App mute on moles at union meetings

March 14, 2012

Jim App


Paso Robles City Manager Jim App and Police Chief Lisa Solomon allegedly used spies during negotiations last year with police officers’ union representatives and later discussed the practice in emails.

Members of the Police Officers Association (PRPOA) reacted sharply to the emails, copies of which were obtained through Public Records Act requests by CalCoastNews.

Jon Tatro, who until recently was president of the union group, said he has “long believed that (Solomon) has moles in the POA who report privileged information from our meetings directly back to her.” Tatro called the action criminal.

App Tuesday declined to comment on the matter. Solomon is on leave.

“It should be noted that if they gathered information from Solomon’s ‘moles’ to help them in any way to bargain against us in contract negotiations, it is a crime,” Tatro added. “It is conspiracy to commit fraud. They defrauded me out of a fair labor contract.”

Tatro’s suspicions of city spies are borne out by a Nov. 10, 2011 email from App to Solomon in which he asked, “Any info from your moles at last night’s meeting?” Union members were negotiating a new contract and discussing health benefits and salaries at that session.

Tatro and Dave Hernandez, another former union official, are accusing the city of negotiating in bad faith.

Other emails from App to Solomon showed they were involved in obtaining names and keeping track of union meeting attendees, as well as making demeaning comments about police officers for agreeing to lower wages.

Hernandez, POA president during those negotiations, said it was obvious the city manager and Solomon were trying to influence the association to vote in favor of a new health plan. He also thinks the “moles” were able to change the health plan union members voted for during the meeting.

“On that night, the officers voted unanimously to stay with the current health plan, not the one the city manager wanted us to go with,” Hernandez said. “The following day, after we explained to city management that we wanted to stay with the current plan, a sergeant began calling officers to confirm their vote.

“He explained we had no choice, that we were being selfish, and that we should change to the new health plan,” Hernandez added. “The sergeant said he was able to get enough officers to change their votes, and the health plan was switched to what the city manager wanted.”

Tatro also took issue with a Nov. 30 email exchange between Solomon and App in which the pair discusses the city’s police officers’ pay being lower than earnings of San Luis Obispo County sheriff deputies.

“So, why does anyone still work for us?” App wondered in an email to Solomon after reviewing the salary comparison.

“Good question,” Solomon responded.

“I can answer that question,” Tatro said. “Many of us are hoping not to have to work for either of you two much longer.”

Inquiries to city council members seeking comment on Solomon and App’s actions got only one response, from Fred Strong.

His March 8 email to CalCoastNews is reprinted here verbatim:

“As a member of a legislative body (one of three branches of government in the United States) and one which, at the local level, is sometimes called upon to exercise the duties and responsibilities of the judicial branch, I choose to follow Constitutional protocol and neither interfere with, nor pass judgement on, the operations or process invoked within that branch of government until and unless it comes to me in an official capacity. At that time, with appropriate evidence, rather than unsupported statements or opinions, I will respond according to established protocol and process.

“However, I do not choose to prejudice my quasi-judicial status, should it be invoked in matters that are purportedly headed in that direction.

“This has nothing to do with ‘freedom of the press’ or ‘transparency.’ It has to do with due process.

“I have never seen nor heard of any specific email content within the administrative branch of government prior to this communication. Therefore, I apologize if my response is not what you were expecting. Once alerted to the possibility of being cast into a quasi-judicial role regarding personnel matters within the Police Department, I have diligently avoided any and all articles and electronic media once the words police department, Solomon, Chief, etc. have come up in view, hearing or print.

“If this matter comes to me officially, I will give it my full attention and seek to find the truth through evidence and/or corroborated allegations. Until this clears I do not choose to engage in any discussion which might taint the process or prejudice the outcome.

“Thank you for considering me worth contacting. Best wishes, Fred.”


I hope we don’t loose tract of the original direction of this news event.

This is just an example this event is just the tip of a very big and old iceberg that has been alluded to many times.

The discussions always seem to get hijacked. Before you know it the original discussion has been replaced with this kind of lunacy. Instead of discussing the corruption that exists in our city, we are discussing the virtues of lisa solomon.

