Sheriff spokesperson seeing red

May 27, 2010

Rob Bryn


With two weeks to go, the six-candidate race for sheriff in San Luis Obispo County is getting testy with the communication spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department calling the supporters of one candidate, Joe Cortez, “commies” or communists.

Rob Bryn, who is the department’s official media spokesman, supports the candidacy of San Luis Obispo police Capt. Ian Parkinson for sheriff. Parkinson, Cortez and four others are on the June 8 primary election ballot competing for the job.

Bryn admitted that he wrote a press release announcing Parkinson’s candidacy for sheriff that was distributed in March 2009, prompting some to question whether Bryn has a conflict of interest since he still works for the outgoing sheriff, Pat Hedges.

Bryn told CalCoastNews that he sees no conflict in supporting Parkinson, who was described by many as the frontrunner.

“What I do off duty is my own business, and it’s nobody’s business who I do (support), or do not support in a political situation,” Bryn said of his support for Parkinson. “I will be doing what I can to help out. I’ve known the guy for 25 years.”

Nevertheless, Cortez, a former police chief of Pismo Beach, has been very vocal in his plans to eliminate Bryn’s position with the Sheriff’s Department if elected sheriff.

In response to Bryn’s comment that his supporters are “commies,” Cortez said:

“Some people get caught up in the heat of the campaign and their emotions get the better of them. It is an unfortunate situation and that is why it is time for positive change in the sheriff’s department.”

Cortez went on to say that he would do away with Bryn’s position as the department’s media spokesman.

“The position that Rob has is a full time position with benefits and a take home car and that is just not a luxury we can afford at this time,” Cortez said. “I will look to reduce that position to a part time position with no benefits and no car.”

In addition, several of the remaining four candidates have said they will either eliminate or reduce to part time the spokesperson position.

Last week, the New Times asked readers in San Luis Obispo County who they wanted to be the next sheriff.

Supporters of both Parkinson and Cortez began shooting out e-mails and Facebook pleas to have their friends vote for their candidate. More than 3,000 people – more than 10 times the usual New Time’s poll voters – logged on to vote for their candidate with the leader fluctuating between Cortez and Parkinson.

During a time that Cortez was leading in the poll, Bryn began sending out pleas to his 589 Facebook friends, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and recently appointed Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria, to vote for Parkinson.

“Attention: San Luis Obispo Sheriff Officers and friends, The New Times website has a sheriff poll and the Cortez staff is on it,” Bryn said in his post last Monday. “Let’s get up and give Parkinson the vote. Don’t let the commies win.”

In the end, Parkinson won the unscientific poll with Cortez coming in second.

Ed. Note: Rob Bryn issued a statement Thursday night denying that he has a “take home” car through the Sheriff’s department.


I’m surprised that Rob has a take home car. Why? Good question for the Grand Jury to snoop around about. Why not have the county supervisors look into this too. Lastly, mize as well have Rob on the Dave Congalton show with Karen to get down to the brass tacks of this point. I’m sure SAn Luis County is just dying to know the reason..


If anyone had a notion that the sheriff’s department would change/improve/shine under Ian Parkinson, the aforementioned actions of “official media spokesman” Rob Bryn totally refute that. “Commies”, indeed.


Yawn Parkinson.


“Commies?” The Constitutional Rights granted to each citizen to vote for our representatives is a sacred institution not shared by communist countries. That is one of the most slanderous and insulting comments anyone could make. The Parkinson camp, with Rob Bryn as their spokesperson, is so far from the main-stream citizens in this county that it is frightening. Using the term “commie” or “communist” equates to gross violations of human rights and the slaughter on millions of Jews by the Nazi’s. As horrible as the “N” word is, this wording used toward others who are exercising their rights is equally disgusting. The newly elected Vice President’s comment to President Obama, “This is a big F…ing Deal,” was troublesome but at least not attacking. What in the world was Bryn thinking? Here lies the shameful underbelly of local politics. For the Sheriff to employ a “spokesperson” who cannot control his own tongue is a waste for our precious tax dollar. Mr. Bryn, you owe each of us an apology.


This is just one more example of why people should be voting for Mike “Tex” Teixeira for Sheriff. I am so tired of all this local political intrigue. Once again I’ll say, we need someone from outside the current system to fix things. Tex is that person.

Paul Anthony

I completely agree with you up to the point that you conclude Tex is the right person for Sheriff.

Cortez is.

Truth be told, I’d be ok if I had to be, with Tex. He’s 2nd in my mind, with Parkinson, Lenthall, and Hall competing for who is best as a bottom.


I’m surprised that Rob has a take home car. Why?

