Paso Robles locker room play? Or lock her away?

February 14, 2012

Lisa Solomon

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

Was it just naughty fun? A little good-natured grope here and there? Or were crimes committed?

Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon is being accused of sexual misconduct by a growing group of former and current Paso Robles police officers and department employees. She also ordered unlawful traffic ticket quotas, say some. But what, exactly, do these allegations really mean?

Solomon’s employer, City Manager James App, has made no public comment about the situation other than to refer reporters to a city policy describing “sexual harassment.”

Solomon’s reported actions, if proven true as described in detail by officers who have agreed to be identified by name, might go well beyond established, definitive limits of harassing activities. California criminal law specifically addresses at least some of the allegations.

In addition, several of the officers no longer with the department ascribe their departures to retaliatory actions by Solomon.

A handful of officers have provided details of a “mandatory meeting” called by Solomon for her supervisory staff during a Super Bowl “team-building workshop” at the Carmel Valley Lodge. The meeting was held in a hot tub at Solomon’s directive, officers said.

Solomon, after baring her breasts to the seven men, slipped her hand under former Sgt. Brennen Lux’s swim suit and touched his penis, officers said. Another officer was similarly touched after Lux quickly exited, according to witnesses.

Officer T.J. McCall reported to a city-hired private investigator that on another occasion, Solomon grabbed his penis as he rode in her official vehicle.

California’s Penal Code 243.4 (e)(1) reads:  “Any person who touches an intimate part of another person, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and is for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery.” Penalties for conviction are more severe for public officials.

The alleged Carmel Valley incident was witnessed by police commanders, lieutenants and sergeants who are duty bound to report such an alleged assault. However, none of the officers reported the incident as a crime or reported it to city officials as harassment.

Such a crime is described by prosecutors as a “wobbler” — depending on  circumstances, it can be charged as a misdemeanor, or as a felony, if, for example, a victim’s bare skin is touched without consent. Conviction of either carries jail or prison time.

Conviction under this provision of either a misdemeanor or felony also requires registering as a sex offender.

App provided the city’s policy regarding sexual harassment after being asked by CalCoastNews: “If several employees said a manager in the city sexually touched them, what is the city policy?”

App responded: “As to your questions regarding city policy, the city has an adopted harassment policy (copy attached) which defines harassment and sets forth the process to investigate.”

That policy dates back to 1992 and was prepared by former City Manager Richard Ramirez. It reads in part: “Harassment can take a variety of forms ranging from subtle, off-color remarks, to physical assault.”

This is the city policy’s definition of harassment: “Unwelcome advances, improper requests for favors and/or other verbal or physical conduct of an offensive nature (when) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a person’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

And those traffic citation quotas? Such allegations, if proven, put the chief in jeopardy of criminal charges, and the city at risk for expensive civil action.


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standup

I think it is high time that someone needs to ask the DA for SLO county if they are investigating these alleged incidences. The statements are being made by sworn officers. Isn’t that who the DA listens to when one of us is being charged? This double standard is what is really pissing me off when it comes to princess Lisa. Is she above the law? Are she and App untouchable? This really makes no sense within the legal realm of things. People go to council meetings only to be intimidated by the show of force by 1/2 the force and the staged stooges sticking up for Lisa. It was kind of funny the one guy that painted her as Queen Godiva runs “We Help you Legal” in SLO. Probably the same toad who botched her bankruptcy with Christopher Chitty.


danika

Remember the Farm House Motel murder? It was over drugs. Perhaps if the divine Mz. Lisa had allowed her officers to respond to my calls about drug deals/activities in front of my office there would have been an arrest and no murder. Fact of the matter is, one of those females arrested for the murder lived smack dab across the street from my office!


I have issues when the police department work against the best interest of the public they serve and are paid by.


Vagabond

Why do I get the idea that almost everybody in a managerial position in PR would have failed “personnel management 101”

Honestly, that is the first class someone needs in order to be an effective personnel manager, in it you learn how to keep ahead of petty, ridiculous and destructive management and personnel actions. It isn’t rocket science folks. It’s about keeping your personal integrity and always being able to defend it.

