No comment? Or just lie?

February 8, 2011

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff spokesperson Rob Bryn


In the wrenching aftermath of the deeply disturbing slaying of teenager Dystiny Myers, local news reporters encountered a virtual blackout of details from investigators. So when published an account last October relating some of the last terrible moments of the girls’ life, some of those law enforcement officials apparently were not pleased.

The original report centered on the existence of surveillance video recordings showing a pickup truck with a camper shell in which four suspects were holding the Myers girl. She was still alive but could be seen being beaten in the truck’s bed, according to sources who had seen the tapes.

The tapes also showed two Pismo Beach police officers, apparently on break and standing near the convenience store, watching two suspects who entered the store.

But rather than simply remaining quiet and issuing the appropriate “no comment” in response to’s report, a decision was made somewhere along the chain of command to create a new reality. To fabricate. To equivocate. To prevaricate. To falsify. And consequently to render a version of facts different from those which had reported, then feeding the resulting palaver to other local media. Which the other local media readily printed and breathlessly reported on-air.

Testimony now emerging from preliminary hearings for the suspects corroborates’s report in its entirety.

In preparing the October report, contacted numerous sources , each having a particular and professional interest in the case. Each was able to impart different factual elements to the story. One of those contacted who verified much of the key information was Jeff Norton, chief of police in Pismo Beach, who expressed concern about the two officers’ “unfortunate situation” and said they didn’t want to be interviewed.

A reporter visited the Chevron station where the incident occurred. A brief interview with the store’s clerk was conducted.

The number of surveillance security cameras both inside and outside the convenience store was noted. And the story was fact-checked just prior to going on-line with a source whose knowledge of the case was current and whose record for honesty is impeccable.

In other words,’s story — we were certain — was entirely accurate.

So we were startled to read in the Oct. 14, 2010 Tribune a story by reporters AnnMarie Comejo and Cynthia Lambert which attempted to repudiate every salient fact in the report. Why, at this point, wasn’t someone’s journalistic curiosity piqued upon encountering two starkly conflicting versions?

The misinformation fed to The Tribune and KSBY by someone in law enforcement  included the assertions that the two Pismo Beach officers didn’t arrive at the Chevron station until 10 minutes after the suspects’ truck departed; that surveillance tapes didn’t show the truck; that only two suspects were in the truck; and that Pismo Beach police had not viewed the tapes. None of this was true.

The Tribune and KSBY disputed’s reporting just as a local judge issued a complete gag order on participants in the Myers case, which effectively silenced the issue… until now.

The sheriff’s department’s “information office” has been the source of much misinformation on this case, right from the very first day. Someone over there apparently thinks it is okay to lie to the public. Someone over there needs to heed the words of seventeenth century writer Samuel Butler: “For truth is precious and divine… too rich a pearl for carnal swine.”

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The level of gruesome of the attack does not excuse the authorities from keeping this from the public. With all due respect to the family, the public has the right know what happens in state criminal proceedings and the facts of the investigation. If that investigation may show discrepancies or unusual circumstances of police involvement, the public has every right to know the facts of the circumstances involved.

I do agree that within the rules of law and as approved by a judge based on precedent established by the supreme court that appropriate pretrial information may be withheld until fully disclosed within trial proceedings.

As in the past, occasionally police misconduct or ineptness is made known during these proceedings and the public has every right to this knowledge in order to pursue or apply pressure to the appropriate officials to ensure that misdeeds or ineptness is corrected and further prevented.

It came out in court that Miller told the police “who done it” and gave them the address. A far cry from the story that Bryn gave the media claiming that they were able to track the criminals from a description of a car that was seen leaving the scene! Now they want to close the trial from the media and the public? As far as I know that isn’t even legal but I suspect that this crime and some of the details are so gruesome that the county is hoping to contain this from going National. This guy Miller, literally mutilated this girl. This is probably the most heinous crime to ever hit the central coast in the last 20 years. It’s more likely this is what they are attempting to hide from the camera’s rather than any keystone cop attributes.

If at any time a person entrusted to serve and protect is caught in a lie, all past and future statements are suspect.

Thank You – NEW TIMES.

This is a Shredder that you all don’t want to miss.

Maybe I’m reading more into this that I should but I have a problem with the way the Shredder wrote this account. He makes it sound as if Dan Blackburn wrote about a rumor that turned out to be true. He fails to clarify that in fact, Dan wrote an investigative “fact checked” article that turned out to be exclusive and was later denied and covered up by local LE and their associates.

Until Dan Blackburn broke the story, there were no rumors and it was Dan’s story that prompted other media outlets to inquire. Then the LIES started.

Nancy: I just read the Shredder; I don’t think the Shredder made it sound or look like Dan Blackburn wrote about a rumor; just my interpretation though. Your last paragraph really tells the tale of what happened; “Until Dan Blackburn broke the story, there were no rumors and it was Dan’s story that prompted other media outlets to inquire. Then the LIES started.” Absolutely.

