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.


Well, I came to this site expecting to find some balanced comments regarding the Sheriff’s race. All I read here is Parkinson bashing and Cortez lovers. Where are the comments posted yesterday that defended Parkinson? Shame on Cal Coast News for deleting comments giving some balance to the smear campaign that the Cortez camp keeps alive. My comment will probably be deleted too just for standing up to this nonsense.

People – debate the ISSUES of the SLOSO, not these petty “character” arguments full of half-truths and too many “opinions.” Or, do you even know what the issues are facing our largest law enforcement agency? My guess is that you have taken the “Cortez” approach and don’t see the value in getting first-hand information from the people you hope to lead….oh, that’s right, the Sheriff’s Department is in need of “cleaning house” and only seeks to get Parkinson elected to protect their own “good ol boy” interests, so why would you want to hear their thoughts and opinions?

I recognize that the department is far from perfect (as most of us are) however, these deputies and correctional officers deserve our support and recognition that there are MANY SLOSO employees that are outstanding law enforcement professionals and highly respected individuals who truly care and serve our county with pride!


Bella: Can you point to anywhere, anytime that Joe Cortez has said that the entire Sheriff’s Department needs a “cleaning house”? In my listening to Mr. Cortez on the Dave Congalton show, Joe stressed that he felt the rank and file are for the most part, doing and/or trying to do a good job, but Joe explained that he felt the management of the Sheriff’s Department was in need of some real attention. How can you believe that anyone who was trying to be the top of a department could feel that all or most of the employees weren’t doing a good job? Do you honestly believe that Joe Cortez thinks that the entire Sheriff’s department is corrupt and/or incompetent? I’m not involved in law enforcement by any stretch of the imagination, but even I know that there is no way that the entire Sheriff’s department is somehow “bad”; when you have a leader that won’t play favorites, that won’t accept excuses and sets the example of appropriate behavior, then you will see a turnaround in that organization. That is what I expect of Joe Cortez and have no confidence that Ian Parkinson could deliver.


I wonder what planet you have been on. Ian has brought upon himself all the problems we read about or hear about in what’s left of credible media around here (not the daily fish wrapper). Though a few folks toss silly phrases around here most comments relate to the story at hand. We read the story, we read his response (ridiculous). Now we talk. Your reference to a smear campaign is proof of your unshakable bias. Where is the smear campaign? Allegations are filed, Ian takes his time (consulting with handlers, his brother etc) and finally responds with nonsense and we respond to that. We are all waiting for our near worthless city and county authorities to investigate in a transparent and efficient way so these issues can be laid to rest-ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

Your second and third paragraphs are just fluff and make no sense in this context. Whining and patronizing of the obvious number of decent LE we have-waste of time.

Ian did wrong and is now lying, or not. Let’s find out.


“Well, I came to this site expecting to find some balanced comments regarding the Sheriff’s race. All I read here is Parkinson bashing and Cortez lovers. Where are the comments posted yesterday that defended Parkinson?”

Yes, where ARE those willing to defend Parkinson? Perhaps there just aren’t too many such people around with the new developments?

As far as the comments from yesterday, are you talking about the obvious LIES that were spammed throughout this forum by one user? Give us a break. That spammer was slamming this forum with lies in an attempt to derail ALL conversation. I’m glad they were purged as they contained zero substance.


“Where are the comments posted yesterday that defended Parkinson?”

How the hell do you defend what he has done? Does someone need to take you by the hand and read court documents. I had all intentions of voting for Parkinson, like I said in previous posts, but here you have a person who has a long list of oh no he didn’t, and WTH’s! So, just because he is in LE, that gives him the right to bend the rules or better yet, BREAK THEM knowingly? Yes, we are all far from perfect, but when you look at the candidates, who has the record of: practicing business without a license, being the captain to which two fellow officers drug smuggled, one of which also was committing elder abuse, affair with fellow officer, unethically testifies in a court case to which a family member was awarded 1.4 million, one officer selling t-shirts while working. SERIOUSLY??? Then you have both candidates who filed work comp claims, and both marked the same boxes. I’m sorry, but we need someone who we know is not going to think of himself-with actions-that he is above the law! His arrogance and cheesiness reeked all through the interview with KSBY! Did you listen to what he said?


Well, I find it interesting that you are “bashing” us for the facts posted here. I would love to hear some positive facts about Ian Parkinson. Please, inform us as I’m sure he must have a positive side and I for one would like to read about them. I’ll be waiting for your comments, thank you!


Bella, you won’t find any here and you don’t find this site to actually be biased. When they started, I was proud to say their were. Now, I am sad to say they are pathetic in alot of what they supposedly cover.


Several months ago before I knew this guy was running for sheriff, I heard him speak at a DARE graduation. As he spoke and told a joke at someone elses expense, I decided then that this guy was a flake. I would never vote this guy for sheriff.


