Parkinson: We didn’t conceal it from them

October 20, 2010

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s candidate Ian Parkinson says in a published interview that he stopped his private work as a traffic accident reconstructionist around six years ago. [Tribune]

Parkinson, who continues to defend his actions in a 2000 Monterey County civil trial, also indicated that he had to receive annual approval from San Luis Obispo city officials to continue his off-duty consulting work.

Parkinson testified in 2000 that he had investigated about 3,000 to 4,000 traffic accidents during the nearly 17 years he’d worked as a police officer, and made several hundred reconstructions of accidents since 1990.

The controversy stems from a CalCoastNews article about Parkinson testifying as an expert witness for the plaintiff back in 2000 who turned out to be his sister-in-law Rita Tavernetti. A review of the transcript by both CalCoastNews and the Tribune shows that Parkinson failed to disclose his family relationship to the court, which eventually awarded Tavernetti $1.4 million.

“We didn’t conceal it from them,” Parkinson said of his relationship to Tavernetti in the interview published Wednesday. “If I knew that 10 years later I would run for sheriff, would I do it differently? Yes, I would make sure it was on the record that we disclosed it.”

Parkinson and the plaintiff’s attorney, James Murphy of Arroyo Grande, have maintained that Murphy disclosed the family connection to the defense attorney Frank Cunningham before the trial began.

Cunningham died two years ago and both his co-counsel and private investigator on the case have stated they had no knowledge of the Parkinson relationship.

Parkinson, currently a captain with the San Luis Obispo police department, is facing retired Pismo Beach police chief Joe Cortez in the Nov. 2 election.


Curious as to the fact that the accident happened in May of 1998 but the law suit was not filed until 1 year and over 4 months later. Yet Ian Parkinson was on the scene within 10 days of the accident! This means his sister-in-law and family of King City had already chosen and hired a San Luis attorney, Murphy who in turn must have immediately retained Parkinson as an expert witness to be on the scene so quick!

Also the now deceased defense attorney, Cunningham questioned Hayes’ testimony was unreliable because of his relationship with the plaintiffs. And if the sister-in-law relationship of the plantiff to Parkinson was disclosed then why did Cunningham not question the same unrealibity of Parkinson to testify. Either he was a bad attorney or he really didn’t know!


I’m feeling more and more that just the tip of the iceberg is being uncovered with regard to Parkinson’s shenanigans.


I wanted to give an agreeable thumbs up to folks on this thread c, but the clickable thumbs seem to be curiously disabled.



I also noticed that they were disabled yesterday. They seem to be back and working now.


This article is not Karen’s style of writing and Karen’s name is not under it. It sounds more like Dave C. Dave when you write an article own up but some of them need to be under opinion piece. You don’t do Karen/Cal Coast News any favors. There were some other articles that sounded like your writing style. Basically I appreciate your support of Cal Coast News but you need to put your name under the articles you write. That is the ethical/decent thing to do.

Bottom line Karen broke the story! There must have been a big pow-wow in the Tribune editorial room which means the public is asking questions about the issue. They obviously weighed in on reporting the issue.

For me the issue is who is the more ethical candidate. Legal isn’t always ethical.