If you tell a lie to a police officer it is a CRIME punishable by fines and jail.

If a police officer tells a lie to the public it is heralded as FACT with no accountability or punishment.

I for one believed the story as reported and still do and have been waiting patiently for the truth to be made public. Once Bryn got involved it was as his standard procedure to mislead and misinform the public while concealing the truth and attempting to cover up another black eye for local law enforcement.

It’s very hard to maintain a life long respect of law enforcement when the likes of lawmen like Bryn are still around!. It’s time for change and it ain’t gonna happen when the sheriffs spokesman has no credibility with the public. This is what happens when followers are elected into leadership positions, northing changes just the same old shenanigans.

Dave Congalton and I will discuss this issue on his KVEC920 radio talk show today at 3:35 p.m. In the meantime, readers might be interested in this March ’09 report on CalCoastNews.

I’d like to be the first one to suggest this:

Sheriff Parkinson, please retire Rob Bryn. You promised to clean house and here’s your first chance to show us if you’re serious.

Send Rob home to be with his family and then go out and hire Tony Cipolla to replace him. Tony is dependable, energetic, and conservative. He is also is grossly underemployed at the moment.

You two would make a great team. Think about it.

Kellygirl: Apparently you have not read the entire thread; my suggestion that Rob Bryn be allowed to shuffle off to “spend more time with his family” was exactly what I was suggesting, Rob Bryn needs to go now. I do like your suggestion about Tony Cipolla, but I have to wonder if he could be comfortable enough with “massaging” the truth on occasion.

I’m not sure that a full-time spokesman is even necessary. Seems to me that paying someone to sit around and wait for something to tell the press is a waste of money. Sounds like a good duty for the Undersheriff (another waste of money, but I digress…) or pick a Commander and add it to his duties. Full-time PIO’s are unnecessary.

You make an interesting point Kellygirl. Tony Cippola is a good guy and I hated to see him leave KSBY but there are two issues present themselves here.

1. Why doesnt Parkinson cut costs by eliminating Bryn’s position and using his UnderSheriff or one of the Commanders to be the public information officer? Routine issues could even be addressed by the on duty Watch Sergeant or Leiutenant.

2. When it comes to Parkinson, even Cipolla can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

Once again it’s refreshing to see CalCoastNews present stories that bring liberals and conservatives into agreement on issues. This time it is agreement that Ian Parkinson’s boy Rob Bryn is a profoundly sleazy, immoral liar and extremist “Christian” hypocrite who is being paid by tax payers to deceive the public on a regular basis.

“Dave” brings up an important point about the Rotary Club and how time and again local Rotary Club members try to “protect their own,” even when it is a grave disservice to the public in general. This is particularly disturbing when you realize that judges and law enforcement personnel are Rotary Club members and evidence suggests they have used their influence to ease the burden of local Rotary Club members who get in trouble with the law.

Does anyone know if Kelly Gearhart is a Rotary Club member?

Whoa…”profoundly sleazy, immoral liar and extremist “Christian” hypocrite”…geez, what happened to religious tolerance? I am not a fan of Rob Bryn so I am not going to defend anything he does, says, said, etc. But I do take exception to your characterization of Christians. I am Christian, so are many other people. Many of these folks are good, and many aren’t. How about if Rob was Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic or atheist for example? Please, re-read your sentence while substituting “Christian” with any of the aforementioned groups. Maybe I am just getting a little over sensitive, but it seems that it is becoming vogue to thrash Christians.

Yes, I DO think you are being “over sensitive”, as my comment about Mr. Bryn was in DEFENSE of Christian ethics espoused in word and deed by Jesus Christ. Bryn, who declares himself a Christian, and uses his tax-payer supported position to promote his own extremist views in various unsavory ways, denigrates Christianity, in my opinion. Of course, Jesus would forgive him, as I will too, but I will pray that Mr. Bryn sees the errors of his ways and repents ASAP.

Religion: the first refuge of a scoundrel / patriotism comes after a little while.

>>”it’s refreshing to see CalCoastNews present stories that bring liberals and conservatives into agreement”

And leave it to WiseGuy to tear them apart again—NICE GOING hate-monger!

Excuse me, SLO, but in what way am I “tearing” liberals and conservatives “apart” from each other? Do you or don’t you approve of taxpayer’s footing the bill for having Rob Bryn mislead the public while representing a local law enforcement agency?

And, contrary to what you imply, it is NOT necessary, nor am I encouraging people, to “hate” Rob Bryn. I don’t appreciate that he gets away with what he gets away with, and I don’t enjoy paying for it, and I hope someone can persuade him to stop, but I don’t hate the man. And it so happens, that’s pretty much the way I feel about you, SLO.