Does anyone have faith in the legal system and court process anymore or for that matter in the political system?

Good investigative reporting is the ONLY thing that can preserve us!

Why did Linden pass up Sgt. Jerry Lenthal, he has a BS & MS, Parkinson only has a high school diploma…answer: Lenthal did not kiss the right Booo…thats how it is!


Probably because Lenthall had no desire to be a lieutenant or captain. Jerry probably wanted to work nights so he could be a full-time building contractor during the day.

I have no idea how Parkinson could be an “expert” witness in more than 10 cases/year and still have the time to do his job well enough to come through the ranks like he did.


Hey Crusader; He’s an Industrious, ambitious, diligent, time manager perhaps?


Hey Willie, No, you don’t have a clue. Jerry has/had no business as a Peace Officer or any other public service. He never was respected, and he kissed too MUCH of your “Booo” and was always in it for himself! He was always one of those that was un-promotable; like mike dale etc….malcontents.

“I’m six foot fourteen, but most people think I’m over 7 feet tall”….hahaha


Hey slowtime

I somewhat sort of expected this when this story broke out as well as your purpose to sabotage this blog.

I will just simply request the moderator to delete your deluded assumptions as they are insultingly offensive no matter what other user name you use.


ok funnyman,,,go ferit


To words about Lenthal…Professional Politician! Were you trying to get a job or something?


As anyone seen this endorsement by Chief Linden:

“As the Chief of Police for the City of San Luis Obispo, I have had the privilege to work side-by-side with Ian Parkinson for the past six years. During this time, he has proven himself to be a visionary leader, a talented manager, and skilled law enforcement professional. As a second-in-command of the Police Department, Ian is responsible for making critical decisions and for leading the department in my absence. He is ethical, honest, open and collaborative – all of which are critical traits in building and maintaining public trust. Ian Parkinson will be an excellent Sheriff who will be dedicated to serving the residents of our County, and leading the fine men and women of the Sheriff’s Department with pride.”

Deborah Linden

OMG, gives this type of endorsement to Parkinson, what does that say about the other staff? She has worked with him for six years, knows about the affair, about the Miles arrest that cost the City $195,000 (plus the cost of all that hi-tech equipment that Parkinson took credit for developing but couldn’t when needed), the staff that he supervisored that were drug smugglers, etc. Such leadship!


I just want to know how much personal time he has had off work and if he was paid for it? How about that Linden?


According to his twitter page (ian4sheriff) he took at least one week off work for campaigning.

Perhaps she is endorsing him because she wants him to leave SLOPD so she can replace him with someone with better ethics, judgment, and an education.


She is no better than Ian Parkinson. She needs to go. The Lady has got to go! She is useless.

Kevin Rice

If you are using your accrued vacation/holiday hours, then OF COURSE you’re paid and should be.


I see this as a way for Linden to get Parkinson off the SLOPD payroll in a very politically slick manner, plus one of her’s would be SLOC Sheriff. Shrewd.


Oh, truth be known, this is her golden boy… Besides, she will departing before you know, retirement is on her horizon.


Anyone want a good laugh, and get a little lighter inside to all this, go to Ian Parkinson Facebook page and see where AMY TAVERNETTI asks us to suppport Ian for his “Vision, Integrity, and Proven Leadership Skills”. This was better than any cartoon I’ve seen this month! I


Of course, she has 1.4 million reasons to endorse her unethical “expert witness” who has no expert education, no business license, and no license to conduct private investigations.

I challenge Ian Parkinson to make public his tax fillings since 2000 to date. Prove you pay your taxes and report all your expert witness income? Prove you are not unethical!


Good point

If he has been paid as an expert witnss, it is subject to state and federal taxes.

If he is paying tax and writing off expenses to reduce taxes, then he needs to have a business license!!!!!!!!


Check out the latest at the Tribune. The UNIONS are supporting Ian Parkinson. Is that any surprise? God forbid that anybody should get in the way of “business as usual” with those dirt bags. After all we have the unions to thank that we have to pay drug smuggling cops for 10 months while they are on administrative leave. It is the unions that guarantee the job security of all LEO even when they intentionally violate the rights of the people who employ them and la ti da ti dah.


