Support for chief swells

February 8, 2012

Photo by Richard Bastian

A majority of speakers at last night’s Paso Robles City Council meeting voiced  support for Police Chief Lisa Solomon amidst allegations of retaliation and sexual misconduct leveled by a half dozen current and former employees.

Prior to opening the council chamber meeting room doors, city staffers placed reserved signs on the first four rows of public seats which were then primarily occupied by city employees and Solomon supporters. A half an hour before the meeting was slated to begin, the council room was filled to capacity and city staffers began telling people attempting to attend that they needed to listen to the meeting in a hallway or reception area.

While more than 200 people chose to stay, many others left before or shortly after the meeting began. Of those who remained, nine spoke in favor of the chief while only three questioned her service to the community. No one mentioned the allegation of sexual misconduct or retaliation.

Several of the speakers seemed ill prepared with one man saying, “I do not know what I am supposed to say,” while looking at an audience member behind him. Shortly afterwards, he left the podium, but first stopped to tell the audience member, “I am sorry.”

While most of the speakers praised the chief as a good friend and neighbor, several attendees  standing outside the meeting room questioned her ethics. One former friend of Solomon’s, who said she dated a member of a band Solomon sang with, voiced concerns about Solomon’s behavior while entertaining in the evenings and serving as a police commander during the day.

“She would end her show by strutting across the bar top at the Paso Robles Inn singing “Let’s give them something to talk about,” Wendy McIntire said. “At that time she was a police lieutenant.”


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slomike

Interesting new format. You have to work to get at comments not in agreement with lynch mob mentality. Is the main story Soloman or “reporting” about Soloman?


MaryMalone

Slomike, could you please explain further what you are trying to accuse?


slomike

Tabloid journalism and sensationalism. 550 comments on the original story? Trying for clicks to sell advertisements (yet no one advertising). Sex and government pensions don’s seem to go together, but they are red meat to most of us. Maybe we are the wrong demographic for advertisers. Well, gotta get dressed.


Slowerfaster

@ pasodude …I did not know that Solomon had been a singer in a band. We find out more and more inside scoops here at CCN !


What, BTW, was the name of the band ? “Lisa and the Swallows” ?


This kerfuffle could be the basis for a teleplay ! Anyone remember the shows “Picket Fences”, or “Northern Exposure” ?


We could call a new show “Glass Houses” or North County Exposure” !


Ted Slanders

Brother Slowerfaster,


I am saddened to see your ungodly and distateful rheitoric relating to Chief Solomon. Haven’t I taught you that Jesus is watching us at all times? I am sure that He put another black star by your name that you’ll have to explain upon Judgment Day.


Slowerfaster

Brother Ted …verily I meant no disrespect to the Chief ! It was more of a hearty HAIL ! YES !


Witness: Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns,; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they ?”


How JOYFUL a sound Chief Solomon must make for her supporters to swell so !

Hallelujah !


Also: Matthew 10:31 “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows”


Sparrows …swallows ? I’m sure the Lord would make no such distinction.


We should all be so lucky to hear a rendition of “Turn, Turn, Turn” or that Blondie song “Rapture” as done by the Chief !


MaryMalone

Were there police cars parked outside the meeting? Were they parked closest to the building?


standup

They had reserved spots just like Lisa’s friends.


slowtime

Is there a recording of the Council meeting availalbe anywhere? Anyone know? I would really like to hear it.


MaryMalone

According to the Brown Act….


COPY OF RECORDING: Public may obtain a copy, at cost, of an existing tape recording 54953.5 Ch. V made by the legislative body of its public sessions, and to listen to or view the body’s original tape on a tape recorder or viewing device provided by the agency.


So they are required to provide access. Whether or not they do is another matter.


pasodude

Also, it raises another point. I think that, if these accusations were false, Lisa Solomon and the City of PR would have already buried them in lawsuits.


Not true. First the allegations are made. Then ALL parties involved are usually told by their attorneys NOT TO SPEAK until an investigation is completed. After the investigation if the party is exonerated of all allegations, or if the allegations being made by the other party are in fact proven, that party will have the opportunity to file suit using the results of the investigation as evidence that they (which ever party) was wronged by the other. So far the only “suit” filed, that I can see, is that of Officer Tatro, Union Rep, regarding ticket quotas that has absolutely nothing to do with the sexual abuse allegations.


