Update: Parkinson unaware of tax liens?

May 14, 2010

Ian Parkinson

In response to allegations that San Luis Obispo County Sheriff candidate Ian Parkinson was untruthful when he said that he has never had any tax liens, attorney John Ronca said his candidate had paid off three liens and asserts Parkinson did not remember them because the amounts were so small.

“After reviewing the printout and checking the county records, Ian does not deny that liens were filed, he simply did not recall them on the show, nor does he recall them now,” Ronca said in an e-mail to Dave Congalton at KVEC radio. “The bottom line is that Ian was completely honest on your show when he said he always paid his taxes and that he was unaware of any tax liens.”

Ronca said he reviewed county records and found that all of the liens were more than five years old and the amounts were under $240.

He, however, failed to mention a 2006 lien on a property Parkinson owned in Monterey County that was also listed in the e-mail.

In 2006, after Parkinson failed to pay a property tax bill of $1,546 for a home he owned at 44250 Via Canada in King City, the Monterey County Tax Collector placed a lien on the property. More than a year later, on Aug. 31, 2007, Parkinson paid the bill, according to the Monterey County Tax Collector’s office.

In San Luis Obispo County, if a recreational vehicle owner fails to pay their boat taxes on time, the county sends out a notice of intent to place a lien on the property. If the property owner does not respond to the notice, a lien is place on the boat, said Art Bacon, San Luis Obispo County principal financial analyst.

In the 2007/2008 tax year, the tax collector sent Parkinson a notice of intent to file a lien if he did not catch up on his delinquent taxes. He paid the bill prior to a lien being recorded, Bacon said.

In the 2005/2006 tax year, Parkinson failed to respond to the notice and a lien of $164 was placed on his boat. Shortly afterwards Parkinson paid the tax and the late payment fines.

In the 2002/2003 tax year, Parkinson again failed to respond to the notice and a temporary lien of $201was placed on his boat.

In the 2001/2002 tax year, Parkinson owned two boats. The tax collector sent him notices of intent to file liens on both vehicles.

When he did not respond to the notices, the county tax collector’s office filed liens of $237 and $222 on the boats. Parkinson paid both liens off within a few months of the recording.

In the 1999/2000 tax year, the tax collector sent Parkinson a notice of intent to file a lien if he did not catch up on his delinquent taxes. He paid the bill prior to a lien being recorded.

The sheriff oversees a staff of 375 and a $57 million budget. The department patrols all unincorporated areas in the county and several cities including Nipomo, Shandon and Avila Beach.




The thumbs count is not important enough to talk about, totally OK for you to have an opinion about your thumbs; up or down, totally not OK to make it an appendage to the topic under discussion.


Here is the Tribune’s editorial defending Parkinson, published Thursday. Note they call him Lt. and not Captain:



Wow, what a crummy editorial. Missed the point and minimized everything. The Trib takes another nos dive.


Willie, I suggest that you do a little more homework. Ms Hugs was not a victim of the on duty police until after she was found murdered. There is no report that she ever encountered any police for any reason, apart from a suspect off duty or maybe even suspended, LEO.


I read the reports that are provided at the recall Hedges website. Lets not forget the fact that it was a Sheriffs Deputy who later was able to reopen the case of Andrea Hug’s and went way beyond the call of duty, even all the way to Germany to prove that she wasn’t an accidental death but a murder. I believe his name is Sargent Donovan.

Please lets stay on track and work on electing an honest Sheriff that we can be proud of. A Sheriff that won’t have a nervous break down under pressure.


BTW, I failed to commend DEPUTY DONOVAN. There is no question that he did the right thing and “PROVED” that a closed case of accidental death was “TRULY A MURDER”.


Actually Donovan brought it to the Cheif that was bugged and he launched the investigation determining that it was murder. Donovon was not actually involved in the reopened case. Donovon did the right thing by brining it forward, unfortunately by not doing so years before, the case missed its opportunity to be solved. There is a man named Detective Crawford who is the skilled investigator that didn’t bow to the internal corruption and brought the disproved the coverup by the undersheriff. This was one of the rare cases where the Sheriff’s Department released a great deal of information about the crime in order to ask for the public’s help.


