Kelly Gearhart: Fraud, arson and betrayal

November 18, 2010

Kelly Gearhart

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a four part series about the story of North County developer Kelly Gearhart and his political allies.)


Amid a federal investigation into racketeering, money laundering and mail fraud, developer Kelly Gearhart’s stepmother claims her notorious stepson’s illicit activities also included forgery, bribing public officials and arson.

The latter exploit was one that helped fund Gearhart’s transition from being a prison guard to become one of San Luis Obispo County’s most prolific builders.

Marion Warner, Gearhart’s common-law stepmother of 35 years, said Gearhart’s father gave him a building in 1985 that the younger Gearhart held onto for a year before asking his father to hire an arsonist in order to collect on the structure’s insurance.

The fire left 16 people homeless, injured four firefighters, destroyed two apartment buildings and damaged three additional structures, according to The Athens Messenger, a newspaper in Ohio. Firefighters from five cities fought the flames, which authorities said was set by an unknown arsonist.

After being silent through much of her stepson’s publicized financial troubles, Warner agreed to speak for the record in a series of interviews with CalCoastNews about Gearhart.

In the interviews, which took place over several weeks, Warner talked about her view of the rise and fall of Gearhart, Atascadero Chamber’s former Citizen of the Year.

Marion Warner, John Gearhart, Kelly Gearhart, Tamara Lowe, Doug Gearhart and Brenda Grenough

On his 18th birthday, she said Gearhart’s father gave him the family’s traditional gift for a man coming of age: a box of condoms. A few days later, John Gearhart and Warner left Atascadero for Ohio.

At the time, Kelly worked at a Scolari’s market in Atascadero. He put himself through the police academy and, after graduation, worked as a prison guard at the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo.

Not long after he started his five-year stint as a prison guard, he began doing construction jobs on the side.

“He started out honest — building houses for guys at the prison,” Warner said.

While Gearhart was in his mid 20s and still working as a prison guard, his father suffered a massive heart attack and decided to move back to San Luis Obispo County, but not before transferring the small three-unit apartment building he owned in Ohio into his son’s name.

Gearhart owned the property for about a year before asking his father to hire an arsonist to follow through on their plan to collect on the insurance, Warner said.

On Oct. 9, 1986, authorities said an unidentified arsonist started the fire in an upstairs apartment in Gearhart’s building at 22 Hocking St. in Nelsonville, Ohio. A pair of tenants moved from the apartment building the day before the fire, leaving the three-unit building vacant, according to The Messenger.

The fire spread to a second apartment and business complex leaving 16 people homeless, many escaping with just the clothes on their backs. Three additional buildings – the WAIS radio station building, the Nelsonville TV cable office and a residence – sustained smoke and water damage.

Four firefighters suffered smoke inhalation, one seriously, according to the Messenger. Volunteer firefighter Pat Bullock was admitted to Doctors Hospital where he remained for three days in the intensive-care unit.

According to the Athens County Tax Assessor’s office, Gearhart’s former apartment building was destroyed and the land where it stood is now a parking lot.

“The Gearharts are not above a little larceny,” Warner noted seriously. “They got a healthy chunk of change out of it.”

Marion Warner and John Gearhart

Warner said she was with Kelly Gearhart’s father John Gearhart when the authorities called to inform him about the fire.

“He acted surprised,” Warner said and added that she knows the person from Nelsonville who John Gearhart hired to start the fire.

The money received from the insurance, along with Gearhart’s connections to government officials, helped to start his new career as a developer in Atascadero.

Although arson was the determined cause, no one has been accused of or arrested for setting the blaze.

Following the fire, Gearhart suddenly had the funds to go ahead with his projects while avoiding many of the hurdles and fees less connected developers had to deal with in Atascadero.

Gearhart’s alleged ability to manipulate public officials by plying them with favors and gifts helped make him immune to some of the building inspections and fee requirements that were required of other developers.

Kelly Gearhart at his home in Atascadero

Warner said Gearhart would brag to his father and to her that he had “paid off”  public officials such as Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney and County Tax Assessor Tom Bordonaro with cash, excursions in his jet and exclusive event tickets.

“He would say that McKinney had been taken care of,” Warner said. “Kelly said you had to put money out to get things done.

“Kelly gave goodies like the dream ticket (boxing). It was OK, like a realtor buying a contractor a case of booze after a sale.”

