Parkinson responds

October 7, 2010

Ian Parkinson, the front runner in the November election for county Sheriff, defended his actions Thursday as an expert witness in a 2000 civil trial. [KSBY]

Parkinson has come under criticism after CalCoastNews reported that the San Luis Obispo police officer and accident reconstructionist failed to publicly reveal that the plaintiff in the case was a relative.

Rita Tavernetti, Parkinson’s sister-in-law, was awarded $1.4 million following the death of her father in an automobile accident in Monterey County. Parkinson’s testimony during the trial contradicted eyewitness accounts and a report by the CHP that both supported the other side.

A review of the trial transcripts by CalCoastNews indicates that neither Parkinson nor the plaintiff’s attorney, James Murphy of Arroyo Grande, ever revealed the family connection to the judge or jury.

“I disclosed it to the attorney. The attorney says he disclosed it at least twice,” Parkinson said on Thursday, referring to Murphy.

The defendant’s attorney died a few years ago. Both his co-counsel and private investigator told CalCoastNews that they were never aware of the Parkinson-Tavernetti connection.

When asked by a reporter if Parkinson’s involvement in the case was ethical, the candidate responded by saying, “You keep going down to ethics and the challenge here is, when you disclose it, it’s very ethical.” Parkinson also insisted other accident experts testified on behalf of Tavernetti.

As reported by CalCoastNews earlier this week, Murphy used at least one other expert witness in the case. Steve Blewett, a mechanical engineering expert from San Jose, who is also an auto reconstructionist, testified before the jury about how the trailer disconnected from the truck in the accident that killed Tavernetti’s dad.

When contacted by CalCoastNews, Blewett said he would not testify for a family member or friend because of the appearance of impropriety and laughed when he learned Parkinson was related to the plaintiff.

Parkinson also claimed that his relationship to Tavernetti was “irrelevant” to his testimony because “the accident reconstructionist just says how the accident happened.”

In addition, Parkinson said that he had asked if he was required to have a city business license and had been told he did not need one.

Asked to comment Thursday afternoon, Parkinson’s opponent, retired police chief Joe Cortez said he would “let the voters decide” how important the allegations were.


“The city appears to be focusing on those who do not have a tight relationship or a job with the city while letting their own off when it comes to city taxes.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly right. For another example, look at the case of City Councilman Allen Settle. As reported here and in the New Times, it is well established both through neighbor interviews and the statements of the actual renters that Settle rents out his Drake Circle house. Yet the city does not seem to care that Settle doesn’t declare this rental income on his financial statements, not have they fined him for not having the required permit for renting at that location, even though they currently have a big citywide drive to fine another under the table renters.

Aren’t double standards great?


I forgot about this Allen Settle nonsense. He is still renting that house out?? Settle, Parkinson, Hedges etc.,,,more examples of why we need to break up that mess in SLO. Too much corruption for a small town.


Questions for Mr. Cortez:

1. What do you plan on doing with Mr. Parkinson when you are elected Sheriff?

2. Do you plan on going through the whole department and re-interviewing each person?

3. Do you understand that “we the people”, who will place you as Sheriff, want you to make the needed changes to have a less aggressive more caring (protecting our community vs. income generation) Sheriff’s Department?


CCW, I don’t understand your first question. When Joe is elected Sheriff, Parkinson will continue on with the SLOPD as a captain. The SLOSD has no jurisdiction over the employees of the SLOPD. Deb Linden runs the SLOPD along with the City Manager who is her boss and the SLOCC who are the city managers boss.


Thanks Cindy for the correction. I guess I’ll save that one for SLOCC.

I still would like to know what Joe Cortez would do with someone like Ian Parkinson.


The Sheriff’s position is with the County of SLO. Parkinson is with the San Luis Obispo City Police Department. I would really like to hear something from Chief Linden about Parkinson’s time off. Did he take any unpaid time off during this past year? If he is second in command, his presence at the Police Dept must be required during day time hours since he is admin. Did he take a leave of absence to do this? How can he run for sheriff (demanding time during day time), teach classes at Allan Hancock, take the time off for the fair security, be in Court for his “side job”, and of course, he takes time off to investigate the cases he is investigating to recreate the evidence.. Come on, Chief Linden, tell us all how he gets so much time off (I think he gets17 vacation days and 5 admin days off a year which can not account for all this extra cirriculum). Are you covering up for him again, your little buddy there! You must be realy proud of your second in command!!!


Linden and Parkinson should both be fired.

Will it happen? NO

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

Parkinson still may get the popular vote, its not over yet!

