Who will be the new county sheriff?

June 27, 2010

An impressive primary performance by Ian Parkinson underscores the challenge facing runner-up Joe Cortez as the two face off in the general election to decide who will be the next San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. [Tribune]

Parkinson, a San Luis Obispo police captain, won all but five of the 137 precincts in the county, including Pismo Beach, where Cortez served as police chief for seven years.

Cortez outgunned Parkinson in only five precincts; three in Pismo Beach and two in Arroyo Grande.

Parkinson finished with 41 percent of the vote in the June 8 primary. Cortez had 18 percent, followed closely by former county supervisor Jerry Lenthall with 17 percent. Cortez beat Lenthall by 1,011 votes.

Cortez lost to Parkinson in San Luis Obispo by 3,468 votes and by 2,033 votes in Paso Robles. Campaign records show that Parkinson outspent Cortez by more than 2 to 1.

Observers are watching to see who Lenthall, along with the other candidates–Ben Hall, Mark Adams, and Mike Teixeira–will endorse. Lenthall has said he will meet with both candidates before making a decision.

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Hey vortex looks like we are on the same page. Can’t let what has happened to PB since Cortez left relect on what he did when he was our Chief. Morale was high, training was great, we didn’t have to report for inspections that cost tons in overtime, Cortez really made us shine, we were proud he was our Chief and he was proud of us. He cared about us now let’s help him win this thing. I’d work for him again.

I’m am laughing my arse off. Really– moral was high?. I guess you can write any old blather you like because none of the officers who would vehemently disagree are going to step forward and mangle their careers. Cortez is no savior and Parkinson isn’t some kind of wunderkid . Both have shortfalls, but to make Cortez out to the be the greatest of all time is hilarious.

Some will put Cortez down for anything they can and want to try and cloud the issues because he is a good leader and can do the job and actually has done the job. No savior, but a darn good leader and made things good for Pismo when he was Chief. Obviously twistit lived it.

I have worked under seasoned Chiefs and new Chiefs. Believe me when I say that having a seasoned Chief makes all the difference. Living it now. Didn’t mean to make him sound like a savior, just a darned good Chief. Solid, fair, good guy to work for, educated and he brought a variety of experiences to the department to draw on. And yes, morale was good, there will always be those that are disgruntled because they had their …”hand” slapped, discipline isn’t fun, Cortez had some tough calls to make, but he was the one to do the tough stuff. Officers were passed over for promotion, some had been there awhile, but Cortez looked not just at how many years someone was with the department, but what they did with those years they had been with the department. Not part of that “good ole boy stuff”. Again, different now. This was at least my experience and those I hang with. Not blathering, giving experience. Knowing both of the guys running, I really think Cortez would do the best job and could make a positive difference, being able to draw from his past experiences and move the SO forward. Ian will have the whole “good ole boy” choir standing behind him telling him the changes to make. That’s not a situation I would want if I were a deputy there. And I sure as heck wouldn’t want my friend as my boss or worse yet the “friend” of others I work with as my boss, spells disaster to me.

Just out of curiosity given his background and qualifications just how viable of a candidate would Ian Parkinson be if he were 5’5″ tall, bald, with a bit of a belly on a slight frame?

More and more I think he’s just a pretty face/politician in the former SLOPD Chief mold…

And, how viable would he be if he did not have the “good old boys” pulling his strings and marketing him as they have been. We can’t let this happen. Look at the evidence…it is in our face and is being ignored. We have the chance to elect a Sheriff who has actually worked his way up, worked until he got his degree, taken care to do things the right way.

I went over to the Tribune website and re-read the article that was printed in the paper; I also left a comment there about why Ian Parkinson should not be the Sheriff, and very soon afterwards, the article was not available without doing a search for it. I must have struck a nerve; my main point as to why Captain Parkinson is not the best man for the job? How about the fact that two of his officers were caught bringing illegal amounts of drugs over the Mexico/USA border, and they are still on the payroll of the SLO PD? How about the fact that an off duty SLO PD officer attacked a man in an apparent fit of road rage, punched the man repeatedly, broke the storm door off of its hinges on the home of the man’s parents, and then left the scene before the Atascadero PD could respond, an action that would have resulted in an arrest of any other non-law enforcement citizen should any of us had been so stupid or violent, and that officer is still on duty at the SLO PD. Of course, having lied twice about whether or not Ian had paid the taxes on his property is a bad mark, as well as his lack of advanced education are all considerations, taken individually not really seeming to be so bad, but when taken as part of a whole package, Captain Parkinson is woefully unprepared to take on the role of Sheriff of SLO County.

Maybe the trib loves him because he looks so good, He’s a handsome glossy 8X10 ! too bad about slipping up on air; that’s when the facade began to fail.