During family visits, she said Gearhart would boast to his father and her that Atascadero City Councilmen Tom O’Malley and Jerry Clay were his guys and those who wouldn’t do what he wanted were described by him as “commies” or “nuts.”

“While he was on the phone, I would hear him saying stuff like. ‘I told you there is no way anyone is going to find that’ ”, Warner quoted him as saying. “One time, he said, ‘I told you, I took care of that guy, he won’t ask any more questions.’ ”

As Gearhart worked to build more than 400 new homes in the Atascadero area, some city inspectors and officials looked the other way, allowing Gearhart to avoid paying city fees due to falsified and unfinished inspection reports costing the city several hundred thousand dollars.

After former Mayor Mike Brennler went to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office with information that the city had failed to collect more than $200,000 in fees from Gearhart because 30 cottages were not finalized correctly, he was chastised by local news reporters for attempting to tarnish Gearhart’s name.

Several employees and city officials said that City Manager Wade McKinney, Assistant City Manager Jim Lewis, and Community Development Director Warren Frace instructed city staff to allow Gearhart to skip the city’s Planning Department and deal directly with upper-level city employees.

City officials contend staff would have noticed if initials had been forged.

Warner describes afternoons at Gearhart’s office on Morro Road in Atascadero with Kelly’s wife, Tamara Lowe, and Gearhart laughing over which one was the best at forging initials of Atascadero employees on the city’s inspection reports.

After forging the documents, Gearhart had an employee in the city who would place the falsified reports into city project files, Warner said.

“We were ordered to do illegal things,” said one city employee, who refused to be named — as did a handful of other city workers – out of fear of being fired or blackballed for future jobs.

“Gearhart’s projects were fast tracked. Projects went directly to Warren Frace and skipped planning,” this city employee added.

Gearhart had a number of sub-contractors that he worked with when he started building homes locally in the 1980s. During that time, he persuaded them to move into positions where they could assist him, several sources claim.

Two of the most notables among these former sub-contractors are former Atascadero City Councilman Ken Lerno and current San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner Bruce White, Warner said.

Lerno, Gearhart’s former electrician, got into the lending business and began working for Hurst Financial Inc., the lending company that allegedly worked with Gearhart in running a Ponzi scheme that has left area investors claiming more than $100 million in losses.

While Lerno worked for Gearhart’s lender, he continued working with Gearhart and the pair began developing properties together.

Gearhart and Hurst Financial Inc. CEO, Jay Miller, asked Lerno to a weekend in Lake Tahoe where they wined and dined Lerno while encouraging him to seek a seat on the Atascadero City Council, where his votes could have a financial benefit for each of them, said a former friend of the builders who has asked to remain unnamed because of fears of those involved with Gearhart.

Lerno agreed and in 1996 he was elected to the City Council.

In 1999, Gearhart purchased a property on Traffic Way close to a property he and Lerno owned, according to city documents.

A few months later, Gearhart transferred the Traffic Way property to one of his longtime business partners, Daniel Mackey.

However, Gearhart’s name remained as the communication contact for the city and Gearhart continued to attend planning meetings to discuss the proposed project known by some as the “Shacks on the Tracks,” a high-density, low-cost housing project.

Lerno voted to approve the project, which included the proposed construction of homes that were to be built on a narrow piece of land adjacent to Union Pacific’s railroad tracks.

A concerned citizen then stood before the council and explained Lerno’s financial ties to Gearhart.

Lerno resigned from the council on the same day.

“Kelly was really upset when he resigned,” Warner said, contending that her stepson wanted Lerno to weather the storm and remain on the council. “Lerno was afraid of going to jail. And then the FBI started crawling up Kelly’s ass.”

After Lerno’s resignation, Warner said FBI agents tag teamed the Gearharts in an attempt to get information about the alleged collusion. Agents found Tamara Gearhart at the Gearhart office in Atascadero and Kelly Gearhart at a job site in Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County, where he was working on a project with his longtime golfing buddy and one of the owners in a group of bars in San Luis Obispo, Habib Tavassoli.

Shortly afterward, the grand jury interviewed his father John Gearhart over the allegations of collusion. According to Warner, he took direction from his son before he testified.

“Dad said what he was supposed to say,” Warner said, adding:

“Gearharts don’t worry about telling the truth, they worry about later on. No one got in any trouble.”

Bruce White

Kelly Gearhart’s former plumbing contractor and executor of his and his wife’s will, San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner Bruce White, who was appointed by county Supervisor Frank Mecham, was one of the few people who knew how her stepson ran his business, Warner said.