Theres an old saying:

What you fear mayhappen

Who you hate may be your next official

Myself I am writing in Ben Hall’s name

Maybe a wasted vote but that is where my trust and faith is.


Willie, I’m with you on that one……VOTE BEN HALL at least he knows whats going on within the department. He knows who needs to go immediately to boost moral for the community as well as the Dept. Employees


Sorry, I do not understand your first question CCWheelers. Mr. Parkinson works for the San Luis Obispo Police Dept. if he is not elected Sheriff most likely he will stay there.

Which brings up more questions. Chief Linden, do you know that Mr. Parkinson has been moonlighting? Did you check to see that he is currently licensed as a Private Investigator or was he doing his work under the color of authority of the San Luis Obispo Police Dept?

Did you, Chief Linden, when you took command, review the personnel files of everyone? If so, did you see Mr. Parkinson letter confirming his outside employment and / or his Private Investigators license? Didn’t you think it was odd that he was testifying in court against other Peace Officers or as many cops refer to as a “Whore”?

Is the County Bar association going to investigate Mr. Murphy?

Will the District Attorney or Attorney General prosecute Mr. Parkinson for his admitted violations of the Business and Professions Code?

When was Mr. Parkinson’s last testimony in court as an expert witness in Accident Reconstruction?


Linden needs to go! What we need to do is have a clean sweep of the City. We need an outside source to come in and evaluate the SLOPD and Linden. You can’t tell me there isn’t more going on there. Two Officer’s getting paid while under investigation for drug smuggling. Then you have Parkinson, who by the way, decides to run for a very public office while having more than the average skeleton’s in his closet. Linden doesn’t investigate one of the drug smuggling officers who is also involved with elder abuse! Poo Poo’s the family when they say something and surely knows that Parkinson runs the Mid-State Fair Security, and I am sure knows of his specialty on the side of a reconstructionist and last but not least, his close relationship and copulous fraternizing with a fellow female officer. Oh yes, and Officer Chitty and his T-shirt business. Seriously, all under the not so watchful eye of LINDEN! She is too busy trying to be friends instead of being a boss. TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE!


Don’t forget the police brutality case where 3 SLOPD officers (one of which, Parkinson was allegedly having an affair with) delivered a unrelenting beatdown to Jeff Milne in his own home, and then all the video and audio equipment that Parkinson helped acquire for the city mysteriously failed both during the beating and during the interview at SLOPD HQ afterward. That attempted cover-up still didn’t stop Milne from collecting a $195,000 judgment from the city. The officers involved were, of course, never disciplined or sanctioned by Linden.

There is also the case where off duty SLOPD Officer Scott Cramer chased down and punched out a 50 year old disabled man after Cramer got a bad case of road rage when the man passed him on a country road. All while Cramer’s 8 year old son was in the car watching the great example his dad was setting. Cramer was also never disciplined or sanctioned for that incident.


We won’t have to tolerate her much longer… Rumor is that within the next year or two she is retiring with the wonderful pension she gets from our wonderful City forr her outstanding service to our community as as leader of public safety. What a bunch of bone heads from the City Council on down. We pay this group of leaders for their wonderful leadership and super pensions. Just look at what Hampien, Statler, Garner, etc. (soon Linden) get at the taxpapers expense… What a waste! Then, Callahan pasts and before he is buried we hire a Temp Fire Chief (under Council and Lichig approval) who happens to be Callahan’s best friend. Where were the Fire Captains and are you saying there was no competent personal at the Fire Dept who could have filled that position for a couple of months during the recruiting period. What major diasters have occurred that could not be handled by current existing staff. Oh, I forgot, we have lots of money to waste. Everyone be sure to vote for that Sales Tax increase in 2014, the City really needs its!


If you live in the City of San Luis Obispo, have a business location in the City – anywhere: home, office, retail, shared space you are required to have a business license (5.08.020). Whether you are located or not if you are conducting business in the City. Either you are lying, Parkinson, or in have unknowledgeable or incompetent staff in the Finance Department, which is it?

Have I have seen Parkinson take any responsiblity for his affair with a fellow officer, lack of paying taxes on time, slate democrat mailings, officers video’s not working during an arrest, video not working during interrogation, officers under his supervision who were arrested and on unnecessary PAID admin leave for months, etc. Step up to the plate and take some responsibility for someone under your supervision. If the City wants to paid all these all incompetent people, tax your sales tax and stuff it! I am tired of paying for you failures in leadership, we deserve better for our money!

Kevin Rice

Yeah, and you sell on eBay? Then you need a business license and should pay sales tax as well as report income to the IRS.


I would like to remind Ian Parkinson of the following statement he made during his testimony.

