Paso Robles hires Bell attorney firm

August 20, 2010

Mayor Duane Picanco


Paso Robles City Council voted last night to hire the same attorney firm that signed off on the lavish salaries of city of Bell officials and employees.

Councilmembers Nick Gilman, Ed Steinbeck and Mayor Duane Picanco voted unanimously to approve the firm of Best, Best & Krieger on Thursday night. The meeting was listed on the agenda as a regular meeting, even though the city had a regular council meeting on Tuesday.

Last night’s meeting was held at a different time, in a different place and on a different day than other regular council meetings. Only three members of the public attended the meeting.

“I wandered around and couldn’t find the meeting,” Mike Hove said. “I never even found it.”

On Aug. 13, current city attorney Iris Yang, who was working for the attorney firm of McDounogh, Holland and Allen, said her employer was “winding down” and asked the council to change to her new employer, Best, Best & Krieger.

Several resident of the city have voiced their concerns over the council’s decision.

“It does seem to me that the selection of Best, Best and Kreiger for Paso Robles, the law firm that allowed for decisions in Bell, is a very bad idea,” said John Borst in a letter to the council last night. “The selection of Best, Best & Krieger sends an implied message to our citizens that our city council wants to be represented by a law firm that will allow them to act contrary to the rights and interests of the people living in Paso Robles.”

Last week, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. subpoenaed records from Best, Best & Krieger as part of an investigation into the pay packages Bell city officials.

Booty JuJu

North County is run by a combination of kleptocrats and incompetents. This is nothing new. Why do they do it? BECAUSE THEY CAN. Why can they? Because the general populace is thick, disinterested, or in on the take.

Will things change? Maybe. At some point the putrid stench of public graft and arrogance reaches levels beyond the tolerance of even the dimmest among us. We’ll see won’t we?

There is one certainty: The major division in this country is no longer between political parties but between the Ruling Class and Citizens. Fact: 67% of the political class thinks the country is moving in the right direction while 84% of citizens believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction. Ponder the disconnect there, pilgrims. Fact: The political class overwhelmingly supported the bank and auto bailouts, the healthcare bill, and suing Arizona while Joe Citizen just as intensely opposed those moves.

I don’t see that it goes on much longer. But then again, betting against the stupidity of the American public is a sucker bet, isn’t it?


Booty JuJu – Are you claiming the very conservative Paso Robles City Council backed the bank bailouts, the auto bailouts, and the healthcare bill? The same city council that was smart enough to form a rainy day fund if the economy ever went south. Are you really making this comparison? Based on what actual facts, and not silly rhetoric?

Mr. Holly

Looks like the tide has turned. I always thought that s..t rolled downhill. It now appears that some of the s..t is rolling uphill from Atascadero to Paso Robles. What are they thinking?


I checked my topo map,

Paso is downhill from Atascadero.


Sounds to me like the council was satisfied with Yangs performance and thus they were willing to switch to BB&K. In view of BB&Ks involvement in Bell this move was bound to raise some eyebrows because one would suspect that the BB &Ks executive management team would have had to know some of the behind the door stuff going on in Bell.

Paso leaders either didn’t do their homework in vetting BB&K or they figured their citizens just would not be paying attention and give a damn. The confusion over the meeting site and time is troubeling and I sure hope this wasn’t a case of ‘hide the ball.’

What say you citizens of Paso Robles? Do you care enough to ask some questions or will you wait until the floodwaters starts ebbing at you doorsteps?


I live in Paso. You can tell by my comment below yours that I am not happy. This article is the first I (as I believe many) heard about. Seeing as this happened only seven days before this article was posted, I believe this is not the last you will hear from us citizens of Paso.


This is getting ridiculas. First you have Atascadero city council doing things to put their city in financial jeopardy, now Paso is doing the same!! I have a question to both councils, (as I believe members are lurking reading here) do any of you a**holes have any intergrity at all!!!!!??


While walking down the sidewalk and you come across a pile of dog poop, one usually steps around it. Why in the world would you step right into this when their firm is under state and federal investigations and it is clear that they have no ethical basis to work from. What are you folks thinking.


Dwayne looks like a deer in headlights in this photo which he may be soon for this sneaky decision. He, Ed and Nick do not deserve to be leaders of this community when they act like this. Heck yes we would be upset with what happened in Bell. What were you guys thinking? Obviously you were not or trying to pull something over on us taxpayers. This is far from being over. Those of you up for re-election just shot yourself in the foot. I hope you get zero votes for this stunt. From the looks of it, you should run for council in the city that’s about ten miles south. This act is more their style.


I have read this story 3 times since it was posted today. I still don’t know what to say but I wanted to say that my beautiful wife and I care about this or at least say something. I suspect many residents feel the same way. Thank You Karen and the CCN associates for informing us about this, you provide an invaluable service to the community.


Paso citizens. Take it from someone working on the Bell corruption issues daily. This is WAY bigger than Bell. You must read this website to see all the corrupt people coming your way. You are being set up for massive pain in the future. Go here:watch our city

Booty JuJu

Jesus wept. You really couldn’t make this stuff up, could you? The level of incompetence, greed, ignorance, arrogance, and deceit just boggles the mind. Yet it makes perfect sense when you consider that nobody ever stands in opposition in cities where these slimeballs operate with impunity.

So really the big mystery for the moment is how come a few good men of stature have not stepped forward to say the right thing or do the right deed. Oh yeah, this is north county we’re talking about where workshy grifters and brain dead drones abound, and actions requiring big brass ones are left to a solitary, thick ankled, female muckracker.


While I do believe this is a serious situation worth looking into, I see ABSOLUTELY no reason to be so crude and rude to the citizens of Paso Robles. Not to mention totally in the wrong about us. Whatever happened to you that caused you to be so foolish and insulting to a population in general must have been pretty bad. Don’t however think it is okay or appropriate to lambast us all in your hatred.


Booty, you have been referring to the messenger as “thick ankled” right from the inception of UncoveredSLO. When if ever are you going to show some appreciation and or respect?