It doesn’t matter one whit if Soloman and her superiors actually did anything wrong, the mere allegations by a concerted and organized group of individuals about wrongdoing without rock solid refutation and facts tells the story.

Incompetent in every sense of the word, the people of PR deserve better, I hope they get it.


hotdog

I bring up again, as always. Why do our gummint entities always hire outside help to figure out simple things here? Must cost us a bunch. The facts of this case should be easy to ascertain using local talent, we have plenty of that. In these times of economic strain our ‘leaders’ are still spending our money like water.


And this case brings up, yet again, the ghastly lack of accountability of elected and appointed officials. If a cop shoots someone by accident he/she might be fired, but we (or our insurance) will pay the lawsuit and costs of investigation etc. If a fireman beats up another in a crazy assault and a lawsuit agains the employer (us) is successful we pay. Why is that? Why doesn’t the perp pay for his/her crimes?


If someone (cops) is caught red handed smuggling drugs over the border and put on paid leave for over a year while our idiot ‘leaders’ fiddle and finally decide he/they are guilty why do WE have to pay for all that? Why do the contracts and rules always hold the guilty harmless from their actions, with the public always paying for all the flack? Our system is sick.


If a criminal is found guilty of economic crimes they should be responsible for paying back ALL the stolen money (with interest), the cost of the investigation and any other expenses to the public. Our system is not right, the innocent (victims and general public) always pay the price.


lakerhater

was prepared by former City Manager Richard Ramirez…….


Having the night stalker make policy on sexual harassment? Makes sense……


Ted Slanders

pasodude,


Firstly, I am so sorry that I’ve given you so many factual smack downs here at CCN. In your ever so wanting response to Typclqun, I can see that you’ve not healed from your previous wounds as yet, and I am truly sorry. I can only assume that once again this is why you’re lashing out towards me in vain. :(


You stated that it is so “obvious” that Dan and Karen have Lisa Solomon on their hit list! Where is your empirical evidence of this fact? Barring the fact of a “developing story”, do you have proof of your claim? Surely you don’t want to be known as a hypocrite, therefore, produce the evidence! Please, if you have the nerve to answer, please don’t be sophomoric again and answer my question with a question, okay? Thanks.


Since you cannot comprehend simple logical deductions, and the premise of reading comprehension, Dan and Karen have not attacked Lisa Solomon as you propose. They are only introducing allegations and facts at this time as JOURNALISTS. Furthermore, they have not smeared Lisa as well because of the founded allegations and facts at this time. Learn the difference between the two concepts.


Attacking someone is what you’re DIRECTLY doing with your child like post basically addressed to me. Get it? I would suggest that you take a reading comprehension class at your nearest high school in a timely manner to prevent you from making your outright and embarrassing mistakes again. Thank you.


Until your next bloodletting, have a nice day!


pasoparent5

I didn’t think the moderator allowed addressing others with other names besides their screen names, i.e. Typclqun. It’s rude and unnecessary.


moderator

Thank you, next time email


I subtracted vowels from some phrases no repeats please.

noise and clutter deleted.


Typoqueen

I don’t believe that you agree with me on this topic so I appreciate your support regarding the name calling. But the names doesn’t bother me. I know that I throw out a few names now and then when I get frustrated,,,although that still doesn’t make it right.


hotdog

I thought it was just a typo.


pasoparent5

I’m not a lawyer so perhaps someone can answer this– IF the city council/city manager decide that nothing happened and IF the SF attorney decides nothing happened…then what?


If the allegations are true, what recourse (if any) do the cops have?


Crusader

It would then depend on the lawsuits against the city, what they reveal (Solomon couldn’t legally remain in her position with certain judgements against her) and how much the citizens will ultimately take before they put unendurable pressure on the council members — or vote them out next election.