White said he was not aware of any payoffs or that he was the executor of Gearhart’s will.

“Yes I did work for Kelly as a plumbing contractor,” White said. “I do not know what Kelly did with others, but he never promoted me into any positions.”

Gearhart also bragged to his family about his productive relationship with county Assessor Tom Bordonaro, his stepmother told CalCoastNews.

“He laughed and joked with his dad about buying a dinner with the governor for Bordonaro,” Warner said. “He spent a lot more time with Bordonaro than others knew.”

San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro

An employee of Bordonaro’s said the assessor bragged that he and Gearhart went to Sacramento for a fundraiser with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and showed off a picture of himself and the governor to employees in the assessor’s office.

Seats at the governor’s table required a donation of between $50,000 and $100,000.

“I have never received a ticket to any fundraiser from Kelly Gearhart,” Bordonaro told CalCoastNews. “In fact, I do not have, nor have I ever seen, a picture of myself with the Governor at all.”

At about the same time, critics say Bordonaro directed his staff to do favors for Gearhart, including pushing the developer to the top of the list when processing housing subdivisions.

“I have never given Kelly Gearhart any special treatment, nor am I aware that any staff has either,” Bordonaro said in response to the allegations of favoritism.

However, it appears that Gearhart and his partners were not held to the same property deed requirements as other county builders.

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Hey Mikey, lighten up.. I’m not saying someone should pop a cap in Gearhart, I’m just saying that if someone were to end up dead, it would make a great book ala Ann Rule.

She’s great at rooting out the dirty little secrets and relaying true tales of lust, greed, betrayal, etc… sort of like all the things this story seems to be generating.

Gearhart’s tale just needs a murder victim to make it complete and ready for a True Crime book, that’s all I’m saying.

I have no dog in this hunt. I wasn’t swindled but I can see why so many people are so upset. Betrayal by someone that was admired and trusted by an whole community, the bloody citizen of the year mind you, is one hellova story and someone should put it all together into a book. It just needs an ending…

Well how is this for juicy MURDER gossip

Elizabeth Meek (formerly Elizabeth Reklai) our stepmother whome grigger Jones assisted in committing the fraud and forgery on the 1st Amendment to our father’s will

Her husband Senator Johnny Reklai from Palau was mysteriously “offed” a couple of years ago while fishing off the coast of Palau

How is that for murder mystery?

“well cheese it seems like you have alot of hatred at people that you dont even know. maybe you should get the real story.” Mikey I mean “Gearhart” you write this crap go soak your head in a bucket, and I’ll say what I think.

Something that I’m curious about is why did Kelly become a prison guard rather than a police officer after putting himself through the police academy? He was a local and I would think that he could have joined the force rather easily. I also wonder how he got through the academy considering that he was such a big man in the wide sense of the word? Don’t they have to be physically fit and able to climb walls, jump hurdles and run fast or is that all a bunch of propaganda? Maybe he was in better shape back then?

I have always had the impression that many prison guards (not all) are “want to be” police officers but didn’t get through the academy for some reason. Can someone explain this to me? Is there more training or testing after the academy?

Yes Kelly was in pretty good shape back when. On not becoming a cop I (like you) can only speculate. It is possible that maybe he failed the physiatric evaluation after applying for a job?? I had a roommate back in the 80’s who went through the academy. He applied for Atascadero, Sherriff’s and Paso departments. He passed everything but failed each time on the physic. interview. Possible here?? Oh and my roommate didn’t make because he was a little to gung ho, ah la L.A.P.D. mentality of beat first ask questions later.

The psych exam is probably a good guess although I’m told that it is easy to pass, I was told that they also have to pass a lie detector test and that might be more difficult. He had probably done all sorts of sociopathic things by the time he faced questions surrounding his ethics, honesty and integrity. I don’t think an otherwise honest person just wakes up one morning and decides to have a building burned down. I have to wonder about the other police officers who have graced us with less than stellar conduct, as we have recently seen. Like Murphy and the deputies that clearly conspired to cover up what they did to Matt Hart and even file false charges against him, the SLO cop that beat up the disabled man in Atascadero and the gang of SLOPD that beat up the business owner in SLO and covered it up. Maybe they all started out well intentioned and got like that after they were on the force for a awhile? I think they should be retested every few years and definitely when their actions come into question. Fat chance of that I bet. At least their check and balances caught somebody like Gearhart so it’s not all that bad. I can’t imagine having someone like him on the force.