Also, I’m very surprised by a Letter to the Editor in today’s New Times from Charles Lynch, who was on trial in federal court for medical marijuana. He gave his reaction to the six different sheriff candidates. This is what he said about Ian Parkinson:

“Ian Parkinson: I kind of like Parkinson but am pissed that he didn’t respond to my email questions. I saw Parkinson’s response to an email from a local attorney inquiring about dispensaries and although he had a decent response that he would not enforce federal law and would not walk all over the California Constitution and incorporated cities if they allowed dispensaries, the response came from his brother because Parkinson was too busy to take time to answer the question himself.”

The response came from his BROTHER?????  Didn’t Ian already get negative media attention once for those allegations about his brother helping him write answers to something? I find this equally bizarre.


My support for Parkinson has diminished…Had I read this news story before I wrote my letter to the editor I would have not suggested Parkinson…At least at the end of my article I say I hope the new sheriff fires Bryn…Anyhow after reading this article, the stuff about Parkinson’s tax lies and some tips from people I have heard from since I wrote my letter to the editor, now I am leaning toward Teixeira or Cortez. Still a couple weeks to think about it…



No offense, but who give a rats ass who you support for Sheriff.

Your issues are not my issues, bro.

Paul Anthony

I think it’s worth a rat’s ass to know if my elected law enforcement official will enforce the COUNTY and state laws or ignore them and enforce the FEDERAL laws.

The Sheriff is an elected COUNTY [and state] official, not a Federal agent.

If you want to vote for someone who can’t tell the difference, I ask you to refrain from voting this round.


Unfortunately, the oath of office includes the enforcement of all laws and to suport the Constitution of the United States. Again, we are best served by legislation that is consistent between state and federal governments rather than complaining about who ignores or enforces the existing laws.

Paul Anthony

Except for the fact that of all the choices a law enforcement agent can make about which resources to use for what, Hedges and anyone else, can decide to apply very limited man-hours to investigating child abuse, domestic violence, other forms of violent crime, robberies and home invasions. Instead of spending our – yours and mine – our resources on these critically important and long lasting for the victim crimes, he spent a ton of money enforcing a Federal issues when the Feds themselves did not.

That kind of thinking, judgement, and decision making has to go.

Did you read any of the Tribune today? Read about the use of our county counsel, numerous court and planning and other county staff and resources, court room time, OVERTURNING one of Lenthall’s, just one, of Lenthall’s bad decisions when “Chairman of the Board” as he likes to say. There will be more. Is there anyone still wanting to vote that into office again?

And now we have Parkinson’s brother writing his little brother’s work for him in response to a citizen’s question. After the fact that Ian’s brother wrote his essay exam questions for him, and the negative response from the community, you would think that he would quiet that down a little. Again, a demonstration of short-sighted thinking, poor self-interested judgement, and plain old bad decision making.

I am really glad the word is getting out nice and strong for Joe Cortez.


And he makes $80,000 a year plus benefits!


Mr. Bryn, did you call a “wahbumlance” per chance?


Interesting comment from Mr. Bryn “What I do off duty is my own business.” You have a county take home car and you’ve attended several candidate forums driving that county car. Shouldn’t you park the county car and drive your own car before attending these forums? And I happen to be in possession of an email, under your name, you sent out from your county computer that reeks of politics. So Mr. Bryn, please, don’t follow your candidate and lie. From my observations and from many of those that have seen you, you are very active in getting the word out for your candidate will on duty.


Great post but I believe this needs to be mentioned also,”“I will be doing what I can to help out. I’ve known the guy for 25 years.” Nothing like saying I’m just one more of the,

GOOD OLD BOY’S, and YEE HAW, WE STICK TOGETHER, like a cow’s poop on a boot!

We need a sheriff who, will uphold the constitution, make his officer’s go by the book, respect state laws, eliminate nepotism with in the dept., eliminate do nothing positions for friends, will not participate in mudslinging and slanderous emailing, write his own material without help from friends or relatives, and take a pay cut. The amount of green these guy’s get who will never be shot at or be endangered, is not fare to the men and women wearing green in our military, who get shot at, bombed at, mortared at, and some come back without an arm or a leg, and some don’t come back at all, ask each candidate if he respects our military enough to donate %20 of his salary to combat victims, now that would be a true commitment to protect

and serve. One more thing get it in writing, and notarize it.


My apologizes, the site was busy and I put the almost exact post at the top. And to willie grow up, this kind of crap deserves to get zapped by the___________, “when you return home the media called you children killers not commies (give me a break hero-how sickening)!”

willie most people returned home from Vietnam injured mentally if not physically and we left a lot of good soldiers there, how dare you even write something like this, makes one think, maybe you are Lenthal, who have seen loose his temper, on at least one occasion, good beat cop though. But I wouldn’t want him leading a girl-scout hike.

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