An earlier post inquired about drug testing of Peace Officers. Basically The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990 requires government agencies certify that you will provide a drug-free workplace. There is also published case law permitting random drug screening of public safety and transportation personnel. Since the current Sheriff does no screening, a policy change to impliment a drug screening program would constitute a change in working conditions and require a “meet and confer” with the bargaining unit (union.) Drug testing may be done at any time upon the development of “reasonable suspicion.” Bottom line, there is no prohibition against random drug testing of peace officers and it would be a simple way to restore the public trust in law enforcement after the two SLO police officer pled guilty to drug smuggling. An enlightened candidate for Sheriff would impliment such a program and would likely be overwhelmingly supported by the officers on the street. By and large these officers are doing an outstanding job and would certainly like to weed out the few who have gone a stray. Parkinson did not support random testing and Lenthall did.


Cortez also agreed to random drug testing of LEO and installing an over site committee within the guidelines of our current county charter.


Sorry – Oversight Committee.


You go girl , keep em in line, I guess they don’t like chese anymore. Thanks.


This latest update from marty is very disappointing and to put it in the words of one person that contacted me, “it’s alarming”. I wonder how many people are aware of the incidents that have occurred over the last 7 years that have been swept under a rug? I suggest that people go to the following web site: http://www.recallsheriffhedges.com.

While the entire chain of events as outlined is disturbing take a close look at the murder of a citizen whose name was Jay Vestal on 08-18-2003 and the false documents that were produced to justify the police contact with this man. It starts there but that isn’t where it ends. It seems to have never stopped. Be certain to read Deputy Hoving’s Confidential Report of 10-13-2006 while your there, then look into the murder of a Ms Hugs. This is what we are dealing with. Many of these deputies are still employed, including the under sheriff who clearly covered up Ms Hug’s murder and the Grover Beach police officer suspected of taking her life . This county needs Sheriff Bufford and his big stick, we are helpless and can’t even impanel a Civilian Review Board, thanks to our government protecting themselves, at the cost of the people who pay their salaries. We are not employers, we have become their working minions. Wake up and start praying, there is much work to be done.


I do recall some information of both cases

The lady had some BI-polar disorder. A person in stress could have a threshold episode where medication no longer controls.

The other man was a responsible citizen, a U.S. postal worker.

In both cases “escalating and excessive physical strength” were used in what may be viewed as lawful in appearance.

When the deputies get on top of you with very strong physical strength and you cannot breath, you will naturally struggle causing more overpowering force enough to suffocate you or cause cardiac arrest (and die).

Despite the “official reports” I am satisfied with my own suspicions and belief.

However, it does not retract from my respect for Commander Hall, he is not aware that I have encounter him in the past years. Commander Hall is of the highest integrity.

So Is Jerry Lenthal who some may blemished by association with SLOPD GOB but in actuality he is not, his education level, experience and viewpoints separates him, this is common and natural knowledge.

For myself only, the two choices are Commander Hall or Jerry Lenthal, both have an MBA in formal schooling. Commander Hall has a BS in Criminal Justice, Lenthal has a BA in a technical/engineering field.


Some comments removed by request.


Now that we are sufficiently aware of the restrictions our government has imparted upon it’s citizens, along with the effort that will now be required to impanel an oversight committee, is there anyone who would like to enlighten us all about the law’s blocking us to drug test LEO? Lets just get it all out in the open.

In the mean time, we are going to have to trust the man that we elect to oversee the county LE to use whatever means are within his powers to reinstate a review committee that falls within the guidelines of our county charter. It is better than nothing although it’s close to nothing. I don’t think this is the time to start organizing to adapt a new charter. WE certainly do not want to elect anyone that (to quote marty), isn’t going to play nice when we reach that cross road.


I am amazed by how little all of the candidates seem to know about the office of sheriff and furthermore how our county government works.

Several of the candidates have said they would support a civilian oversight committee to look into the actions of deputy sheriffs. They might like the idea but legally they cannot do it.

San Luis Obispo is a General Law County. This means county operations, including the operation of the Sheriff’s Office must follow the provisions of the California Constitution and the California Government Code. There are no provisions for civilian oversight under our type of county government. If we were a Charter County, like San Diego, the board of supervisors or sheriff could implement a review board.

Both Ian Parkinson and Joe Cortez said they would not use sheriff’s resources in the cities to investigate the operation of marijuana dispensaries. That’s all well and good, but the fact is as chief law enforcement officer they are responsible for what goes on in the cities just like they are for the unincorporated areas.

The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in each county, and is charged with preserving the peace within the county. (City of Santa Barbara v. County of Santa Barbara (1979) 94 Cal.App.3d 277, 284-285; 81.) As such, his authority extends to all public offenses committed, or where there is probable cause to believe were committed within the county in which he serves or were committed within his presence, regardless of the location, if there exists an immediate danger to person or property, or of escape by the perpetrator. (Pen. Code, § 830.1(a).)