How stupid our county will look in the law enforcement community if we allow a Sheriff to be elected into office that does not have a degree of some sort and has the financial track record that Mr. Parkinson has, and has the track record of covering things up, excusing things away, and taking the easy way up with out follow through. We are educated folks here, let’s use our brain.

So right. The whole package and where that package has been, how the package has handled himself, what that package has done to better himself. The word has to be gotten out, out side of this forum. Our voices have to be heard, we need to tell all we know and maybe even call Cortez and see how we can help. The county is huge, I’m calling him today to see what I can do to help him win this thing. I can’t complain unless I have tried to do something to support Cortez or prevent Parkinson from getting this, what ever way you want to spin it.

I encourage everyone to read the New Times article that I referred you to here and to do their homework. Many citizens have highlighted additional reasons why Ian Parkinson is not a viable candidate for SLO County Sheriff. I have worked very hard at many times to bring the facts to the public on many issues that concern all of us and will continue to do so. My cause is for honesty, integrity, transparency and ‘competence’. There will always be naysayers who will attack those who continuously remind the voting populous of the facts. To those who can not or will not do the homework or simply refuse to admit the truth, I suggest taking courses and reading books about “CO-DEPENDENCY” (there is a great deal of material available). Children are co-dependents, unfortunately so are many adults in today’s society.

I did my homework. Following that study, I concluded that there were two excellent candidates, Tex and Cortez. I finally placed my vote on Tex after hearing from people who I respected that had nothing but praise for the man. I believe he would have been an excellent, competent, trustworthy and honorable Sheriff who would have restored dignity to the local profession. I equally have never had a doubt that Cortez is of the same caliber. Tex lost so I’ll be voting for Cortez who was always in my sights. I’ll be surprised if Parkinson earns the vote from those who went in a different direction.

I disagree with you, PaulJones. I do like your logic.

Excellant investigation. Now that Tex is no longer in the running, let’s get behind Cortez. Come on Tex, put your label on this guy.

There are two sides (maybe more) to every story. Parkinson is being crucified here and Cortez put on a pedastel.

But what I am reading still does not convince me one way or the other?

So what if Ian is handsome and has the good ol boys backing- that doesn’t make him a poor leader.

Some of the issues with his staff that have been pointed out may not be in is power to do anything about. It is government and there is protocol that has to be followed- that is not in any of our control at present.

A college degree- while I believe is a good thing- is not always necessary, life experience and on the job experience can out do a college degree in may places of employment. What is he had a college degree but it was in recreation- or ag science–how does that make him a better candidate?

Tax liens- while I don’t like that he threw his adorable wife under the bus- a lot of families have only one person who pay the bills- he really might not have known people.

I think you get where I am coming from- I just need convincing with a side by side view- I admit I do not know Cortez but I do know Parkinson through our children, and I actually know he and his wife to be good people. I am sure you will all come screaming at me- but really they are good people- does that make him a good sherriff, not necessarily but I need more. I have read about them both but many negatives about Parkinson can be explained away and I don’t know Cortez enough to compare.

I do care about this greatly so I am only asking to be further educated here.

Good questions. First of all those of us who have checked Cortez out, can’t find much to criticize him about, Parkinson has made some mistakes along the way. I would suggest attending debates that will happen, researching both candidates on line, look at Cortez’s website. Tax liens, it isn’t so much he had the liens, not a good thing, but then he lied about having them, and once going home and found it true that these liens had happened he personally should have come clean about it and did not. He also allowed his campaign team to represent him as one who democrates support which was deceitful and violated the pledge to run a clean and deceit free campaign. Degree – most Law Enforcement agencies require command staff to have a college degree of somesort. To be a Chief of Police in CA you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree. In all of the Police departments in SLO county you must have a degree to be command staff such as Parkinson is. SLO once had that policy and changed it so Parkinson could promote and each time a condition of his promotion was that he obtain his degree, and he has not done this. All of this, and more, paints a picture of one who takes the easy way out, does not own up to misjudgements along the way, is deceitful, does not have follow through, and just makes excuses and passes off the blame. These are not qualities that we need in a Sheriff. We need a peron that has a proven track record of honesty, accountability, follow through, education, and leadership, proven leadership. Chief Cortez has proven leadership, he has fixed departments that have had issues. Mr Parkinson can only guess at what he would like to do and is heavily backed by “the good ole boys”. We can not have them voted in. He is part of their culture. We need fresh new eyes. Hard decision when you are a friend. Keep your eyes and ears open, ask questions of those that are not his friends, educate yourself so you can live with your vote. Someones life may depend on it.

Cindy makes a good point that has been made before but needs repeating. The Trib has continued to damage what little credibility it has left in this issue by failing to tell the truth. It flat out lied in reporting the slate ballot issue concerning Parkinson and is nothing but a flthy fish wrapper if that is the best they can do.

