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.

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I’d say that Mr. Bryn can just keep his apology because as far as I’m concerned, he has confirmed that Cortez is the right man for the job. I would expect that a professional spokes person would identify a viable concern if, in fact, they knew of one.

As for Mr. Bryn’s opinion that what he does and say’s on his own time is his business, not exactly, he is a recognized public “mouth piece” that represents our County Sheriffs department and therefore what he say’s goes towards his integrity and reflects upon the county as a whole.

Mr Bryn, you have proved yourself to be a childish, petty little man and an embarrassment to the Sheriffs Department, not that embarrassment is anything new to that agency.

The restoration of pride and integrity is just around the corner. BTW, may I suggest that you go car shopping.

But first, go job hunting.

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.

Thank you Cindy

No matter how Cortez inflate his background, he and his commies are not truely the same caliper, capability, integrety or dedication of Hall or Lenthal!

I agree with Bryn (by definition) on his comment about Cortez and his commies.

However I disagree with Bryn’s endorsement of Parkinson (at this time).

willie you are making a very strong statement about Joe Cortez’s character and I think it might reflect more on yours? What has Joe Cortez done to inflate his background as you state publicly?

Are you confusing him with Lenthall or Parkinson?

If you been tracking, it should be obvious!

You vote for who you want!

Lenthal might be one of my choice, I have not voted yet!

Willie: You seem to get more incoherent the more you post here. You state that whatever Joe Cortez has done to “inflate his background” should be obvious, but that is a tried and not-too-true method of attacking a person without specificity (meaning, you are not being specific, you are just throwing something against the wall to see if it will stick) If you have a specific allegation concerning Joe Cortez, state it. Man up, stop with the slimy tactics and give specifics, if you really have them. Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

Good job Willie (or is it Jerry?). Are you a real person, or just a neo con without morals? I support Joe, I have an honorable discharge from the military, I’m a commie viet nam era vet.

State where Joe has inflated his background. State why you call his supporters ‘commies’?

And anyone with a brain could not fail to notice what an illiterate fool you are, check your spelling-awful. Are you the future of America? Yikes…………………


I have seen accused of pretending to be Lenthal on this site, its a laugh indeed!

What does your military background have to do with all this, when you return home the media called you children killers not commies (give me a break hero-how sickening)!

In October 2009 my brother and I buried my father a WWII Army Airforce Combatant (Flying Tiger Team dispatched form SLO) at The Veteran Cemetery in Riverside. My brother was a Sargent in US Marines, a Vietnam Veteran. Both were combat solders, both honorably discharged, my brother being give a Blue Cross medal. They both resent people boosting about military service because the majority have never seen the reality or results of combat which is why they use their service to brag or manipulate others.

What??? WTF is a “Blue Cross” medal? Usually I can read through your incoherency, but what has this got to do with anything?

Continue hallucinating, your a real laugh

Would you like me to change my user name to Ian or Jerry?

Don’t change yours, Hotdog is fitting for you.

When things tend to be more true they are more unpleasant

More true things are the less politically incorrect they are

Opps earlier typ error

When things tend to be more true they are more unpleasant

More true things are the less politically correct they are

Dear willie,. So your brother was a hero! Wow cool! What have you done to better AMERICA?

Thought so, not much? Don’t cap on a vet’s record if you don’t have one!

P.S. What the hell does this actually mean, “Opps earlier typ error

When things tend to be more true they are more unpleasant

More true things are the less politically correct they are”

Please clarify this to those who are not psychic!

My god willie, my heart goes out to you, you are full of more hate then I am, I wish you nothing more then peace and happiness, some of your posts are readable but others, “Hes” seem like you are drunk and typing with one eye closed, like I do sometimes, you are taking this far to personal, we all forgive you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryn calling the Cortez family “commies” is schoolyard nonsense coming from a man who will lose his job soon. The fact that both Joe and Kathy served their country in the armed forces and that subsequently Joe spent 35 years dedicating his life to law enforcement and remember he is still the only candidate that has done what the others can only plan to do.

All said and done he will deliver because he always has, people like Joe just do. they are called leaders, they do not hide their shortcomings, they do not make excuses for their lack of education because they made sure they have the necessary credentials. A true leader does the job, no matter how big a department, you simply do the job. Its like saying a SLO cop could never work in LA because of the size difference.

Successful leaders have a track record of success, wannabees make excuses for why they havent risen to the occasion,they might collect degrees in martial art black belts instead of real school

Jeez Robbie, what a crummy cheap shot. Even though the true definition of ‘communist’ is not derogatory it has become such by evil people like you who, for almost a century, have used it to purge our society of intellectuals, thinkers and others you consider ‘dangerous’.

Plenty of nasty people before you who resorted to this sort of dirty politics for personal gain. Don Segretti (Nixon’s dirty trickster), Karl Rove (Dubya’s), Ralph Reed (for the so called christian coalition)-all masters at name calling and political dirty tricks designed to fool and herd the voters this way and that. Good work Rob, you have now joined their ranks. You don’t give a damn about democracy or fairness-as long as you win.

Of course we are all trained theoretically that it is how you play the game that matters, but you don’t care about that, do you? You only want to win no matter what the cost, no matter how low you have to go, no matter who loses. You sort of make our cop smugglers look good.