The simple fact is Lisa Solomon’s pre occupation to this kind of activity was well know prior to her being made the chief of police. If it wasn’t for somebody’s agenda, there was absolutely no reason for her to have been considered for the job in the first place. I am absolutely sure there were many other people with the proper experience that would have been a much better choice for the Chief of police.

The people that have gotten involved in control of our government have it working pretty well for themselves.

Our (the silent majority of our city) apathy towards our government hasn’t served us very well.

Go ahead, Let me have it.


Trying to stay on topic….

Really, assuming Lisa is guilty, her appointment is just one of a string of bad decisions Jim has made. For his sake and the City of Paso Robles, he needs to go. He has been in his position too long, evident by his lack of respect for the Council and the citizens. His problem is he honestly believes he’s above the Council.

In addition, it’s time for a new City Atty too. She is loyal to Jim, NOT the Council. Our local government no longer has checks and balances like its designed to have. We have NO leadership in the City right now, so Jim has filled that vacancy. But, his job is to follow Council, not to lead them.

Call your Council, write them letters; Jim is the problem not the solution! And, remember elections are coming up so they should be all ears.


P.S. Just my opinion here….I’ve always believed that criticizing posters for the topic drifting “off topic” is not only very strange, it also has a chilling impact on the board discussion.

What is “off topic” to one person is “just part of the general discussion of the issue” to another.

Discussion folders tend to wander off on tangents, but they wander because that is what part of the topic that interests those posting there. To use one person’s definition of what is off-topic creates a false impression of what are the actual interests of the posting participants at the time they posted.

Posting on what you consider is “on-topic” is one method of bringing the discussion back to your priority. However, it may not work. At any rate, I see no benefit in criticizing others for simply discussing a tangent they believe has impact on the topic discussion.

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.


very strange – chilling impact, Jeez

I wasn’t criticizing anybody, only making an observation.


Come on, Paso Jim. You used the term “lunacy” to describe the posts you believe are “off-topic.” I think most people will take that as a criticism.


the lunacy is the topics we are having to discuss, not the comments!


I agree that it was a very poor decision to appoint ANYONE to the chief’s position without having included going outside the department to look for the best candidate. It was an especially bad decision to name solomon as chief.

It must have been clear to those making the decision for solomon’s appointment, before she was appointed chief, that she had little interest and experience in LE, and in leadership—and ESPECIALLY in leadership of an LE group—-despite her years wearing a badge.

It is also clear that, in addition to her lack of leadership skills, she was and is unable to develop a unity in those who she leads. Instead, she uses the only tactics she knows, which is a tactic that is the hallmark of a weak, unskilled, and fearful leader: the tactic of “divide to conquer.”

In a LE department or agency, there must be a esprit de corps to unite those who are charged with the safety of the citizens or residents they are supposed to protect. This not only provides for better LE services to the residents, but also serves to increase the safety of the officers when they are on the job. In addition, the efficacy of a group, which can depend on each other for support, in reaching a goal or working on a project, is much greater than the same number of people divided and turned against each other.

Instead of leading PR’s officers to find strength in the unity of the group, solomon wrongfully targeted officer after officer, forcing her officers to choose loyalty to her over what they knew was right.

The selection of solomon as chief of PR’s Police Department was clearly an act of pure cronyism.

The scary thing is this: if cronyism is how the city council and general manager make decisions for one major issue (appointment of a new chief of police), I think it is safe to believe that this is how ALL of the decisions by the city council and general manager have been made.

Using cronyism as the defining factor for a city government’s selection of ANYTHING produces a crony as the choice. It does not produce a choice that is the best, or the most economical, or the best in any other criteria.

What about all the contracts the city has entered into for projects over the years? Surely, cronyism ruled the city council and App’s choices there, too. Have all of the projects been accomplished with the same kind of crony skills that crony solomon brought to the chief of police job? How safe are the buildings and roads that have been built? How much more did it cost to get these projects done because the city government would allow overcharging or illegal bidding practices (as they did on the FEMA-funded projects)?