Below is a copy of a post that I left at the TRIBUNE this morning.

This article is exactly why I stopped purchasing the Tribune and recommended that my clients not advertise here. They endorse Candidates and then print slanted articles to push their own political agenda. This is nothing new here. The Tribune has never once recognized the dirty games that Parkinson played to garner the votes he gained in the primaries. How about the article/FACTS that the New Times ran?


A word to the wise folks, when the Tribune endorses a Candidate, take a hard look. They are probably another “Good Ole Boy” and that’s the last thing we all need.

Wow Cindy- do you EVER have anything nice or positive to say about anything or anyone? I actually feel bad for you that your life is filled with all the angst and anger over EVERYthing posted here or at the TT.

Why not at least take a day or two and enjoy life and enjoy your family— if you have one. If you have kids- you should be spending some positive energy with them and finding ways to make the world a better place without criticism! I hear you complain but have NEVER read that you did anything positve yourself or that you want to help. So many naysayers in this world that should become “doers”- get off your butt and your computer and do some good instead of complaining- for everything negative you say on your postings I can think of 10 more positive things to negate what you have stated- including this post about Ian….come on be a positive role model- not a bitter ol’ lady!

My Goodness, Most of us find Cindy to be a positive and progressive poster who understands the issues that CCN presents. She is attacking the Tribune for their slanted reporting while bolstering the reporting efforts of CCN and clear support of Cortez, a man that I and many of my friends also support. Who ever you are slomom2002 . you are new and clearly don’t understand the concerns at hand.

Yes I do clearly understand the issues at hand- in this very instance you are talking political views and slanted reporting by the TT-

THAT is NOT my issue…I finally started posting after Cindy made some irrational and insensitive statements about a sudden death of a friend- things that do NOT need to be posted prior to investigations are complete- especially since young children are involved. NOTHING good could come from the psotings she made on that wall so I looked into some other posts of hers to try to figure what on earth would make someone do such a thing at a time of crisis for this family.

What I found (in MY opinion) is that she is a very negative person with very few if ANYTHING positive to add to these postings. Does she have a right to- absolutely she does- as do I. MY point if you read it again was for her to stop just writing about things if she doesn’t like them- but rather get off her rear and do something about it. I see people like her every day. Talk, talk, talk…but never do, do, do. My point is her time would be better spent this way…and I do feel sorry for someone who has issues with everything but does nothing! Progressive and positive poster…hmmm…guess you have your right to your own opinion but I know many who find her negative and offensive!

I suggest that you go and read the thread “Assault Victims Fight for 911 Tape” There is a post there at the very beginning from a certain Cindy that say’s :

“We (the A-Town citizens) had the same problem with City Hall a few years back and had to bring in Terry Francke to set them straight. A group of us hired him to give a seminar and make sure that we all knew our rights and that City Hall knew it to. Go for it CCN, show them that they have to follow the law, public records are public. Geeezz that irritates me.”

Go read what people do before you accuse them of doing nothing but being negative and complaining.

Some people actually get off their butts and do a a lot of work to HELP, while others just find fault and hang on their computers while trying to subvert the real issues. .

Vote for CORTEZ and thumbs up to some of our comrades who actually do something to bring truth and transparency to government.

Well here we go again. I hope that Mr. Cortez will expand his resume of ALL of the departments that he has saved. It will be interesting to see how large, or small, these department were, what the crime level was and what kind of budgets that Mr. Cortez has dealt with. Experience usually overcomes education at times. I want to have someone as Sheriff who actuially has “street experience” along with administrative experience. Ian Parkinson has the street experience and the administrative experience to be the Sheriff of San Luis Obispo.

Maybe you would like to list the experience Ian has from the street and office. And of course the question of how he was promoted to Captain without the necessary education is still hanging out there.

There is a track record here…we DO need to look at the history of candidates to see how they make decisions and how they handle themselves. Crazy to think we will not take past decisions into account when considering who to vote for…we do that for other types of offices, why not for Sheriff. Hard to find anything on Cortez. Come on Pismo, get behind a great Chief that made us proud.

How interesting Mr. Holly, perhaps the kind of “street experience” that you seek is being able to say that while captain of SLOPD Parkinson has : had officers under his supervision illegally smuggling “mis branded” amphetamine pills from the Mexican border, has repeatedly lied and not listened to the citizens of SLO ( all while still on PAID leave-raking up more than $95K EACH in salary over the past year); has had a numerous amount of police officers be accused of violent beatings on citizens?? Is that the kind of experience that you wold prefer Mr. Holly, because to my recollection Mr. Cortez has none of this in his background (and twice the amount of time on the force)…..perhaps the officers of SLOPD are afraid of actually having to do more than babysit college kids- all while making 100K a year ; perhaps SLOPD doesn’t like the idea practicing actual morality and ethics???? SLOPD is hypocrisy at it’s best…….but perhaps that’s what you prefer…”the good ole’ boy system”? To be the law here is to be above the law……Parkinson is nothing but a pretty puppet with his strings being pulled.