Typoqueen

They can get private attorneys. I’m not sure about the other allegations ie ticket quotas but I would imagine that that ticket quotas would be pretty easy to prove so would imagine that attorneys would take that on. When it comes to sexual harassment it’s pretty easy to win and/or receive large settlements. Sexual harassment is the type of thing that attorneys are waiting like bloodhounds to get a hold of. I have never seen an organization whether it’s a private business or a govt. agency that wouldn’t take such allegations very serious. They would leave themselves open to a lot of trouble if the investigation had proof that they ignored or hid. I’d be very surprised if they just brushed those particular allegations off. That is why every large business and govt. agency conducts regular workshops/classes as well as to post warnings to prevent even the slightest form of sexual harassment


Crusader

It’s becoming more and more clear that James App and most (if not all) members of the Paso City Council are terrified at the thought of what will happen if Solomon is convicted of anything because they enabled her behavior. There is no way they will be able to take action against Solomon without shining light on the own culpability.


If she was a male she would have been canned long ago. If she was a male with her qualifications she would never have become chief of police. The current investigation by the SF Lawyer is a joke. It will take lawsuits filed against Solomon and the city to bring out the truth. Let’s hope they aren’t all settled out of court because the citizens of Paso Robles deserve the truth.


pasoparent5

If Lisa were a male, she would’ve been on paid admin leave while the SF lawyer investigated the charges. I really do believe in “innocent until proven guilty” BUT this so-called investigation is a sham.


Crusader

First, I think if Solomon was a male, (s)he would have been canned long ago before (s)he became chief. But if Solomon would have indeed survived as a male, I doubt (s)he would have even been granted an interview for the chief’s position if (s)he had the same qualifications (s)he currently has.


If Solomon and survived and become the chief as a male (begin fantasy here), (s)he would have been canned at the first of the situations we are now reading about. The city manager and the council would have done everything they could to distance themselves from her and they would have then dropped the hammer.


As it stands now, they hired her and have looked the other way at well known information about the chief — information that should have been followed-up on and they have been doing this for YEARS. No wonder they are reticent to put her on leave during the investigation…


manyworries

Hasn’t anyone called in the FBI yet?? This is ridiculous that she is even still working when she should have been arrested already. Thoroughly disgusted… :(


Typoqueen

Are you serious? I’m really not sure,,, are you joking or is that a real question?


Citizen

The FBI only handles national security threats, crimes that extend across state lines, and that’s all I know except that they have an office in Santa Maria.


MaryMalone

In a city in the LA area (Maywood?), a case of alleged misused funds, the FBI were brought in. In fact, the person who complained to the FBI wore a wire for a few months to help the FBI nail the accused.


south

Government corruption is prosecuted by the US Attorney. The USA uses the FBI. As of yet, government corruption is possibly the only thing that hasn’t come up in the Paso mess. So no FBI. The DA is too close as is the SO. It would be prudent for the City to reach out to another city PD in another county. The parameters of the investigation would be laid out and the investigator should be given carte blanche within those boundaries.


What is important is WHY the Chief should be on paid administrative leave. The City has hired an investigator. However, the person most able to control the investigation – the Chief, with access to everything – is the one being investigated. It is mind numbing how this can be continuing. Of course the investigation is going to come up dry. Which officer is going to speak out against Solomon who has already shown that she will find ways to try to put her staff in jail, let alone fire them if they don’t tow the line. She is in control of the investigation, and even if she isn’t and is being very professional, the simple fact that so many people are not trusting this caper should be enough for the City Attorney to say “people this doesn’t look good.”


The Gimlet Eye

The Chief could destroy or alter evidence as well. That is why you don’t want her to have access to it, and you do want her on “administrative leave.”


Mr. Holly

Sexual harrassment at it’s best. Having attended classes on sexual harassment it was made clear that if the person beleives they were sexually harassed then they were. It appears from this reporting that there are several people who have stated that they have been sexually harassed by the “chief.” What more is App waiting for? Not to be a sexist but if this were a male police chief doing this to female subordinates this case would have been over a long time ago and the city’s savings account would have been cleaned out.

There has to be something else brewwing in the background. What really has the “chief” been up too? She has to have something on App or you would think he would have made some decision by now. Where is the City Council on this?

When this goes down it’s going to be devastating to the City of Paso Robles. The longer it takes the worse it will be.


MaryMalone

Don’t forget that Lisa Solomon’s sexual harassment now has her name and the CCN article on several websites that deal with public information on sexual predators, and public information on sexual abuse and violence in the workplace.


Now THAT’s something for the Paso Robles city council to be proud of.