What finally tipped the scale in the City of Bell, and got the residents angry enough to literally storm the city council chambers, was information about the gross waste of money by city leadership AND the predatory, quota tactics of the police department.

Perhaps more focus on money issues, translating solomon’s poor leadership and the the City of Paso Robles’ rule-by-cronyism mantra into dollars and cents, might tip the scale in Paso Robles, as well.

Finally, people need to be informed. Make flyers and plaster the city with them. Make the messages of each flyer release short and sweet, focusing on one concisely defined city debacle at a time, and translating it into something every resident and voter understands: $$$..

The Gimlet Eye

You mean “predisposition,” don’t you?


What benefit(s) and to whom would you guess? Are we talking about sexual/intimate favors or more along the lines of a moronic chief that could be easily controlled and manipulated?


I don’t know who heard Karen on Dave’s show this afternoon, but again, I am blown away as the scum in this North County just keeps getting worst. I am sorry, but the truth must be told as painful as it is.

Karen said this afternoon that there was a person willing to pay for an ad on the Cal Coast News site for the Women’s Center in Paso Robles which is for women in need, especially for espousal abuse, etc. and they refused because of the information posted about Solomon on this site.

Shame on them and I am sorry I ever gave you a dime. Obviously, this organization is NOT what I thought it was about, helping women in need and not policitcal butt kissing. I will now make my annual contribution to the San Luis Obispo Women’s Resource Center which really help women in need, from housing to the courtroom and encourge all my friends to do the same. SHAME ON YOU FALSE REPRESENTATION OF PROTECTING WOMEN…..


I very much agree. I listened to that as well and I found it terribly offensive. Women who represent a women’s center in Paso Robles who overtly want to enable/cover-up a sexual predator like Solomon simply because she is a woman. That’s hardcore horrible — the absolute worst form of sexism. The board of this woman’s center should be notified of these losers.


I agree, a sexual predator is a sexual predator, just a question of what makes them quack. To think that an organization whose whole purpose for existing is to protection and provide for women in need would go out of their way to protect a sexual predator regardless of the gender is mindblogging and wrong on so many levels. To hell with them and I will do everything I can to make sure every person I know (I am a native of SLO County) knows about this horrible organization’s mission.


Maybe I should have said the organization’s “leadership” instead of their “mission”. Obviously, the leadership is very confused and the board should take action at whoever made this decision.


Just make sure actual leadership from this woman’s center expressed these horrible sexist views to Ms. Velie and not just a couple of loser loudmouths who in no way speak for the center.

If the sexist comments/actions came from leadership of that women’s center then their entire mission is nothing more than a sad and hypocritical joke.


I agree with you. I also understand why a women’s center in Paso Robles. Their funding probably results, in large part, to the support of the city council. In addition, if they are dealing with domestic violence against women, they probably need the good will of the police department to assist their clients. Solomon may, in retaliation (and you know she loves to retaliate), decide that responding to a report of a woman being beaten or stabbed by her husband is not worthy of police response during “safe-mode” days?

I hope you write them a letter. They need to hear your reaction to their decision to pull the ad on CCN.

I think they also need to do some soul-searching. What does it say about them as a group against domestic violence when they choose to support a female police chief who has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing her subordinates? Of a police chief who chooses what calls for help will be answered and what calls will not be answered?


SLoBird. This women’s center has gone far afield from its original purpose and is housing families for six months or more. They talked about it on KPRL, and I knew at that point, they were a sham. IMO, no one should give them a dime; there is something very suspicious about what they are doing with the money.


Thank you, good to know. A friend of mine volunteered for them when they were in Atascadero and said that there were so many issues and concerns with this organization that she had to stop volunteering. I dismissed this as a misunderstood situation for her but now I feel bad, she was so on target. She said everyone knew but avoided the problems because of the good they were doing for women in need. Next thing we hear, BOOM, moving to Paso. Very strange!


It really is remarkable how much the scourge of sexism is being allowed to impact law enforcement in the City of Paso Robles. With everything else being the same, if Solomon was a male she would have been put on administrative leave long ago. I also believe he would already have been fired for cause or she would have accepted a minimal (and appropriate) separation agreement — and not the bloated disability retirement/lawsuit that she is sure to seek.

