Supervisor Gibson’s failures to disclose
October 25, 2011
By KAREN VELIE
Bruce Gibson, a San Luis Obispo county supervisor who boasted on his campaign website that he advocates transparency, is under fire for failing to disclose some of his assets as required by law.
State law requires that supervisors fill out a statement of economic interest each year, and disclose stocks they own. In addition, they are required to report when they purchase or sell stocks on a 700 form filed annually with the county clerk recorder.
“Supervisors have to claim any stocks they own over $2,000 in value which relate to business enterprise in San Luis Obispo County,” said County Clerk Recorder Julie Rodewald. “They are also required to disclose when they acquire or dispose of stock.”
However, Gibson has reported he owned two dozen stocks one year, but just a couple one year later — though he disclosed selling only two oil company stocks.
Gibson, who was first elected 2nd District Supervisor in 2006, did not return requests for comment.
During his victory speech, Gibson jeered at opponents who called into question his claimed status of “farmer” and attempted to paint the candidate as an “oil baron.”
When Gibson ran for office in 2005, he reported ownership of only two stocks, Chevron and Conoco Phillips. In January 2006, the supervisor — who formerly worked in the oil industry — sold his oil stock before voting a month later in favor of a project involving the California-based Chevron.
Then in his 2006 filing, Gibson noted the sale of the controversial oil stock and posted 22 other stocks he claimed he owned including $10,000 to $100,000 each in stock from Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Pepsico, Verizon, and Microsoft.
A year later, even though he did not disclose selling any of his stocks, he claimed only stock ownership in a farm supply company.
A few weeks ago, Los Osos resident Bob Shanbrom filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission noting Gibson’s ownership of a real estate company. Shanbrom is concerned with Gibson’s push to change a vacation rental ordinance while he owns a Cayucos rental and a real estate company operating in Fresno.
“While the complaint is in process, I ask that Supervisor Gibson suspend all political activity regarding the vacation rental ordinance,” Shanbrom said in an email to the board of supervisors.
In 2000, Encino Grande LLC was created with prominent San Luis Obispo attorney Warren A. Sinsheimer listed as the agent of service and Gibson’s home address as the business address. An Internet search shows sales of $330,000 and five employees in the company that Gibson claims does all of its business outside of SLO County.
And while the 700 form requires supervisors report “any financial interest in any business entity located in or doing business in your agency’s jurisdiction, ” FPPC officials told CalCoastNews that if the company is not operating or managed in SLO County, Gibson is not required to list the business on his 700 form even if the LLC is listed with a local address.
Even so, Shanbrom questions why the supervisor who claims to be transparent is not open about his real estate holdings.
“If people are looking for a perfect magnification of Occupy Wall Street they can look at Bruce, a real estate guy who is being true to realtors,” Shanbrom said. “If you turn a home into a vacation rental you can make a two to three times the gross.
“We purchased a pleasant single family residence and he is attempting to up-zone our neighborhoods to benefit real estate interests and land speculators.”