Cindy: Please don’t bash the unions just for being unions. I was in a union for over thirty years (not law enforcement) and there were times when the leadership of the union was questioned by the rank and file, and if the questions got loud enough around the time of elections of the leadership, they would get voted out. I do agree that our local law enforcement unions do have a bad reputation here for their ability to obtain very good pay for the officers, but that is one of their main functions. I firmly believe that many government employee unions and associations are very aware of the public perception that they are to blame for much of the financial woes local and state governments face today, and I will not be surprised to see concessions on their part to reduce the costs associated with their contracts. As for the local law enforcement unions supporting Parkinson, they are committed to maintaining the “status quo” as much as they can for as long as they can, but again remember, it is the leadership of the unions that make the political endorsements, not the individual officers.


bob it isn’t just about the money, perks and pensions. It’s about the “due process rights”, the job security regardless of performance, the lack of review committees or the right of the citizens to even impanel one. It’s about rights that go far beyond anything reasonable or anything that would ever exist in the public sector. They have gone way too far and we have our “back scratching gov” that has allowed them to negotiate these omnipotent rights for”each other”. We the people are supposed to be the gov but we clearly aren’t. Somehow they have become the gov and we have become the slaves. The unions have to go. The only way to do this is to start replacing gov agencies with private sector service agencies. Then eventually we can take re-establish the kind of gov agencies that we want working for us.

I agree with the people who say that we need a big tea party. For now I’ll start by voting out near every incumbent. There are a few that I’ll be voting back into office but not many.


Parkinson has a number of problems with his “expert testimony”. First, he was conducting a business and was paid by Murphy. He is required to have a business license locally and in Monterey County where he actually worked. Need to see if Murphy or Parkinson can produce 1099’s showing payments or was he paid under the table to avoid taxes? Secondly, how did attorney Murphy know about this case or become the attorney for the Tavernetti family? Because Parkinson acted as a “capper” and brought the case to Murphy. That is illegal and unethical. Thirdly, Parkinson was nothing more than a “mouthpiece” for attorney Murphy, he was not qualified as an expert in collision reconstruction. Murphy used him because of his pretty face and smile to sway the jurors. Unethical on Parkinson’s behalf. Finally, did Parkinson perjure himself when he stated that he worked full time as a collision reconstructionist? What about his full time job at San Luis Obispo Police Department? He is unethical, clearly perjured himself for financial gain, and is not qualified to run for any office.


How does one become a SLOPD captain with as many years of experience as he has and not know that if you have a business (in his words “a full time” business) you need to have a business license? If the 2nd highest ranked official at SLOPD does not know this, what other business laws does he have incorrect knowledge of that he is either failing to enforce or incorrectly enforcing? Is he making arrests based on the bad advice given to him by city workers rather than actually reading and understanding the city code himself?

It is the topic of the first chapter of two title sections of the SLO municipal code (3.01 and 5.01 – available online) and it is very clear:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business, trade, vocation, enterprise, establishment, occupation, or calling in the city not otherwise exempt without first having procured a business tax certificate from the city or complying with all of the applicable provisions of this chapter.”

““Business” shall mean and include professions, trades, vocations, rentals, leases, enterprises, establishments and occupations, and all and every kind of calling, any of which is conducted for the purpose of earning in whole, or in part, a profit or livelihood, whether or not a profit or a livelihood actually is earned thereby, whether paid in money, goods, labor or otherwise, and whether or not the business has a fixed place of business in the city.”

The only exceptions are if you are under 18, or are running a charity, non-profit, or religious organization – none of which clearly apply to Parkinson.

Has he never read the municipal code of the city he has taken an oath to enforce the laws of? Is this how he plans on running the Sheriff’s department? We already have enough examples of Sheriff’s deputies who clearly never bothered to read laws such as the bill of rights.


Does Parkinson live within the city limits and/or has he worked as an accident reconstructionist within the city of SLO?


I don’t think Parkinson’s city of residence is a matter of public record, and in any case, it is irrelevant. The code states that a permit is required “whether or not the business has a fixed place of business in the city” Parkinson’s other “full time job” with SLOPD is in SLO and if he really did investigate accidents full time, he undoubtedly investigated accidents in SLO. He would also have to testify in the Superior Court located in SLO City. He also probably did some of this side work while on the clock for SLOPD as is apparently the norm (read about Officer Chitty’s t-shirt side business that he ran while on duty for SLOPD in the “Protect, Serve And Sell T-Shirts.” article on this site)

Also, if Parkinson is going to claim he ran his entire business in a city outside of SLO, then he’d need a permit for that city instead – a claim which he has not made.


Ian S & Amy M Parkinson – xxxx Pointettia Street, SLO 93401 – Purchased home on 06-05-2001

Previous addresses:

412 Higuera St – SLO

3029 Broad St – SLO

2221 King Court – SLO

4412 Sunflower – SLO

Yeah he has been doing business in SLO for many many years without a license. Wonder how much he owes us tax payers in back license fees?


you should think twice about posting this info on a public forum dude. Do some research PaulJones and editor Karen, this may throw you in the hot seat!


no problem, no current information is disclosed


Public info – go to County Tax Collector, seach by name…duh!!!


I’m beginning to think that Parkinson is just some sort of entitled golden boy within the SLOPD. Work yourself into a corner? Just turn on the charm. Do something stupid? Just lie your way out. He’s now finding out that the rest of the world is not the SLOPD…