Paso Robles claims the computer did it

February 28, 2012
Photograph by Daniel Blackburn

Iris Yang – Photograph by Daniel Blackburn

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

Paso Robles city officials have repeatedly provided conflicting crime statistics and falsified documents in an apparent attempt to bolster claims the city’s crime rate is down.

While Police Chief Lisa Solomon continues her claim that crime has been reduced under her leadership, she now admits that crime statistics she provided CalCoastNews three weeks ago were inaccurate.

And the city’s contract attorney, Iris Ping Yang, is alternately blaming a city computer, the state Department of Justice (DOJ) and unintentional human error for the string of factual discrepancies.

Solomon, faced with questions about the accuracy of data she has been providing CalCoastNews and other local media, provided a new set of numbers this week.

Crime statistics provided earlier this month by her department appeared to demonstrate that overall crime rates were relatively high before she became chief —  and significantly lower after she became the city’s top cop. That information spanned the period from 2002 to 2011 and created the appearance that crime is down 11.7 percent under her watch.

A CalCoastNews story reported that Uniform Crime Report (UCR) numbers Solomon said she delivered to the Department of Justice and the FBI did not match data reported by city officials to the DOJ. Yang blamed a new computer system for some of the problems, and indicted the DOJ for not properly inputting audited information sent them years ago by Paso Robles police.

In an email, Yang said police department staff had located the “original hard copies” of the UCRs the police department had sent the DOJ, and included those in an attachment.

“In order to obtain the most accurate information, Chief Solomon had records personnel retrieve the original hard copies from 2002 to 2011, which are enclosed pursuant to your request,” Yang wrote in the email.

However, those “hard copy” forms contain numerous discrepancies, both in crime data and in standard reporting information. On several, one being a 2002 crime report, Solomon is listed as chief even though she was not made chief until 2007. In addition, the individual whose name appears as author of several of the reports did not even work for the department during the year the report was sent to the DOJ.

Yang explained the errors by reversing her original claim that the documents were “hard copies,” now asserting that a computer scrambled data when forms were retrieved.

Terry Francke, the director of CalAware and an authority on the freedom of information laws, said that it is a crime to falsify public records and for public officials to knowingly lie in emails.

“Government code Section 6200 makes it a crime to falsify public records,” Francke said. “If it is the official charged with custody of that record falsifies it, it is a felony, if it is done by someone else, it is a misdemeanor. It is also a misdemeanor for a public official to make a statement in writing that he or she knows is false.”

If Solomon used data she knew to be inaccurate to apply for federal or state monies, the procurement could also result in criminal prosecution.

Some errors CalCoastNews reported originally, such as large discrepancies in the number of burglaries reported, have now been corrected by city officials. The numbers now mirror those reported to the DOJ. Still, in other years, crime totals have veered even further from what the DOJ said the city reported.

For example, Solomon claimed three weeks ago that in 2006, one year before she became chief, there were a total of 1,092 crimes in Paso Robles,  just two more than the DOJ’s report of 1,090. Today she insists that number is actually 1,127.


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ApathyWillKillYou

The TRIB will straighten this out because they are so on top of it.


This very morning the TRIB posted this headline under BREAKING NEWS….


“Free Pancakes at IHOP in San Luis Obispo for National Pancake Day”


With in depth reporting such as this we can expect the TRIB to provide the REAL story!


winedude

Hey! Go easy on the Trib. I don’t think I would have known about National Pancake Day if not for them. Since I don’t take the Trib, I found out later in the day from other sources.


SLOChildrenAtPlay

On Lisa Solomon and Jim App’s watch, the number of “train wrecks” in Paso Robles appears to not only be incresing, but at an all time high!


I always knew that I would someday witness Paso Robles completely fall apart during my lifetime, But I never thought it would happen this quickly, or be this pathetic.


MaryMalone

Karen and Dan, thanks for sorting this mess out. My head hurts just thinking about what a confusing conglomerate of she-said/they-said back and forth number switching this must have been.


And I think Solomon made it a confusing mess purposely.


Once again, you are correct.


And Iris Yang–what a piece of cheap work she is. If there was a Dollar Store that sold only attorneys, she’s such a cheap piece even the Dollar Store wouldn’t try to sell her.


SLOChildrenAtPlay

When it comes to City Attorneys in this county, you really do get what you pay for. SLO City Attorney Christine Dietrick is the 2nd highest paid city employee in the county, and look at how much better she is at covering up the shady stuff goes on at her city hall when compared to Iris Yang. Of course Yang’s services are contracted through Best, Best, & Krieger (former attorneys for the city of Bell), so maybe Paso knew of the level of incompetence they were paying for.


I myself think that the Paso Robles city council should watch more daytime T.V. There are plenty of ads on in the afternoons for discount “ambulance chasers” that have done a far better job for their clients than Iris Yang has.


slowtime

This is criminal behavior. Solomon has falsified official documents for her own gain in her attempt to save her reputation, and now she got caught. This is her back pedaling. The act is done, it is time to pay the piper. This POS excuse of a Chief makes my blood boil!!


MaryMalone

EXACTLY.


It seems she actually thought she would get away with submitting false crime numbers–to the DOJ!


Unbelievable.


Gosh, I wonder which toady at the Tribune will be assigned to wipe Solomon’s kiester this time?


SLOChildrenAtPlay

The Tribune will just print whatever oozes off of Bob Cuddy’s desk. No doubt another one of Cuddy’s 10,000 word whine-athons filled with profundities like referring to CCN as “swamp gas.”


Or maybe Bill Morem will reprint a very nice letter defending Lisa Solomon, faxed to him by a concerned citizen named “Pedro Garcia.”


winedude

Wipe or kiss??? (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) What a piece of work we have up here for Chief of Police…VERY embarrassing.


Cindy

This is so very very typical of Lisa Solomon. I’m reminded of when she was initially questioned about her unregistered gun. She said that she didn’t have to register it because she had owned it for a long time and purchased it prior to a particular date and guns purchased prior to that date blah blah blah.


When she was later confronted with the fact that this was not true she simply changed her story and said she got it from her x husband and didn’t have to register it because blah blah blah.


When the AG said she still had to register it regardless of having got it from her x husband, she said ” I know that I didn’t have to register it” and its right there in the Tribune beneath the AG’s statement saying that it was illegally unregistered.


Now she is caught falsifying records so she blames the latest stats on the computer, changes the old stats and say’s someone else reported everything wrong years ago and so even though she made ooopps, I mean the computer made an error with the latest stats, that because the older stats were wrong, she is still right !


Ever hear the word SOCIOPATH?????


MaryMalone

Very well put, Cindy.


I pity the PSPD officers…they better gird their hoo-hoos because Solomon is going to need some major stress relief tonight.


danika

Whenever Lisa Solomon speaks I only hear “blah blah blah”. And material misrepresentations…


slowtime

…And the stack of lies continue to grow. Incompetence at the very least. It is WAY past time to cull the herd in paso.


MaryMalone

She’s too stupid to try to pull a gig like lying to the DOJ.


I didn’t think I could get more disgusted with Solomon, but I was wrong.


danika

Pink slips should be given immediately for Solomon, App, and Yang. No more excuses and lies.


leinelle

Someone should check into the Chief’s policies for not taking reports, but asking the public to fill them out and send them in. This is another way to lower stats and under-report the amount of crime in the city.


Robert1

The city will seek funds to purchase a very ,very large shovel to keep this pile of $%^&* from becoming to big to handle. If it smells like $%^, looks like &*^%, well then its a pile of bull%$^& all right.


MaryMalone

Why bother, when they have Iris Yang to clean up Solomon’s $*^#$ for her?


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