I have long wondered how in the hell Solomon is still the chief of police? When I heard that certain women were trying to dissuade Karen Velie from reporting on Solomon only because she is a woman, it made my blood boil and it gave some insight as to why she has not been properly disciplined. That’s scumbag sexism at the very worst — failing to deal with a sexual predator because of her sex!

This sexist group of North County females trying to protect Solomon must be a real group of losers if they actually look up to Lisa as someone to be admired.


Lisa uses, or I should say used to use (yuk), her sexuality and status as the “police” to make up a flaw in her character. I once dated a young lady who was fine until she got a job in LE. She turned into a power tripping bully and I had to go. I see similar things in Lisa. “and I mean that!


The more I learn about Solomon the more disgusting she appears to be. What an absolutely rotten human being. She’s the sort of person that has caused great pain and misery in other peoples’ lives with the way she lives her own life. She needs to be gone.


I t hink the reason your friend, and lisa solomon, result to harassment, intimidation and retaliation to do their job in LE is because they don’t have the skills to do the job by honest means.

You can get a group to do what you need to do by positive leadership (i.e., building a cohesive group that supports each other and their leader), or by trying to do it by the divide-and-conquer approach.

The positive-leadership goal has the goal of building a strong group, which enables a more dependable, positive outcome of the tasks the group has to do. The focus is doing a good job on the tasks.

The divide-and-conquer tactic has the goal of “YOU WILL DO WHAT I SAY WITHOUT QUESTION!” The focus is on the leader feeling secure in his/her position.

Different leadership style, different focus, different outcome.

The scary thing is the impact of a group’s leadership in a LE environment. I anticipate not having a cohesive, supportive environment for the officers to do their job in would make them less efficient and make it harder for them to achieve a good outcome in their job, and also might compromise the safety of their working environment.


Crusader – If Solomon was a male he/she would not have made sergeant. Do people know what her actual police experience is? But let’s leave that be. Rather, let’s look at her management experience, something vital for a chief.

Typically, to make sergeant you have to have a broad range of “street” experience, show good leadership skills and be an alert decision maker. You are usually responsible for a shift and have had experiences that you can draw from. The jump from sergeant to a management position is also typically a long one. One in which you have proven that as a supervisor you can be counted on to make consistently good decisions on a broad range of issues. Then you have to prove that you understand politics, management, budgets and personnel issues. You also should also have a background that is pure as the driven snow and be a person that is widely respected for skills in the field, leadership in the field and knowledge.

Now look at our chief and ask yourself where in this process she fits in?


On the floor, waving her legs in the air?

(please refer to the posted video on a previous page for context)

The Gimlet Eye

Yep. Putting the employee on “administrative leave” would be SOP (standard operating procedure). When the smoke clears, the Paso folks are going to need a very detailed explanation of why this was not done right off the bat.

There are very good reasons for “administrative leave.” It’s both for the protection of the city and for the accused. It removes the possibility of further alleged wrongdoing, at least while the employee is on official duty. It prevents the further eroding of morale in the dept. as well.

To leave the employee in her position while the investigation goes on is to tempt her to use her powers and access to information for unethical purposes. It also opens the door to further damage to the integrity of the police department, coverups, conspiracy, and the erosion of citizens’ faith in local government.

If she is still in her position, why shouldn’t she use the powers vested in her to strike back, conspire, obfuscate, harass, and intimidate, and generally engage in dirty tricks? Isn’t this fact a green light for her to do so?

Something is very wrong here, and it’s not just the Chief and her sexual antics!

The Gimlet Eye

In fact, in my opinion, a group of residents of Paso should file law suits right along with the police officers in order to pry open the wall of silence. Questions abound:

-Why has the Chief not been put on “administrative leave”?

-Who is responsible for this non-action?

-What is their explanation for not doing so?

-Who is in charge now that she is gone?

-Is this SOP?

-Where has the Chief gone and why?

-Exactly how long will the Chief be gone?

-If the Chief has given no explanations for her absence, then has she not, de facto, quit the job?