The Sheriff’s jurisdiction in law enforcement matters extends throughout the county, including the incorporated cities within the county (Pina, supra, 72 Cal.App.3d Supp. at p. 39; People v. Scott (1968) 259 Cal.App.2d 268, 280)

Because the Sheriff’s jurisdiction is county wide it extends to any state properties situated within the county (60 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 390, 393-394

I am more troubled by the candidates lack of knowledge of the function and power of the office they are seeking than I am about who paid what bill late, or who asked for favors from fellow city administrators, or who took unpopular political stands on issues not concerning the operation of the sheriff’s office.

We citizen’s ought to get a little better educated on exactly what the sheriff’s office does instead of what we THINK it should or should not be doing.

Then we all can make an intelligent decision when we vote for a candidate…


How is it that there exists Law Enforcement Internal Affair Committee’s in other Cities and Counties in this state? How is it that there was a Committee in place when Hedges took office and he fired them?


There was no committee in place when Hedges took over. There was a professional standards unit made of sheriffs deputies who investigated deputies for misconduct. That unit was disbanded when Hedges took over. Oversight committees can be created in cities, usually by the city council or police commission. In counties that are charter counties the board of supervisors can amend the county charter to create the existence of an oversight commission. In a general law county no such provision or mechanism exists.


Very informative information Marty and great research. The only thing that could be added is the Civil Service Commission and the Grand Jury as standing oversight committees and appeals system. Although, both have reduced their effectiveness because exposure to litigation (in my opinion) and poor legal advise.


Yah just have to love it. “Gubment” writing laws to create laws that block citizens from overseeing the law. I take it our BOS is responsible for electing that we are a general law county. I suggest that they amend it to create a charter county. They deserve to all get fired, everyone of them regardless of whether they were involved or not. If they don’t become part of the solution then they are part of the problem.


Well, we have been a general law county since 1850. The board and the voters together could change to a charter county, but first someone would have to write a charter, spelling out how our county government would operate, who works for whom, who watches over who..

Essentially you would be employing a team of attorneys for at least a year at $1000.00 an hour to do it. It is an expensive, time consuming proposition, which is why it doesn’t happen often. It can be done, but it has many pitfalls.

It is much better to elect a good man who will create an internal affairs unit to investigate misconduct and then hold hi people accountable.

As for most of the people working in the sheriff’s office, they are good people trying to do the right thing, but they don’t make the rules out there, so…


marty, I don’t think it could possibly be as difficult as you suggest to change a charter that has existed since 1850. Attorneys working for a year at 1K per hour! How about we find an existing county charter that we like and just copy it, with a few little adaptations here and there? I’m serious, why reinvent the wheel?


In Sacramento they call county governments “the dark continent”. That’s because no one outside of county government understands how county government works. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. There are similarities of county operations but there are also differences from one county to the next. You could take another county’s charter, but you would still have to review it and “tweak” it to fit each aspect of county government.

In county government you have to deal with the BOS and independent elected officials who DO NOT work for the BOS. They might take suggestions, but they are elected in their own right and if they don’t want to play nice they don’t have to.

Three of these officials, The District Attorney, Sheriff and Tax Assessor are actually state officials serving in a county; much in the same way Superior Court judges are state officials. These three really don’t have to play nice if they don’t want to and as such they hold tremendous power in the county.

Each of these groups will have to be heard on the different aspects of the proposed charter and any of them can demand changes of the charter and they can hold up the process.

Added to this mix ( is your head hurting yet?) you also have the employee bargaining units and you guessed it they get to way in too. They don’t necessarily get a final vote, but if the proposed charter affects their employment (called a property right) they have grounds for legal action, which ties things up even further.

It is not impossible to accomplish, but before we try to go down that winding road we should opt for electing good people to public office and let them operate within the system we have.

Its not the type of government its the people (some of them) who are running it.


It;s easy enough to elect good people, the problem is that people don’t want to run. The tax assessor and the DA are both a joke. If someone would run against them it would be easy enough to replace them. I am disgusted that the gov is running the people when it’s the people that should be running the gov. I don’t think we should put up with it anymore. I think anyone that doesn’t want to play nice can just get recalled. All it takes is a “will” for the people to take back their rights to over see their “gubment”. We have been asleep at the wheel too long. Thank You for the school lesson, I have no doubt that many of us are surprised. I knew we had a problem but I didn’t know how deep it ran.