“Obviously, at some stage, somebody needs to determine fault in the collision,” Parkinson testified in the 2000 civil trial, according to the transcripts. “Many times, both parties don’t know who is at fault and they need somebody, an impartial person on the outside, to look at the issues to determine fault.” Yet Ian tells KSBY that he wasn’t there to determine fault!

I would like to add that the attorney for the defense, at that point (or at anytime) did not mention that Ian was a relative of the plaintiff! Why not? Nowhere in the transcripts is Ian’s relationship ever disclosed to the judge or jury. The deceased attorney’s partner say’s that his partner would have “gone ballistic” if he had known about the relationship!

I would also like to add that Ian’s testimony was in direct conflict of the only eye witness and the report of the responding CHP who said that the accident could have been avoided if the father-in-law had not been driving at a .23BAC, 3 times the legal limit, something Ian disputed claiming the BAC played no role and the accident could not have been avoided! Ian Parkinson most certainly effected the outcome of that trial.


Does anyone out there think that the Tribune or Katcho will now retract their endorsements?


Since when has Achadjian endorsed Parkinson? Hill, Mecham and Patterson have. There is so much undocumented gossip on this site. Karen appears to have done her homework, but the comments suggesting affairs, etc. is just rumor, unless you were there. This job is too important to let untruths sway the public’s vote.



Jim Patterson has NOT endorsed Parkinson. I thought I observed his name on the general endorsement list.



Jim Patterson did endorse Parkinson, as per the Political Notebook in the Trib on Sept. 19. His name no longer appears under endorsements on the Parkinson site.



I’ve been informed that Patterson is still on Parkinson’s endorsement list. I should have just stuck with my original Achadjian comment. Mea culpa!


This is disturbing that Jim Patterson would continue to endorse Parkinson. I supported Patterson and so did many of my friends. I won’t do it again.


In fear of retribution. I don’t think so, maybe at the polls, but will not publically. We shall see.


I’d say that a politician running for office him or herself is foolish to endorse other races thereby alienating supporters, whether there is controversy in the other race or not.


NO! Loyalities run deep in this County which is why we have all these issues…


Checkout the video. Have you ever seen Parkinson look so bad? And his body language says it all. He isn’t telling the truth. Just think what how the interview would have gone had KSBY sent an experienced reporter to interview Parkinson.


Did anyone in the case bring up the relationship between Parkinson and the plaintiff at trial? You bet they would have had they known…No question the info was silenced and that unethical action is the proximate cause of the reward given. And we want this guy to be Sheriff? He’d fit right in with what we got now!


Any attorney worth his salt would ask questions that would divulge relationships with the parties. Did the attorney ask Parkinson this question? Is the question and his answer part of the transcript?


Parkinson first replies to the reporter from KSBY (comments mine):

“You keep going down to ethics and the challenge here is, when you disclose it (being related to the plaintiff), it’s very ethical,”

The reporter states the following professional opinion:

“The appearance of an unethical activity is there and he really should have recused himself. It just seems so obvious, said Mike Carpenter with the Josephson Institute on Ethics. The Los Angeles-based non-profit group focus on ethical behavior in the workplace.

THEN Parkinson AGREES with the following:

“That’s probably a good rule of thumb, you don’t. You don’t want to do that, even if you know the person, absolutely…” said Carpenter.

You’re done, Parkinson. I’m tired of your patty-caking around. That might cut it within the SLOPD but now you’ve placed yourself in the political arena. You’re through.


My gosh does this mean that the Tribune/Bruce Ray are going to have to get off their dead asses and actually report on this matter?


Again, he defends himself with no real answer. Skirting the issue.

Parkinson also claimed that his relationship to Tavernetti was “irrelevant” to his testimony because “the accident reconstructionist just says how the accident happened.” IN THERE OPINION!!!!!!!!!!! Does he think the voters are just a bunch of idiots?

How about, Looking back on this, perhaps I would have excused myself, considering I am related. SOMETHING! He just doesn’t get it. What is his excuse for having an affair with a fellow officer? I suppose he has an excellent excuse for that as well. Uh me and my wife were not getting along and my fellow officer helped me out during a rough spot in my marriage! Puleeezzz!

You have to be able to be an example, not an example of what not to be, but what to be. I am thoroughly disgusted with this. Don’t get me wrong, but if there was this much proven negativity agains Joe Cortez I would be saying the same things.

People use your moral compass here. This is someone who will not even admit a mistake, let alone apologize for anything. How is he going to deal with the Sheriff’s Office. It is already mucked up by people who have done unscrupulous things. WE DON’T NEED THAT! City of Bell ring anything?

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