-Doesn’t the Chief have to fill out an official document explaining the reasons for her absence, where she is going, and why?

-Don’t the taxpayers have the right to examine this document?

-Who is investigating the allegations against the Chief?

-How much will this investigation cost the taxpayers?

-When do they plan to release the results of this investigation?

-Do they plan to go to court?

-Has the Chief retained legal counsel?

-Has that legal counsel requested documents or records from the Police Department?

-Has the Chief been involved in any procurement of any documents or records for her own legal counsel?

-Has the Chief provided her own legal counsel with any confidential/sensitive information pertinent to her pending case which could be used against the plaintiffs?

-Would there not be a conflict of interest and breach of security and protocal if she did procure said documents for her own attorney?

-How can the city of PR legally justify not putting the Chief on “administrative leave” during an ongoing criminal investigation against her?

The Gimlet Eye

typo: protocol


Good job Karen. Shredder can go play with his toilet paper.



Its now 1 1/2 hours until KVEC slaughters the New Times. I don’t plan to miss it.


James App and Lisa Solomon trying to figure out how to blame others for their actions:


Ted Slanders



What is sad, is the FACT that what is proposed in this hilarious video, is TRUE!


“What is sad, is the FACT that what is proposed in this hilarious video, is TRUE!”

You’re so right on about that and I laughed all the way through it. Whoever made this video didn’t miss a of the facts but getting back to your statement about the sad part of this being true. The entire time that I was laughing, I was thinking to myself that anyone who doesn’t know, what all has transpired in Paso Robles will think we’re all completely crazy over here ;) LOL


…..LS: “Wanna see my boobs?

JA: No, have you been drinking this morning?”…

…..LS: “It used to be that I could fix anything by flashing my boobs. Won’t that work anymore?”

JA: “Get real, you coddled airhead!”….

…..”LS: I’d rather lay on my back and wave my legs in the air for a few nights. That always worked before.”

JA: “Don’t kid yourself, Lisa. Have you looked in the mirror lately?”…..


Oh, my. Other than solomon having an intradepartmental love child, they pretty much hit all the high points.


Is “ROFLOL” dirty?


Probably not unless you’re doing it with Lisa ;)

Now I’m really “Rolling on the floor, laughing out loud”.

Ted Slanders


It can be if you have the correct partner and you know what you’re doing!


Hummm, I guess you didn’t know what you were doing, you were funny though ;)


TS, you are just a hoot ‘n a holler!


This one was better than the one done in SLO with Katie and Andrew Carter… Boy it tells the story and thank you whoever did it, it is a masterpiece. How sad for the citzens of Paso Robles. Where are the CouncilMEN during this whole thing. I don’t get it, SLO has two cops arrested at the border and they annouce they are put on paid admin leave until the investigation is complete. The SLO fireman beats someone half to death and the City annouces he will be put on desk duty during the investigation. But Paso, acts like a mafia organization and says nothing because “THEY ARE SPECIAL” and you (public joe) don’t have a right to know anyting… How many times have we heard someone is on admin leave in goverment service during the investigation. I just really don’t get it!


Ha! Way to go, Shank! That pretty much sums it up. Nice touch with the red shirt. Hope to see you next Tuesday night at the Paso Robles City Council meeting. No one can keep us from speaking!


PattyFlowers can!



Well done!

Standing ovation!



Mr. Holly

TOOOOOOOO Good. Where was this when the film festival was here?


Damn funny, but not as funny as the real thing. Should have taken more “artistic license”

The Gimlet Eye

Sounds pretty close to the truth. Or, maybe the two would like to come out and deny it all? I have not heard any denials, have any of you?


What am I missing here?

The Ryan Miller’s New Times shredder piece denounces Cal Coast’s coverage of the Soloman fiasco yet did anyone see the past political cartoon in the New Times (march 1-8) depicting a scantly dressed Police Chief Soloman sitting on the back of a pig who was portrayed as City Manager App.

So explain the difference Mr. Miller?

Ted Slanders


Tacoma Rose,

Ryan Miller succumbs to the old biblical reference of the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”. (Matthew 6:3 ; KJV) How embarrassing!

