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 have made my decision and it wasn’t easy, I have thought long and hard and even changed my decision along the way. I am decided. I am going for CORTEZ. I am certain I have made my best choice,


I am glad you spent the time researching your decision. Too bad Joe can’t spell “Veteran” on his advertisement featured on this site.


That’s not Joe’s fault. Thai’s the person who did the advertising layout.


I was commending Nancy for researching and making an informed decision. Pointing our the spellling was tongue in cheek to clue Joe’s team. Nothing more.


The spelling error was the fault of CalCoastNews. We apologize for the error and take full responsibility.


Rob, Rob, Rob. What were you thinkin’?


Parkinson got the support of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association but as you all may recall, the DSA no longer represents the actual deputies, the sworn law enforcement officers.

The DSA is now just the correctional officers at the County Jail and Honor Farm and non-sworn staff. The deputies last year formed a new union (sorry I can’t recall their name), so when the DSA endorses Parkinson, that does NOT mean the deputies on patrol support him.

I’m told that when he first decided to run for Sheriff, Parkinson promised the jailers that he would make them all deputies, which would mean a significant raise in pay and retirement but also would mean each and every one of them would have to be sent to the police academy.

Correctional officers have a 6 week academy and sworn officers go through 6 months. I’m told by someone high up in the department that it would cost about $10 million to send them all through the academy and they would have to hire at least 10 more jailers to cover the shifts for when they are away. So the DSA should know that this is most likely an empty promise that Parkinson could never keep.

As for Rob Bryn having a take-home car that is fine with me. He gets called out at all hours of the night all over the county to be the public information officer at the scene of big cases.

As a journalist, and cop beat reporter, it’s nice to have someone who can give you the information on scene especially with a deadline looming.

To me the question is whether he is driving around in a new Chrysler V-8 or a used 4-banger sedan? I would think a sedan would be sufficient.


“I’m told…I’m told…” Why post your rumors? Why don’t you find someone with actual knowledge of what you claim Parkinson said to “the jailers” instead of just posting this dribble? Each of your arguments here are based on nothing more than rumor.

As to whether Parkinson is endorsed by the SLO Co. deputies, check out his website:

He is certainly endorsed by a heck of a lot more deputies than any other candidate.


Here’s a fact for you Waiting. It looks like Parkinson only received 21 endoresements from active deputy sheriff’s. That is a small percent of the membership from the approximately 150 members of the Association of San Luis Obispo County Deputies Sheriff’, the real street cops. Of course, the correctional officers and clerical staff mislabeled as Deputy Sheriff’s in his endorsement list were removed which was an additional ten people or so. Sorry, that number really isn’t very impressive for a group of people picking their own boss.


Do you dispute that he is endorsed by more law enforcement officers, including deputies, than any other candidate? Where do you get that?

You recently wrote, “The mound of improprieties is overwhelming.” Why don’t you enlighten us: What are you talking about and what/who are your sources of information?

Dale, why don’t you admit that you just have an ax to grind. That would at least be understandable. Otherwise, your irrational attacks are hard to understand.


Unbelievable behavior from a man who should have better sense. Refering to others who may support a different candidate as a “commie” is the height of ignorance.

Do you think this is behavior befitting an employee of the Sheriff’s Office?

Just for your information Mr Bryn … This weekend I made sure to fly my American flag in respect to our country and the sacrifices of our soldiers, many who have died to allow us to make choices in our democracy.

Am I to believe their sacrifices make them commies too?

For all of you folks who are offended at this mans ignorant intolerance make sure to fly your flag this weekend as a show of respect to our soldiers who have paid the price to ensure that we have the freedom to make educated choices about those who lead us.


I don’t know Bryn

I don’t know any of the candidates.

I am willing to bet, Bryn viewed this site, maybe participated.

There is a chance someone here accused him of being one of the candidates as did me and others.

This is where I believe he politically responded incorrect but accurately (perhaps insulting legitimately).