SewerHeightsRez

Typical well-worn small town intimidation tactics by any group who is milking the tax payers to personally enrich themselves. The question is not the existence of corruption, but whether there is resolve to fight to get your city back which has been stolen.


bobfromsanluis

Typoqueen: I can certainly appreciate your stance that there shouldn’t be a “rush to judgement” to pronounce Lisa Solomon as guilty of all that has been put out there so far; your attempt at somehow moderating the calls for the Chief to step down and for Jim App to quit until all of the facts come out show that you are trying to keep the spirit of “innocent until proven guilty” alive and well. The one thing that no one can dispute however is that there has been a substantial number of allegations made, there has been a pretty uniform theme to the allegations and in any other situation similar to this the person at the center of the controversy would have been placed on a leave of some sort. In looking here and over at the Tribune, it certainly could look like the administrators of Paso attempted to “stack the deck” in the unprecedented move of reserving chairs at the front of the room, that there were many police officers in uniform sitting right up front directly across from where anyone wanting to make a public statement would be looking those officers in the eye and that could be very intimidating, most likely by design. If Lisa Solomon has nothing to hide, if she wants to respond to the charges against her by countercharging that she is being slandered or libeled, why has she not done so yet? I am all for a presumption of innocence in every legal proceeding and Chief Solomon certainly deserves her day in court, however for her to not be on an administrative leave speaks volumes about the management of the city of Paso Robles and to me at least, it appears as if they are “circling the wagons” to protect one of their own.


Typoqueen

First of all, even though I don’t agree with you I do appreciate your rational post.


I attended quite a few public govt. meetings. I have seen the front rows saved on numerous occasions. I’ve seen city council members save the front rows at city council meetings, I don’t feel it’s a big deal or that uncommon. Just last month I saved seats at a meeting in the BOS chambers I feel that the argument of having 10 cops there makes one wonder why so many showed in support of Solomon, are they afraid of her, are they liars? The way this story has been coming down I was honestly surprised that any cops would show her support let along half of the dept.. Also, I’m not sure about the number of allegations made, at this point that seems a big fuzzy. But if there is a problem with Solomon sexually harassing her subordinates, having ticket quotas and retaliation then there are steps that these people can take to stop this. If these allegations are true then there are steps that they can take to make their working conditions better, all workplaces are very sensitive to sexual harassment claims. One of the posters just spoke about a women in the hallway that was going on about she was at a bar where Solomen was acting inappropriately and all that but why didn’t she get up to voice that. If she had the nerve to voice that in front of others then she should have stood up and voiced her concerns during the meeting, cops and all. Not just that, letters can be submitted to the council prior to the meeting. I’ve looked and I haven’t been able to find any that state such stories, maybe they’re there but I can’t find them yet. Many many times I have been to meeting where there might be a line of cops or sometimes a line of firemen all depending on the topic. I realize that these cops were there under different circumstances but I don’t feel that anyone should have felt intimidated, the press was there as well a supporters that are against Solomon, it’s not like they were on their own. That being said, I do have reservations about the Paso’s city govt.. but I don’t know enough about it to give an opinion, to me those are two different things though. I’ve been only speaking about the allegations against Solomon. Regarding the Solomon I have no problem with her because I’ve seen absolutely nothing IMO to substantiate that there is an issue. I’ve seen managers/supervisors that have disgruntled employees that make wild accusations so I’m very hesitant to jump on those wagons But I would pay close attention to the politics of Paso if I lived there just as I do in my own community. I’m not opposed to that, I’m only against publicly slandering someone over gossip and unsubstantiated allegations buy a few subordinates.


Typed fast, no proof reading as I’m neglecting my work so excuse typos.


MaryMalone

There is a difference between someone, even a council member, saving one or two seats, and blocking off ROWS of seats before hand, telling the citizens that they must NOT sit in those seats, and then ordering those who end up standing at the back of the facility to go outside and into a hall or reception area to listen.


It’s called “split and divide,” and “back-of-the-bus” seating. The fact that Solomon had to be surrounded by her “posse” and placed so that they could intimidate anyone who wanted to speak against her actions and illegal policies.


pasodude

While most of the speakers praised the chief as a good friend and neighbor, several attendees standing outside the meeting room questioned her ethics. One former friend of Solomon’s, who said she dated a member of a band Solomon sang with, voiced concerns about Solomon’s behavior while entertaining in the evenings and serving as a police commander during the day.


“She would end her show by strutting across the bar top at the Paso Robles Inn singing “Let’s give them something to talk about,” Wendy McIntire said. “At that time she was a police lieutenant.”


Why didn’t she state this at the lecturn? Oh, wait, it’s much easier to talk trash about someone behind their backs.


takeabreath

Riot Gear??? Wow I really was at the wrong meeting.


pasodude

takeabreath


Before this thread has run its course, those officers will have had their guns drawn at the ready. I guess I too was at a different meeting. And let’s put this in perspective. A City Council meeting is held to discuss City business. With all the department heads and managers that are mandated to attend the council meeting, to address issues on the agenda that pertains to their departments, and the veiled threats of having “Protesters” show up to speak out against the Chief of Police, isn’t it sensible to save seats for those who are attending the meeting to conduct their business? Business that has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations against the Chief of Police.


MaryMalone

NO, it is not sensible, and it is not done, not in my experience.


If you are a department head and are agendized to give a report or presentation, you find a seat and sit down. Or you stand in the back, if that is all that is available.


If anything, they should have made the city employees stand! After all, they are supposed to be serving the people. The people aren’t supposed to be serving the city employees and city leadership!