How in the hell did you get through Ryan Millers article in the first place? Personally, I got a headache by reading it because of it’s abhorred syntactical sentence structuring, “choppiness” , hyphens, and the misuse of proper punctuation to the point of ad nauseam! These FACTS are barring his ever so wanting acts of “trying” to be funny! My eyes were crossed at the end of his article, and it’s not because I had too much to drink last night!

If Katie Evan’s is correct, in that Ryan is a long time member at one of the most hard core churches on the Central Coast, then the only entity that he got correct in his long-winded diatribe was his statement; “Women don’t really belong in the political sphere”.

Whether this was a possible facetious comment or not, I doubt that he knew it is a biblical fact! “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, NOR TO USURP THE AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 11-12) I can be positive in knowing that Mr. Miller doesn’t know more than the inspired word of our Christian God relative to the above passage, period!


There was a day when my right hand knew what my left hand was doing, but was powerless to stop it.

Ted Slanders


My fellow brother, if your stated situation ever presents itself again, then let Pastor Tim help you eliminate your sinful actions! Praise Jesus!



What sort of an assumption are you making? I was talking about drinking beer.

Ted Slanders


Yeah right, “wink, wink!” It’s okay, many of God’s creation can’t come to terms with their sinful actions.

I will pray for you tonight, and you can thank me later.


Ted, you are a weird duck.

Ted Slanders


Thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment, as I am sure that you meant it to be.


Maybe solomon has been doing some of that “waving legs up in the air” for her press corps.


Fortunately for CCN’s followers, we’ve become uncomfortably accustomed to editorial hacks, who sit on their kiesters and end up with editorials that sound like press releases from the person or group they are defending than they do actual editorials.

We’ve also become accustomed to folks who have not even read CCN’s publications before they start spewing accusations and derisive statements against CCN. We see those posters on the message boards every day.

We also have experience from the press-release editorialists, like Cuddy, how a self-serving press release from of the Tribune’s favored corporate or governmental darlings can easily become editorials in SLO’s major print news publication.

Not only do I doubt Miller has read the information at CCN, I really doubt he has done anything to vet it before he scooped up his latest piece-o-crap “edtiorial” from the toilet and rushed it to print.

All of that said, let me point this out: the fact that KVEC continues to carry Limbaugh’s program—even after his bizarre and twisted attack against a female law student who spoke before congressional Democrats about the necessity for birth-control pills to be paid for by the medical insurance at the college she attends—is support for accusations of KVEC supporting sexism and being sexist.

In that Limbaugh attack, he said she takes BCPs, which makes her a slut, which means she has so much sex she doesn’t have time to work to pay for her own BCPs, so is trying to force everyone else to pay for her BCPs, which makes “everyone else” a “john,” which makes this young female law student a “prostitute.”

So there is some evidence to indicate that KVEC is sexist and promotes hate speech against women. There is also evidence to indicate KVEC supports freedom of speech.

The same logic applies to CCN reporters who continue to appear on KVEC. I understand they are in a position where perhaps the access to KVEC, because of long professional associations, is easy to obtain. That doesn’t change the fact that continuing to appear on KVEC supports the attacks by opportunists of sexism against CCN.

How easy it would be for CCN’s journalists to say, in rebuttal to Miller’s claims that they are sexist because of their continued association with KVEC, to be able to reply, “Not so, we quit appearing on the show because they continue to carry Limbaugh’s program,” or for KVEC to reply “Not so, we quit running Limbaugh’s program after his sexist attack on the Georgetown law student.”

I understand why CCN has continued to appear on KVEC. I also understand it has opened the door to criticisms that they support sexism. Same for KVEC.

Ulitmately, it is the public who suffers because CCN has been our champion every step of the way. They have printed the truth that others have been to cowardly to address.

This is the first time I posted on KVEC’s refusal to quit carrying Limbaugh broadcasts, and CCN’s staff continuing to appear on KVEC. I didn’t think it was really pertinent to what was being discussed before. However, unfortunately, now it is.



Ryan Miller will soon be joining Bob Cuddy in journalism school, taking journalism 101…