I think there are 2 reasons why Gearhart became a correctional officer over being a policeman.

1.The pay and benefits for a correctional officer are substantially higher than those offered by the local agencies, except SLOPD.

2.Birds of a feather flock together. The prison is where he may have learned his trade.

Depending on when he applied, he may have not qualifed for the height requirement.

I keep hearing about this Matt Hart incident…what happened???

SLO Sheriffs Office violates 4th amendment

Wow! thanks for the info. That was….enlightening to say the very least….!

It sure is and that story by Dan Blackburn got over 2 million hits !

I watched it All of it (broken up into several parts) I couldn’t believe it Not exactly good PR for the city of San Luis Obispo. If I were moving there and saw this I would be concerned It feels secure to have a competent police force patrolling your neighborhood but who needs these bullies. In Vegas we have cops watching cops Whose watching these bullies

Not all COs want anything more than the benefits that come with the job. I know 3 guards quite well who are very happy being a CO. Not that they work in the happiest of places, mind you.

Remember that mid 1950s or 60s western show “Have Gun will Travel”? Maybe all you folks who were swindled should wire Paladin at his office in San Francisco?

Dear thoughtful

Go to Scrib’ and look at all the documents related to our father’s probate fraud against Grigger Jones (he admitted he is a partner with Gearhart and acts as his attorney) and elizabeth meek then let me know your opinions on the forgery forensics report prepared by noted forensics expert Reed Hayes regarding the 1st amendment with forged signatuers. Our stepmother Elizabeth meek admitted in court she didn’t sign the document. Jones provided it to attorneys in Hawaii, talked about it in his affidaavit etc. and when on the stand last july looked at it as if he had never seen it. He also stated under oath that he had never seen the document before and that he had never seen his OWN affidavit which had his signature and his assistant Colleen Alexander had notarized it………………..Amazing. Also look over the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law we prepared That’s your Grigger jones.

BY the way he admitted on the stand that he is or was a partner with Kelly Gearhart and stated he primarily utilizes his law practice in the field of real estate development HELLO? Hmmmmm Grigger Jones primarily deals in real estate law? And his partner is Kelly Gearhart. DO THE MATH!


This is all very good, substantial evidence. This is exactly what I am interested in! We (the general public) are not interested in hearsay, especially about a deceased person coming from a disgruntled step-mother. I mean no disprspect to anyone involved, but it seems that we, as a society, have been strapped with the daunting task of filtering facts from gossip. I had no idea that so many people were so personally affected by this, as I was simply commenting on the context of this particular article. I personally think that Karen should stick to facts instead of printing things that are not hard facts and cannot be proven by anyone. At this point, Marion (Louise) Warner could say anything she wanted and it would get printed. I’m not defending anyone, as I’ve stated before, the guilty parties need to be held accountable. I was criticised earlier for stating “poor business decisions” but I had no clue of the complexitiy of the charges brought against Kelly Gearhart. My comments were simply meant for the reader to stick to the facts of the case, and disregard the other stuff that cannot be proven as fact. Good news reporting should be factual and unbiased. I realize now that there are so many personally involved with this case that it may be difficult to understand this message, but it’s the same message concerning millions of articles across this country. Karen should have started her article with the number of investors and businessmen who have filed judgements against Kelly instead of comments coming from his disgruntled step-mother and deceased father.

Thoughtful, There have been many articles about the 1200 investors that were harmed by Kelly Gearhart and the majority of them are senior citizens. I also suggest that you read this article again because I think you will notice that Karen did substantiate 99% of what was related to her by Warner. Granted, Karen didn’t print the names of her sources but she has always had reliable sources and has never put out a bogus story yet. I also know that she has in the past required proof even though she agreed not to print that she had seen it. She wrote a story about a law suit that I engaged the city of Atascadero in several years ago and actually insisted on seeing documents that she knew I should not be in possession of. She wrote the story without disclosing everything she knew. In short, if she writes it, you can trust it.

I see Gearhart’s buddies monitoring

I see Gearhart’s attorneys using delay tactics to kick each case this down the road for years by using “massive” complex , convoluted documents to delay and delay in hopes the claimants starve, give up, or die off across time.

Heres a good one, his attorney can petition the courts to have each and every default judgement rescinded and each case reopened for cause (Excuse or cause: Exigent circumstances: He felt his life in danger)

Yes Gerhard “LIE” like a rug but the Federal judge found you fraudulent (malicious in what you attempted) your gonna have your attorney lie for you because the Civil Code permits his a*s*s* to BS on your behalf.