At this time and point, most posters will hesitate considering the flip side of the coin to your Cortez Mafia that hoards and dominates for any additional insight..

Like it or not, be glad someone has the gall to tell you before your bashing Bsing, accusing other others of being a candidate in disguise (I’m still laughing) further insult others and make an A of yourself on Cortez’s behalf. Great Job!


Willie, your not making any sense. There are Lenthal supporters on this blog, SaveSLOCounty is a Lenthal supporter, yet there are still people who agree with each other on certain points and simply debate without attacking each other. There are also Tex supporters on this blog. I haven’t seen anyone on this blog attacked but only respectful debates have insued. All insight has been welcomed and you are the first person to now call Cortez supporters a Mafia! Is it that we debate well, too well with clear logic and his supporters POINTS are WELL MADE?


Nancy, I guess ol’ willie is a troll; and though it’s hard to let his ranting go without contest, I guess we should just ignore him as a crank and a fool. Maybe the moderator will kill his access since he ads nothing but junk to the discussion.


Yes, I am a supporter of Lenthall which was based on my decision arrived after reviewing as much material as possible. I have also enjoyed some spirited dialog on this site and have the utmost respect for several “non-Lenthall” supporters who follow their opinion with reasons. That is awesome and mature blogging without attacks are always welcome. Nancy, you are correct any your voice is appreciated as well.


My concern with Lenthall is that he’s going to wind up triple-dipping himself, and has supported policies allowing it. And although I admit this may be judging a book by its cover, it seems like his focus historically has been continuously striving for political power, as opposed to a specific focus on law enforcement. I’m leaning towards Hall at the moment, I really need to do more research though.

Paul Anthony

Thumbs up, still thinking and not wanting the 3-dip or the seeking of power over a real commitment to serving the public.

Thumbs down for not getting yet, about Hall.

Making it easy for you, Kaney.



I don’t know how he could triple dip the retirement system. With PERS you have to work 5 years to be vested and with the county I thought it was 10 years for vesting in the safety pension. So Jerry would have to be Sheriff for 3 terms to meet that critera and then he could receive up to 36% of his salary upon retirement. Based on his age, he is likely a two term Sheriff which would give him time to turn the shop around and leave it much better than he arrived. Adding a retirement is clearly not the motivation behid Lenthall running for Sheriff.


Jerry Lenthall is only concerned about Jerry Lenthall. He is running for sheriff for only one reason he believes that he can win. He has a lot of connections ( good ole boy Republicans) in the County and he has a top notch campaign consultant. Anyone who votes for Mr. Lenthall because they believe he is going to make a good Sheriff is being fooled. I’d suggest you take another look at anyone else except Mr. Lenthall.


brettmx Lenthall has no campaign consultant (no paid staff). He is running his campaign with all volunteers (many who are not republicans and certainly not good ole boys). I have asked several voters who did not support Lenthall as supervisor why they are supporting him for Sheriff, they stated the other candidates do not have the level of understanding of our county, how our county government operates, and most importantly the other candidates do not show the same degree of passion and compassion for law enforcement (as the New Times reporter stated in his article regarding Lenthall). He understands those in our county jail have mental health, drug and alcohol issues and has a plan to help these people.


It looks like the “good old boy” repulican money went primarily to Parkinson, not Lenthall. Lenthall took the opportunity to serve on the Board of Supervisors and gleened a great deal about dealing with massive budgets, huge personnel issues and dealt with some of the most challenging personnel issues faced by any employer in this county. Lenthal actually has attained the education suitable, not still working on it as several of his competitors. Lenthall has paid his taxes and remains truthful in his responses. Lenthall is the only candidate who has consistently shared a vision of working with mental health, probation and drug and alcohol service to solve the problem of recidivism in the county jail. Government most break out of the old school disciplines and work seamlessly together to solve community problems. Jerry Lenthall is clearly the most skilled choice for Sheriff. Please get out the vote on Tuesday,.


