Undersheriff Steve Bolts plans to step down

August 30, 2010

Steve Bolts

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County Undersheriff Steve Bolts announced Friday he plans to leave the department next month in an email memo to select sheriff employees.

In June, Atascadero Police arrested Bolts for suspicion of drunk driving. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bolts has served as undersheriff since Sheriff Pat Hedges created the position in 2004.

Following Bolts’ retirement on Jan. 1, Hedges declined to hire a permanent replacement, instead creating a one-year undersheriff position and hiring Bolts back as an hourly employee.

Bolts’ early departure will lower his 2010 retirement benefits and hourly salary to between $600,000 and $723,000, according to calculations based on dates provided by Bolts.

The principal reason for Bolts’ hefty income is the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). Adopted by the board of supervisors in October 2006, DROP allows county employees to simultaneously collect both their full wages and benefits along with their full retirement for a period of no more than five years.

DROP monies are stored in an investment account and paid in their entirety to employees when they retire. After three years in the program, Bolts retired.

In addition to collecting his DROP account monies and his retirement, Bolts is currently being paid between $70 and $82 an hour by the county.

According to the county’s temporary hire rules, Bolts can put in no more than 960 hours a fiscal year. However, because he was re-hired on Jan. 1, the next 12 months fall into two separate fiscal years.

Nevertheless, prior to his DUI arrest, Bolts regularly worked more than 50 hours a week in his undersheriff position, sources said.

On the other hand, inside sources allege that after Hedges announced he would not run for reelection, he has rarely been seen around the department. According to California government code, elected officials are required to work at least one day a year.

“Hedges is gone most of the time and has Bolts do his work in his absence,” said one sheriff department employee who asked to remain anonymous.

In Jan. 2007, Hedges began to draw both his pension and his sheriff/coroner’s salary. He is slated to take home approximately $340,000 this year.


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cheseburger

“almost completely in the opposing lane of traffic.” this in it’s self constitutes reckless driving, the test results have obviously been tampered with and I know this can happen for a fact. .086 right? Got it, over and out copy! Crooked greedy cops got to go!


danika

Dang, $340k a year to do a required ONE day’s work? Is it any wonder the state is nearly bankrupt and people so disgruntled over the state economy? This certainly shines an unfavorable light on the salaries and benefits of our state employees.


R.Hodin

I love mug shots. They really cut through the veneer of respectability.


Too bad we can’t require that every authority figure and politician have a mug shot taken as part of their first day on the job. Then the media could use those shots for all of the articles involving them.


cheseburger

Yeah, but the mug shots would all look prim and propper, not smashed or tired and drunk looking, that is alledgedly of corse there sherrif , seriously though a picture does tell a thousand words, don’t worry they will have spilled / lost/ or stolen the evidence, and even if they convict you with all that spare change you can buy a flat screen for your two days in jail, P.C. of corse. Now I’m gonna go barf.


bobfromsanluis

Russ: Wouldn’t you like to be the person who gets to take that first day “mug shot”? “Okay now, try to look like you have been drinking for a few hours, you need a shower, you have lost your comb, and absolutely do not smile.” That would be kind of fun, no?


Cindy

It’s for the best that he steps down on his own before Cortez “rightfully” terminates him and his costly position which would cause Bolts further embarrassment.


mkaney

PLANS to step down? Why give this guy an option? People, it is seriously long past pitchforks and torches time.


Lewy

Sheriff Pat is required to show up for work one day a year? That’s quite an imposition for a man of his stature — if you get my drift.


BeenThereDoneThat

This double dipping of pension here, is one of the MANY reasons that California is slowly going broke.


Saveslocounty

The fact that he is leaving is the first good news coming out of the Sheriff’s in a long time.


hotdog

Outrageous how much money these people make!!! In fact maybe the deputies (the ones who aren’t crooked) on the street should make more than the desk jockeys.