Nothing new under the sun Gearhart SOS, hindsight is a kick in the, you should have ran for Sheriff prettyboy.

I know what your thinking, don’t flee to that country!

Incidently the photo or your wfe or girlfriend, she’s too tall for you.

Boy, all you need is for someone to get himself or herself murdered and I’d swear this was an Ann Rule book.

Can’t wait to see the next story.

Next story, I can’t wait to read his obituary!

i would watch out with what you say about people. and you should know the truth!

Whats the fear, Gearhart is too far away in another distant state from any harm. If any threat of harm is established it would be something he staged or arranged and not connected to any of the claimants because they are all flat broke to do anything and he knows that!

willie, I have only seen one person who continually fantasizes/verbalizes about all the way’s that Gearhart could or should die and that person wouldn’t harm anybody. He is a laid back surfer who got swindled out of every penny he had and it was all his ‘hard earned’ savings. He is in his 50’s and still has a young child to raise. In the mean time, the same people also swindled his father out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and the father is now also broke. Some people simply have a need to vent. If the Gearhart attorney is going to attempt to use that to claim exigent circumstances then it is a rather weak excuse.

On the other hand, someone apparently did track Kelly down in Las Vegas last year and put him in the hospital. I have no doubt that Kelly has big enemies in high places. I doubt any of those serious types are posting here on this blog.

If not Cal Coast News, I doubt that many of the victims would even know the Federal Court rejected his petition for bankruptcy on the grounds of fraud.

I have seen many weak motions for continuances and many weak objections to prevent it (delay delay delay).

Another thing I distrust is that many attorneys are buddy members in the SLO Defense Attorney Association (James Murphy, president or former president). They are first deciding how much they will each make from the case, then how the case is gonna resolve.

O.k. Coming up on five days later today. Anxiously awaiting part two. PLEASE.

Well if this doesn’t beat all my Default filed against Gearhart on the twelfth, came back denied, by the Paso Branch, I guess you have to file CM 181 and notify the court of the bankruptcy termination, a dozen lawsuits against this fat slob and the San Luis court doesn’t get notified, of the termination of his bankruptcy, (unbelievable)!

On the Request for Entry of Default form they state denied because of bankruptcy stay 2/27/09, what is up with this court. I filed the default Nov. 12, 2010

AGREED ORDER CLARIFYING THAT THE AUTOMATIC STAY IS TERMINATED AS TO DEBTOR KELLY V. GEARHART AS OF OCTOBER 7, 2010 signed by Marilyn Shea-Stonum herself, well I have the documents, and the forms and the proof of service and am driving up to Paso with everything. I am entitled to a Default Judgment I filed Dec. 3, 08 and Gearhart never answered, this is beginning to look like a joke. I truly hope they all rot in hell. The crook lawyers the forgers, stealing from people on there last leg, if this happened in any other country they would probably all be dead! And if your so broke you can’t pay attention, ( like me ) click on the advertisements.

Chese. DId you file by the original bankrupty cut-off date of around Nov of ’09 with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Akron Ohio??

I filed against Gearhart Dec. 3, 08 ,,,,,, got it wrapped up today, you have to notify the court of the bankruptcy termination and prove it too, and file a Notice of Termination of Stay, to all parties. Mailed it off today never give up never surrender, until lined numbered paper ceases to exist, I will be after Gearhart/Miller/etc./slime! And Jowls I will be renewing the Judgment every ten years, from the looks of your jowls, Gearhart I will live much longer than thou.

I also don’t have 2,000 people looking forward to my death!

BTDT I filed a creditors claim also way before the cut off, with a copy of my complaint a sermon and an appeal for the death sentence. Even threw in a picture of my little girl who will suffer the most, they took away her future, this is off subject but does anyone know why in hell Peter Joserand XIII is suing investors on behalf of other investors with malicious claims, and what is the connection between Jene Barre and Robert M. Jones, they tried to transfer property out of my dad’s name and he didn’t even own the property, they were denied, the FBI has been notified, so what’s up with that Griger, another fraudulent transfer typo?

DId you file a vendors (unsecured)?? I know you have said you do concrete work. Did you do some for him?

I just have a vendor fileing. I never put any money with Gearhart. He just owes me for services I provided.