If an applicant for an entry level Deputy Sheriff position was found during a routine background investigation to have a repetitious pattern of delinquent tax payments and did not produce evidence of an educational achievement claimed on their application, would you want the county to hire them? Would you hire that same person to be THE Sheriff?

The local newspaper that endorsed Ian Parkinson ran a small story about Parkinson’s tax lien issues today, neatly tucked away and difficult to find on their webpage, 9 days after it became a newsworthy It wasn’t newsworthy until, when asked by a caller on Dave Congalton’s radio show, the candidate denied every having any tax liens. Parkinson replied: “I think you have the wrong person, I’ve never had a county tax lien that I’m aware of and I’ve always paid my taxes.” Parkinson has had three SLO County liens and one Monterey County lien and been delinquent five times on the boats he has owned in San Luis Obispo County. According to the County tax records, his tax payments were paid after the Aug. 31 deadline in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009. When presented with facts and records he said, “I acknowledge we were late, and I’m responsible for it. We were late, and we paid a fee for being late.” So routinely being late but paying a late fee makes it all right? Didn’t he say he didn’t have them that he knew of in the first place?

Delinquencies (late payments) and liens (very late payments requiring extra effort and expense on the tax collector’s office) do not demonstrate responsible financial management. Do we want him “paying our bills” late at the Sheriff’s Department? As a non-excuse excuse, Parkinson was quoted as saying “I don’t write checks at the police department, nor will I at the sheriff’s department. I just think it’s awfully small and petty to be drawing the correlation between the two, but people have that right and I can’t and I won’t offer an excuse.” He doesn’t write the checks at the SLO Police Department, of course not, but as the budget manager shouldn’t he be ensuring that they are written and on time. I believe his candidate qualifications mentioned he prepares the budget for the SLO Police Department; does that mean that he submits a budget funding request then walks away? “Managing” a budget means preparing and supervising the spending to make certain that it is spent appropriately, timely, and accurately. If you are responsible for the budget, then you are responsible for all of it. If you have personal financial obligations you are responsible for getting them paid on time, even if you don’t write the checks (so who writes the checks in the Parkinson household; did he just throw his wife under the bus?)

It is apparent that Parkinson has issues about either staying on top of his finances or accurately representing the facts when questioned about them. Yet he wants to manage a $57 million budget for us. This is a very poor demonstration of preparedness for a candidate that starts his Voter Information Guide candidate opening statement by saying he has “been training to be Sheriff his entire adult life”. Any person training to run for public office should know they will be scrutinized from top to bottom and their personal and professional house must be in order. If this is an example of how much attention he pays to achieving his most life important goal; then is he likely to fall short in other critical areas as well?

Then there is the controversy about his education shortfall (he says he only needs 6 General Education units to complete his bachelors degree, but hasn’t produced the transcripts.) I for one would like to see his financial management education record; based on his personal financial track record, I question if he really knows how to manage a budget. He should produce the transcripts and make this issue disappear. Maybe those 6 missing units were classes in Economics and Ethics.

Irresponsible and unethical behavior is what got us to where we are; we don’t need more of it.


He has been training to be the Sheriff all his career, that would be since he was 19 years old or for 26 years. Then why didn’t he at least get his BA degree? Heck he didn’t even get an AA degree! Every other Candidate has achieved at least a BA degree, held a full time job, raised a family and some even promoted to Chief of Police. What’s wrong with this dummy, does he think he gets to skip a few bars on the ladder because he is cute or because the deputies want a “buddy” to sit in the boss chair?


I agree I find it disappointing he didn’t finish his degree. He received the endorsement of the deputy sheriffs association, but that organization no longer represents the deputies; it represents correctional officers and support staff. The deputies left that group and formed their own association, I think to get away from the kind of politics their board of directors had been playing at. So.. I wouldn’t take it as gospel that the deputies want him, or that they are even getting involved in politics anymore.


If he’s been training all his adult life to be the Sheriff, why then didn’t he ever work for the sheriff’s department so he could learn how a sheriff’s department operates? And you’re right Cindy, if he really was training to be the Sheriff all his adult life, he really would have gone out and completed his education. He just began thinking about being our Sheriff when Gardiner convinced him to run just a little over a year ago.


Here is the link to the article at the Tribune website: link here; and I misspoke about the placement of the article, it was on the bottom of the Third Section, continued on the back of the third section. On the Tribune website, the article is under the heading “Political Notebook”. Thanks.