This is getting better and better as we get closer to June 8th. Parkinson can’t tell the truth and now Rob Bryn tells us he’s not out there campaigning while on SLO County time. I cry foul. Second lie to come out of the Parkinson camp. I also give the state of California a lot of credit for removing all the Parkinson for Sheriff signs that were placed illegally on state property. Didn’t I read somewhere that Parkinson teaches an ethics class at Alan Hancock College? Start practicing what you teach Mr. Parkinson.

And now I read a letter to the editor that Gary Hoving is supporting Jerry Lenthall. Lenthall was on the Board of Supervisors that approved giving Hoving $600,000 to settle out of court his claim the sheriff had his office bugged. Am I missing something here?

Wow this guy sounds like a real piece of work.. but then when you consider who he works for, you’d have to be. It’s all irrelevant anyway, because the next sheriff is going to be Lenthal. Though I’m not real keen on his politics, I’m sure that some heads will roll under him and that’s not a bad thing. How can I be so sure he’s going to win, even though I don’t support him? Because the people that support him are people that are part of the same demographic as Mr Freberg.. a demographic which votes, consistently, but generally doesn’t get involved in the pre-election mayhem. They comprise a huge portion of the population in the area.

I couldn’t agree more. Lenthall doesn’t owe the union anything and has a handle on the problems. He is certainly not afraid to take care of business and will really clean up the Sheriff’s Department. It was a little disappointing for Cortez to refocus Bryn’s foot-in-mouth and turn it into a campaign speech. I guess being called one of the most obscene words imaginable doesn’t bother Cortez as much as it did me. This isn’t a sticks and stones issue, it is one of compassion and class, neither of which were demonstrated by Mr. Bryn. I best not hold my breathe waiting for his apology.

You’ll have to excuse me for being superficial, but if I were to cast a show with a crooked small town Sheriff in the deep south and his lecherous sidekick spokesman, Bryn is the guy who would get the part. I agree, keep breathing while waiting for the apology.

By the way I have to say my original comment was inspired by my father (who has never missed an eleection), who was right in pointing out I’ve missed voting in quite a few elections because I wasn’t on top of getting my registration in after changes of residence. And most of Roger’s comments are exactly what my dad would say on the subject. The city does not usually go the way of the vote of this demographic, because a large portion live in unincorporated areas, but the county often does. So, I think Lenthall has this one in the bag.

That is a very good observation. It truly is!

But I also see that Bryn’s remarks reactionary (labeling commies) to Cortez’s supporters manipulating media.

And maybe by definition, he might be correct too!

(I am expecting tons of thumbs down for this)

The reason the Sheriff’s union is backing Parkinson is because they know he won’t make any big changes.. And since he’s in his mid-40s, he’ll need to get re-elected in order to qualify for his pension at 50. This is not the guy that’s going to come in and make the changes that need to happen. We don’t need a “nice” guy, we need someone with the training, background and specific leadership skills needed for that job. There’s a big difference between someone who has been the boss and someone who hasn’t. You can’t be everyone’s friend when you are the boss. Joe Cortez has all of the leadership skills needed for the position and he’s not afraid to go head to head with the union. The mess we are in now will take years to clear up.

Just for the record I am not voting for any of the candidates mentioned here.

Moving along, let me say that the problem of expense reports, company cars, credit cards and such are a problem. I do see the value of having some cars and reasonable expenses, say for the sheriffs; but I hope everyone knows that the perks in the county for various county employees have seldom been made public. Does the name Gayle Wilcox mean anything to you?

I think in the era of diminished revenue, the county leadership should lead the way by asking some reasonable questions about compensation and benefits in the face of a new austere reality that awaits.

Rob Bryn is passionate about the person he supports and that is fine as far as it goes … however, if their are ‘excesses’ of pay and benefits, redundant positions and unnecessary staffing… well, this needs to be addressed in aggregate with all county positions …

Roger Freberg

When requested by the Supes to bring in a budget showing a 10% savings, Hedges just snorted. I suspect that the new Sheriff will have to go well beyond a 10% reduction. I see no reason why Bryn’s position is full time or that he should have a take-home vehicle. I suspect he’d do much much better commuting by bicycle, just from his appearance in the above photo.

Roger, I gave you a thumbs up for everything but your last comment.

You’re wrong about it being ok to use our money to promote his man in the hopes he can keep his job or get a lateral transfer and still keep his job. At $80,000 a year, this is on a partial report. He gets vacation and sick pay, he gets training pay plus expenses, he gets health, dental, vision, and mental health insurance and he gets a pension that will be 90% or so of whatever he retires at, plus health, dental, vision, and mental health insurance.

And, if you have your way, he will be rewarded for seeing that Mr. Clean-up can’t touch that.

Bryn is a civilian employee and not eligible for the 90% retirement unless he worked until he was about 90 years old. The civilians do not have the same retirement plan as the real cops. I wonder if Bryn pays income tax on the take home car as a financial benefit? The county should be reporting that to the IRS.

Please spend some time getting to know the real Mr. Bryn. Able to move from government job to job with a dearth of expertise. Adept at ingratiation and blow-hardiness. While there, look deeply into political affiliations and the ‘strings’.