Paso Robles’ city council and staff have it way backwards. Any of the staff who accepted the preferential seating should have a formal reprimand filed in their personnel file and busted down a pay grade.


At the very least, making the residents sit in the back or stand in the halls was rude to the people who pay their salary. In most city governments, even the worst of them, that simply would not be accepted.


The Gimlet Eye

Well said, MaryMalone, well said! Now you are thinking like a citizen in a free society! Don’t take it lying down!


south

Mary – you are absolutely correct. If it is a long agenda, staff typically waits a few minutes before their item to come into the chamber. If it’s possible that public comment will be responded to, staffers will make themselves obvious by standing in the back so that if the council wishes a response they will know it can get one.


It is highly unusual for rows of seats to be reserved unless it is for a special or ceremonial award. In this case one could give the Chief a break. Only because there has been a lot of talk whipped up and it could have been simply a matter of safety and fear of a riot or attack.


That being said, my money is on “The Network” protecting their own. I’m thinking that Chief Solomon has the goods on a lot of people and since she is still working, has the power to crush, promote or reveal.


MaryMalone

I guess you are wrong again.


MaryMalone

Before this thread has run its course, we’ll have 10 more incarnations of pasoxxxxx, all telling each other, “You’re MARVELOUS!” “No, YOU’RE marvelous!” “No, I insist, it is YOUUUU who is Marvelous!”


Cindy

Hehhe, That was cute but I understand where pismo 20 is coming from. They wear so much stuff that they always look like they’re ready to rumble. In fact the SLO cops demanded getting paid to dress for work because they say it takes so long to put all their gear on! I guess a rule of thumb is to ask yourself if they look like Darth Veda today, if not, then it probably isn’t riot gear that they have on ;)


Typoqueen

Right on pasodude. It’s like my dad used to say, if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem,,or put up or shut up. It’s easy to gossip about other people but it’s another thing to face them with that gossip.


MaryMalone

You are actually calling the investigative journalism done by CCN (Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn specifically, in this case) “gossip”?


Typoqueen

Actually I was referring the lady in the hallway that was gossiping about Solomon. But many of you have had your hand in the gossip. I love the way that you sound horrified at the notion that someone might actually accuse CCN of gossip. Sorry to hurt your feelings but some, NOT ALL of these articles have been fueled by gossip. Even the LA Times isn’t perfect all the time. What I found offensive was this opening paragraph, for the most part that was about it:

“Law enforcement officers have names for the girls offering them sex on the beat: Badge Bunny. Holster Sniffer. Uniform Jumper. Handcuff Hugger. In Paso Robles, brethren in blue have one more: The Chief.”


Hey, I must admit that I don’t mind a bit of gossip every now and then but I certainly hope that I haven’t hurt anyone in the process.


The Gimlet Eye

“hate Solomon”? When did anybody ever say such a thing here in this blog?


You imagination is running away with you.


To you it’s all a circus, right? Admit it.


I’m beginning to enjoy your comments. Keep ’em coming.


MaryMalone

PASODUDE: “One former friend of Solomon’s, who said she dated a member of a band Solomon sang with, voiced concerns about Solomon’s behavior while entertaining in the evenings and serving as a police commander during the day.”


Oh, come on. Solomon has been reported, and a lawsuit has been filed, for her abuse of power in retaliation for complaints about her.


Would you like to be a target of Solomon, perhaps have your house redlighted?


Disgusted

I won’t address saved seats, numbers of speakers etc., because I wasn’t there. But, what I hope this demonstrates is that no matter the numbers, the Cal Coast articles or comments, justice will move slowly and honestly, and will certainly not be decided on an online comment board as some seemed to suggest. Would this have become publc knowledge or debatable if it was not brought to the public’s attention? I can tell you that much is swept under the rug when it comes to govt. activity, as we all know. So, let the opinions continue and maybe, just maybe the right decision will surface.


MaryMalone

I think only a very naive person believes that justice moves honestly. Some of the time, yes.


But when we are talking about corrupt cities and CSDs, especially where harassment of workers is involved, the cards are stacked in the favor of the cities/CSDs.


For a first showing, I think the protesters did great, especially since the PR City government now has its own perverse version of the Jim Crow laws, where they reward their toadies with special access and rights to government meetings, and relegate protesters to the back of the bus.


pasodude

“For a first showing, I think the protesters did great”


How would you know? You weren’t even there! Again, you’re making assumptions from comments you’re reading on this blog that, as a whole, are totally baseless and without merit.


MaryMalone

LIAR.


If you cannot make a valid point against your perceived enemies, and must stoop to lying to make a false point, perhaps your argument is invalid.


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QUOTED FROM THE ARTICLE: “While more than 200 people chose to stay, many others left before or shortly after the meeting began. Of those who remained, nine spoke in favor of the chief while only three questioned her service to the community. No one mentioned the allegations of sexual misconduct or retaliation.


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