“Online rumors” caused chief’s departure?
March 28, 2012
Two Paso Robles city council members have penned a “viewpoint” in The Tribune shoveling praise on fallen police chief Lisa Solomon, slamming county residents who have commented on her public behavior and sexual conduct, and criticizing news reports for causing her downfall.
Nick Gilman and John Hamon signed the commentary, in which they said “online rumors” were the cause of Solomon’s “voluntary” departure.
Hamon said “Lisa is a trusted friend and I will always support her.”
Gilman also said he supports and respects Solomon.
“The atmosphere caused by the online attacks was making it extraordinarily difficult for Lisa, and I was being sympathetic,” Gilman said. “I have had, and still have, the utmost respect for Lisa and the way she ran the department.”
The council members’ comments fly in the face of accusations by numerous former and current police officers and department personnel about her on- and off-duty behavior.
Both men said they could “see the toll the rumors and mean-spirited attacks on her character — the majority of them from anonymous bloggers and other online sources — were taking on her.”
They added that they “accepted her resignation with regret.”
The council then unanimously voted to hand her a $250,000 walk-away package and not to challenge her recent disability benefits filing slated to allow her to start receiving benefits before she turns 50. In addition, if her disability is approved, a portion of her retirement will no longer be taxable, increasing her monthly payments.