Internal affairs investigates allegations of internal affairs at sheriff’s department
August 9, 2010
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff officials are conducting an internal affairs investigation into a male sheriff deputy and a female jail correctional officer who are accused of sexual misconduct on the job and of filing a false report against the wife of a former San Luis Obispo police officer.
Patty Limon says that Deputy Gower Slane filed a sheriff’s report last spring claiming she had sent two threatening Facebook messages and one harassing voice message to correctional officer Jamie Elwell.
Limon, the wife of recently terminated San Luis Obispo Police officer Armando Limon, denied the allegations and filed a complaint against Slane who she said filed a false report for a colleague he had allegedly had a relationship with.
CalCoastNews interviewed multiple sheriff’s department insiders who said the investigation, which is focused primarily on sexual misconduct while on the job, is being kept under wraps. However, sources also contend that several additional, but unnamed sheriff deputies, are also being investigated for sexual misconduct while on the clock as part of the internal affairs investigation.
Regardless of whether the original report is accurate, several police officers have said that such messages, unless clearly threatening or voluminous, do not normally result in law enforcement action. At the same time, an officer is not supposed to take any action on behalf of a friend.
According to Patty Limon, deputy Slane originally refused to tell her who reported that she was making harassing phone calls, other than to say the alleged victim lived in Templeton.
Dan McDow, the other police officer who pled guilty in April to bringing misbranded pharmaceuticals over the U.S. border from Mexico, told the Limons the report was most likely filed by Jamie Elwell, his former girlfriend and also the mother of his child. McDow’s suspicions were soon confirmed
After their breakup over three years ago, Elwell and McDow continued to text and stay connected. That is when, according to Patty Limon, Elwell texted McDow to describe intimate encounters she was having, while at work, with deputy Slane.
However, after McDow started dating an old girlfriend, Elwell allegedly broke into McDow’s home and began driving by his and his girlfriend’s homes.
During their custody battle, in an affidavit Elwell admitted to entering McDow’s home without permission. She said she went into the home through a back door because McDow had failed to return one of their son’s shoes after spending time with their son. Armando Limon also provided an affidavit in which he said he had witnessed Elwell stalking McDow.
Then on May 15, 2009, McDow’s current girlfriend, Holly Hovore filed a report against Elwell with the Pismo Beach Police. Holly said Elwell called her dozens of times, sent her text messages, and would repeatedly drive by her home. On two occasions, someone vandalized Hovere’s car during the night.
Holly said she asked Elwell to stop calling or texting her, but the phone calls continued.
“I began getting nervous because she carries a gun for her profession,” Hovore said. “She hasn’t contacted me since I filed the report.”
Hovere and Limon contend that Elwell had Slane file the report to retaliate against them for the affidavits and reports they had previously filed against her.
Meanwhile, some department insiders are questioning if having San Luis Obispo Sheriff Sgt. Andy Rasmussen conduct the internal affairs investigation into the alleged false report and sexual misconduct creates a conflict of interest. Rasmussen worked with Gower Slane’s father, former department commander Greg Slane, and also attends the same church in Atascadero, sources said.
Patty Limon said Rasmussen told her and McDow he knew the messages had come from her computer. He, however, refused to take her computer to check the address after she asked him to examine it in order to clear herself.
“Rasmussen said he had to have a warrant before he could take the computer,” Patty Limon said.
In addition, Limon said Sgt. Andy Rasmussen stopped by McDow’s home on July 29, and threatened that if the sex allegations didn’t go away someone was going to have to go to jail.
“He said they were going to charge Dan (McDow) as an accessory,” Patty Limon said. “This is ridiculous.”
Rasmussen did not return requests for comment.