BTDT I poured once for Jeff Miller and his crew was the most incompetent I have ever seen, brand new heavy machinery everywhere, brand new concrete tools, trucks, backhoes, excavators everything,,,,,,,(one catch no real experienced concrete guys on the site), all bought with investors money and then used to pay off friends who’s investments were gone. As soon as I told Jeff I had $73,000 invested with that puke Gearhart, he never hired me again after telling me I was a very good finisher and working my ass off for $300 cash, no taxes taken out, no more concrete pours from Jeff Miller and now I know why, Josh Miller has a different scene, he’s a Realtor, he called me or I called him during the sale of Miller’s house, he seemed on the up and up and told me his mother had the same last name when she married Jay Miller, and he was a step son, and he was only looking out for his mother. I am positive Jeff Miller is hiding some Hurst Financial investor’s monies or knows who is, time to rat out dad Jeff? You could get 15 years in prison, just a thought. They do like the young cute ones in there! One correction on my main post Robert M. Jones was trying to transfer property into my dad’s name and Jene Barre’s and of course into good old Robert M. Jones’s Law firm. Cindy the Barre’s you mention could be Jene Barre’s son, it all went down through Creekside Financial.


well cheese it seems like you have alot of hatred at people that you dont even know. maybe you should get the real story. its funny how everyone enjoys the ride when its good then when it goes bad they point fingers. WOW

Mikey it is very apparent Cheese and many others got screwed in a Ponzi, it affect the well being of many good normal trusting people and their families, what utility, rationale do you have in saying this. It is you that got the problem! I say with no regret FU, GTH, KMyA FU!

Grigger Jones? He needs to be stopped Fraud documents keep showing up and always when Grigger Jones is nearby Hmmmmmmmm

“what is the connection between Jene Barre and Robert M. Jones, they tried to transfer property out of my dad’s name and he didn’t even own the property”

Chese, Go down to the very first post on this thread. BTDT and I exchanged some info back and forth. My last reply to him mentions a couple by the last name of Barre. This is interesting. Looks like they have managed to stay out of the lime light but after seeing your post, I think they are worth looking into. I’ll poke around, anyone else know anything about these people?

I did note that there are some rather bizarre oddities on that project that BTDT and I were discussing. It’s going to take a planning commissioner to help me to figure it out and confirm that I am seeing what I think I am seeing.

PS, I should mention that it appears that some projects were co-mingled with others and paperwork was shared on them including negative mitigated declarations and resolutions. Particularly at the San Anselmo, San Palo Road and El Camino sites.

Just a thought, at some future point you may want to look in the possibility of considering purchasing a life insurance on Gearhart or other older conspiring parties you have a claim against and naming yourself as beneficiary. Best time when they have a serious medical condition (whether in jail or not, whether in hospital or homeless in a gutter) I believe your still entitled to collect, all you would need is a copy of your policy and death certificate. Good luck.

Hahah willie, That is an interesting thought. Considering that a person does have an interest in collecting future funds from some of these people, I would have to wonder if maybe they can purchase a life insurance on any of them?

All of us have benefitted from continuing coverage of this and other sordid issues in our little ‘burg’, which we all thought was so sweet and innocent. ONLY because of CCN have we discovered our county has many political and business crooks. Only because of CCN have we learned so much more about out locale-other media has all too often ignored the ‘inconvenient truths’ Karen and her staff have brought us. Every time some outraged blogger or citizen has threatened to sue (like Gearhead did on the Congalton show around 2 years ago) they have eventually shut up or skulked off under the dark rock they came from.

Well, I suppose some or many think this is a work of the heart or a hobby-not so. This media costs money, and those who produce it need to live. Those of us ‘out here’ need to kick in some bucks to support this hard hitting web site. Protect CCN and show your support by clicking on that ‘donate’ button along the top bar and give some dough. Not a buck, give many bucks. I decided to match my latte budget for a month and give that, if I can’t afford it too bad, I can just give up all those fancy coffees and have access to this cool site instead, a great deal. Please give to the site, or we could lose it. Since our other media is almost of no use in dredging up these really important stories we must keep this source alive and well.

Agreed-Karen goes after the inside good ol boy network, to a degree-We owe her alot in this county-THANK YOU KAREN! She seems to be tight lipped on issues regarding certain local BIG money developers/donars however and declines to go after their crooked story or publish it. I have seen them donate to ally with her for just that reason. To protect their public image -I always thought she was beyond that but I guess money/donations/sponsorship still trumps the real story in some cases. Basically “buying” a pass. Stick to your guns Karen! Don’t sell out!

Totally agree, some big players advertise on this site.