Street experience, have you looked at his history – he started as a road deputy, then was a patrol officer, then to a large deptartment where he was a street officer, motor cop, promoted to patro SGT, did time in Narcs and gangs. As far as large have you ever been in Pismo spring break, 4th of July, Car show weekend, Summer? With a small force he collaborated with every dept. around here to bring in cops so we could handle the huge crowds. Parkinson did that one time and that was a botch. Experience – he has actually called the shots, not guessed at what he might do.

My only issue Crusader, is in the continued citing of Parkinson’s lack of education. We all know that a “kollege educashun” ain’t what it used to be..I know quite a few grads who I wouldn’t trust to house sit my plants. I am looking for experience and integrity, and will be looking closely at both candidates based on those qualifications.

No, actually I don’t “know that a ‘kollege educashun’ ain’t what it used to be.” I suspect many others feel the same way. I’m sure I know at least as many people who never went/finished college that are not trustworthy enough to sit house plants.

More importantly I’m not suggesting that formal education is any substitute for life’s experiences and on-the-job training. The best candidate has BOTH.

I think that Joe Cortez will be the next SLOC Sheriff for a number of reasons. First, Parkinson has issues unbecoming a future sheriff. He doesn’t have a college degree even though he’s at least 45 years old. The degree he is working on is via the Internet — it’s not the sort of formal educational experience in academia that I would demand of a future sheriff.

He also cannot seem to fill-out his own job applications. Instead he relies on his brother (a local attorney) to craft the answers. Then there are the unpaid taxes. While those might not be a big deal for the average individual, they are a big deal for SLOC’s top law enforcement officer who must be among other things a superb administrator.

Parkinson also lives in the City of SLO. Once the vote is no longer split between Cortez and Lenthall I think it’s going to become very clear that North and South County residents won’t be quick to vote for someone from SLO. I’m not even sure those in SLO will be so quick to vote for Parkinson once the above is more thoroughly reviewed in front of the public eye.

There is also the matter of experience — particularly in tough economic times like we are in today. I think the various unions would swallow Parkinson whole unless he got into bed with then and gave them anything they wanted. I simply don’t see Cortez getting sucked into that sort of situation.

Finally there is the issue of how did anyone without a college degree become a captain within the SLOPD? Surely one must be a college graduate to become a captain in this day and age? Is it not a requirement? If it’s not, has it ever been in the past? If it has, why was the requirement dropped and how did dropping it effect Parkinson’s career?

These sorts of questions simply don’t apply to Cortez. If he can raise the money to stay on semi-even footing with Parkinson, he’ll almost certainly be the next SLOC Sheriff.

You do know that Police Chief Cortez “gave back” all the money to the General Fund in Pismo by deferring replacing vehicles. Hey, guess what those vehicles now have over 150,000 miles on them and need replacing. I guess Pismo better hire some really good mechanics. They are going to need them.

I suppose you would Mr. Cortez be more like SLO and get brand new $100K V8 Hemi Dodge Chargers every 2 years because SLOPD “drives their vehicles hard”? Really?!! I didn’t know that chasing after college students in a 10 mile perimeter and giving smoking tickets included driving your vehicle hard. Seems to me like Chief Cortez is NOT a greedy fat cat that is looking for new toys to play with in order to compensate for not really having to do his job. God forbid we have an actual sensible spender! The funny thing is….I actually live in Pismo and see the squad cars all around town…..they don’t seem to look like they’re going to be breaking down anytime soon…….you must have gotten your financial education from the same “online” school that Parkinson is trying to get his degree from.

Can’t sit quiet any longer. Hey out there..Are you asleep. Worked with many chiefs and Cortez brought the best to the PB PD. Lots of experience, really boosted our morale, it was fun to come to work. Can’t look at the last year and a half – things have changed and aren’t nearly as good since he left.. Chief Cortez saved us money by not turning our cars around so soon, AND getting rid of the dogs that were draining the coffers not only on vet bills but overtime for the handler AND the handler can only work certain shifts. So why is the dog coming back, anyone out there keeping an eye on what is happening.

Part of the money came from that and was a good call on his part. Other savings were on over time, a position or two he cut or turned into part time. He did a great job giving direction to clean up the property room. I think the grand jury gave the deptarment a thumbs up for that. Remember, he has been gone for a 1 1/2 years almost, and lots of miles have been added on since he left. A lot of things have quit running smoothly since he left, but the cars are not one of those, and all of the cars do not have 150,000 miles on them. Just trying to keep it real.