa Solomon has a boss…


City Manager James App

1000 Spring Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446

(805) 237-3888


By: hotdog on 9/28/09

Interesting comments-turn your concerns to action.

Go here to start your complaint:http://www.ag.ca.gov/

By: Jordan on 9/28/09

I believe Solomons X husband did work for the DA’s office. Its possible that it did come from the DA’s office and also come from Solomons X husband. The question is if the gun was purchased between 1995 and 99 then why wasn’t it registered and why did the Atascadero Police Chief say he saw the receipt and it came from the DA’s office? Did the DA’s office sell the gun to Solomon’s X and fail to report it and register it? Could this be why Gerry Shae is involved in this clandestine incident? Why would they sell an unregistered gun to a co-worker to begin with?

By: Laura on 9/28/09

Michelle and rukidding. Lisa Solomon isn’t ignorant or stupid. She is an outright BIG LIAR a manipulator and a criminal (in my opinion). We’ve already caught her lying at least 3 times. She was lying because she knew she was GUILTY. Lying is just like running, it projects a presumption of known guilt (or however they word that).

By: rukidding on 9/28/09


Because you can’t fix stupid.

By: Michelle on 9/28/09

Lisa Solomon seems to just make it up as she goes. She sounds outright ignorant, why?

By: NoCoSkeptic on 9/28/09

“Guns are not community property. They are owned by an individual,” Zalusky said. “The way they did this was inappropriate.”

Ding, ding, ding!! We have a winnah! Zalusky is absoultely correct.

By: Cindy on 9/28/09

I have a feeling that they are caught in this lie beyond any plausible denial. Its going to come down to either Mulhall was lying on the phone or ………..

Oh what a tangled web we weave.

At this point I too believe that this gun intentionally wasn’t registered and carried illegally to be used illegally. I think charges should be brought upon Solomon just like any other citizen. She is no longer above the law that she broke. I also agree that there should be a full investigation into this trio.

By: BIG_SMILES on 9/28/09

The Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon needs to resign. She has lost all semblance of public trust. Between her bankruptcy filing while continuing to run her business and this latest debacle, she is perceived as corrupt and untrustworthy. There is no justifiable reason for her to not have that weapon registered. I perceive that the only reason is a sinister reason.

By: Laura on 9/28/09

rferris, I think your right. cheseburger talked about that and I thought it was far out but I think it’s more of a likely reality than watching too much TV, as it was suggested. I think she carried it in case it could come in handy for her or a member of her department. Why would they let her get away with that? This is serious. We can’t let this go on any longer. Mulhall gave Lisa her throw down gun back and he knew what it was, so did the DA. That’s why she had it unregistered, and never registered to anyone so it could never be traced.

By: rferris on 9/28/09

WOW, Failure to register a firearm (Crime),leaving a loaded gun on front seat of a vehicle(crime),transporting an unregistered handgun unlawfully in a vehicle(crime),unlawful return of a firearm without its being registered(crime) and a conspiracy of 3 to cover or at least mitigate the unlawful acts.

NONE of these matter, when you consider that when a cop carries an unregistered gun it is frequently used to plant on someone the police have shot in error or to frame someone for a crime they did not commit.

A POLICE officer carrying an unregistered firearm should always be looked at as a felony as the most likely reason to have such a weapon is to commit a crime with it.

Why else would it not be registered????

This is a bigger issue than cops being above the law!!!

By: Laura on 9/28/09

How Funny, Solomon, Mulhall and Shea have acted exactly like criminals do! They have lied, changed stories and then wagged their tongues about elements of the crime! They have conducted themselves as if they have got away with things like this for so long that they are above suspicion. CCN has acted like law enforcement does and boxed them in along with statements they made to KSBY. Is there any end to the Good Old Boys network?

Elections are coming and I hope this will inspire a few good people to run against Shae. He needs to go. I always thought there was something fishy about him. He is afraid of the press and to be asked questions point blank.I read about him in the New Times last week. He has something to hide.

By: AA101 on 9/28/09

These Three officials have conspired to facilitate a cover up of a criminal misdemeanor (at best) . This, in and of itself is a criminal offense. The prosecution of the “outside offender” Mr Short, was also designed with complicity to obfuscate the facts.

The “fox(es) are guarding the hen house” and…..they have left the barn door open.

This “must”, at this point, become a matter of mainstream public scrutiny.

By: Nancy on 9/28/09

“We are all in close contact. They will get a few more blogs out of it then it will go away.”

Mullhall is right, it will go away unless we follow hotdog and Paul’s suggestions. It’s the right direction to start with. I didn’t complain to the AG because I thought other people did. I’ll do my part and file a complaint. I’m on my way to check out the website at http://www.ag.ca.gov/ . I’ll keep everyone posted of my progress. I hope others do the same, it can’t be that hard, can it? I’ll find out right now.

This one isn’t going to go away, Mullhall.

By: PaulJones on 9/28/09

hotdog is correct. Nothing will change if the citizens don’t take action. Stop leaving it to other people to do your job, speak out, these law enforcement officials are on our (your) payroll. We can demand action and receive but only if “we the people” ask for it.

Contact the Attorney General and demand an investigation. THAT MEANS YOU, TOO.

By: hotdog on 9/28/09

This is what we all figured was going on, collusion in the highest offices to avoid scrutiny and deceive the public. What a bunch of crooks. Let’s all contact the Attorney General to see if we can get a LEGAL opinion on all this instead of the usual excuses and lies from local yokels.

Go here to start your complaint:http://www.ag.ca.gov/

By: LensCleaner on 9/28/09

As an oldtimer once put it … “Something ain’t right”

By: Cindy on 9/28/09

None of this makes any sense. What is it about that gun that they are all lying about? We need an investigation, now. The DA is also way out of line and sounds like he’s involved in a cover up. If they would go this far over Solomon being such a screw up what else would they lie about?

By: Booty_Juice on 9/28/09

“Law enforcement is not above the law.”

She obviously doesn’t live in the same world as that pink faced old fat fingered Barney in the picture.