Returning somewhat on point, these men had fought against communism. This has brought back some horrible images for a few soldiers here and that was my original point. Americans do not call fellow Americans “Commies” because they aren’t voting for their favorate candidate on a local election. The Sheriff is an important election and having a strong opinion on a particular candidate is fine. However, to slander the opposition like Parkinsons spokesman has done crosses all lines of good taste and acceptable behavior for adults. Bryn and the Parkinson political machine need to apologize for their offensive attack against another candidate. Very disappointing behavior.


Well said Saveslo, I was very offended by being called a commie. My father lost an eye and the hearing in one of his ears fighting the communist. BY the time they got around to making glass eye’s that were realistic he had lost so much muscle surrounding his eye that he never looked right but he was always a proud American. I can imagine how calling Cortez and the rest of us, “commies” would impact some people who might not know better. Regardless, as far as I’m concerned, Bryn can just keep his apology. Seeing him replaced will do the trick, IMO. Of course I can not speak for everyone.


I suppose you are right Cindy. Perhaps the apology was a hollow appeal to see if the man has any compassion or morale backbone and just had a slip of the tongue, or if hate drives his emotions. I can still have respect for someone who owns up to their mistakes. Neither Bryn nor Parkinson have shown the ability to act like men of honor and one even compounded his lie. These two are a disappointing pair to say the least. Thank your father for his service to our contry for me and my flag is up in his honor and those who have sevrved.


Thank You, I appreciate that Savesslocounty and may the best man win. One thing we both know is that the best man isn’t Parkinson.


Cindy. That is a classy response and is appreciated. After Tuesday, we both may have another decision to make regarding the general election. The field is way too large for anyone to capture the 50% plus one vote necessary to win the seat.


Agreed, I’ve never thought for a moment that anyone would capture this race in the primary. I would feel a lot better if I wasn’t concerned that Parkinson might actually be in the run off for the general election. He has garnered so much money from special interest and ….. well heck we all know that he has used every game in the book to capture an uninformed audience. I just hope that people are paying attention, it’s so important to play attention, our county and our state is at risk this time around.


Willie, sad as it is, war is hell. And many of our troops were baby killers. War turns ordinary people into beasts sometimes-even Americans. The VN war was the first publicized on TV and the folks back home got to see what hell it was, and what their little boys were doing. Though the vast majority of our soldiers were just doing their job some went way too far. And even now in bush’s wars many of our troops have been accused and convicted of torture, rape and murder by their own government. How do you like that?

So, quit whining about your little problems and boring us with your drivel. Go back to school and come back when your head and typing fingers are connected.


No cheeseburger.

Its true! My brother was very hurt hurt he came back (He received a purple heart) being called a child killer.

You are correct. the war affected him mentally more than physically, he sleep on a water bed for years, his best threapy was grass. He would tell me that he would get lots of flashbacks. They do not like talking about the war.

Your also correct, the only real heros are dead (according to my dad).

I was offended by one post my service (who the H is he!)


Willie, You really need to think before you post. I will add that people here are correct, use a spell checker. Half the time we don’t know what your talking about. I’ve tried to be helpful and catch you up on details that you are obviously “behind on” at times but honestly, you just go too far. WE don’t have to agree with the person you vote for, this is a democracy. We have shown you respect and you have taken advantage of that, IMO.

In short – Willie, Have some respect.


Willie who ever you vote for doesn’t matter to us you are building a strong candidacy for Cortez just by being so ignorant and lame to write nonsense like this, thanks!,,,,”I agree with Bryn (by definition) on his comment about Cortez and his commies.” Old saying give a man enough rope, well we all know the rest, except it seems your are hanging some candidates and hurting there campaigns. I have been know to write some stupid stuff, but you my poor sole take the cake, you are calling Hotdogs, Cheseburgers, and so much other lame crap, I think, I can speak for all of us, we hope you do not own a gun, and absolutely pray you are not in law enforcement, I’d even go so far to bet you still would have slaves if allowed.


Gracious amigo, vio con dios!