Solomon out as Paso Robles chief

March 20, 2012

Lisa Solomon


Lisa Solomon has stepped down as chief of police of Paso Robles following a tumultuous two months of relentless accusations by her own officers of sexual misconduct.

An agreement between her and the city calls for payment “within five days” of a lump sum to her in the amount of $250,000.

City Attorney Iris Ping Yang read a brief statement following a 40-minute closed session that was held after the city council’s regular meeting, acknowledging the separation. Council members left without comment.

Solomon termed her action “early retirement” and in a letter to the council blasted what she called “recent attacks on my character by unscrupulous media sources and self-serving individuals.”

CalCoastNews reported in late January that Solomon was being accused of sexually touching at least four of her officers in social situations, often in front of other sworn police personnel. Since then, other allegations from current and former officers have surfaced.

Solomon said public comment “has reached a level of indecency so great, I will no longer subject myself, my family, or my colleagues, to such invasions of privacy.”

City Manager Jim App praised Solomon after the meeting, calling her “a great asset” to the city and “a dedicated public servant.” He said he was personally distressed by Solomon’s departure.

“She has been a big part of this city for 24 years,” he said. His comments were the first regarding Solomon since the scandal broke.

Several officers told CalCoastNews Solomon emailed her former staff and said she had elected to take an early retirement. However, the officers said she is not able to collect her retirement for seven years and this is not early retirement.

Solomon’s last official day will be April 2, but she has effectively left her post and will not return. Her city-paid health benefits will cease on that day.

Capt. Robert Burton will act as interim chief until a search for a new chief can be completed.

The agreement with the city reads in part, “(Solomon) desires to leave employment, due to recent events which she believes, through no fault of either party, have caused damage to her reputation and other adverse effects.”

As part of her release, Solomon has agreed not to sue the city for any reason.

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Fred Strong sounds like an old, burnt-out jerk. As soon as I saw the following photo (just look at both of their faces) I knew they were both losers. It made me want to retch:

The meeting was eventful and reflective of the attitudes of those who sit in power. Sally Reynolds boldly stood up at the open mic and did an excellent job stating her views against increasing sales tax. Their plan is to increase sales tax by .50% for 12 years to go towards streets/roads and public safety. The mayor, Duane Picanco, said that the people he’s been hearing from wouldn’t pass a general tax because they DID NOT TRUST THIS COUNCIL. Fred Strong disagreed. He would.

Fred’s body language is challenging and “because-I-say-so-ish”. He presents himself as though his words are from the Lord himself.

There is a lot more information to share and we will be doing so as we unveil the CHANGE PASO ROBLES NOW organization.

Thanks everyone who went to the meeting, especially Sally Reynolds. She is awesome! Go Sally!!!

If someone wanted to notify State Disability or Workers Comp, or whatever the agency is that would be processing her claim, who would we contact? Assuming she did file (has a claim number) I would want to know what her disability is and how she received it because this is a not a”job related” claim. The agency that handles the claim needs to know this and I doubt it will be in the claim application!

Can someone help me here?

State Disability is different than Workers Comp. You would need to notify the company providing the coverage of a questionable claim having been filed. As I understand it, the city is self insured and uses a risk management firm for handling all liability and wcomp claims. You will likely not get any info in regards to her claims because they are catagorized as HIIPA compliant for privacy.

If there is an assigned wcomp claim #, which there is, then a wcomp claim has definately been filed.

About twenty years ago many entities began farming out the claims you mention. And one of the insurance companies that began handling WC claims for these entities was AIG.

AIG Insurance is now known as Chartis, for those of you who do not already know this. The insurance division of AIG needed a name change to distance themselves from the bad press following them from the bailouts.

You’re right, it was Chartis but effective March 1, 2011 it became CorVel Corporation.

I know I am still getting quotes thru Chartis. Mp is $7500 with many MGA’s but a few offer same programs down to $1500mp. WHAT is right about THAT???

All I was trying to point out is that CorVel assumed responsiblity for administering some of Chartis’ accounts in March 2011. As for the quotes you’re getting I can’t answer your question. I’m not connected to the insurance business.

The Nation has a really good, solid feature about the AIG scandal:


The Nation: The AIG Bailout Scandal []

The government’s $182 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG should be seen as the Rosetta Stone for understanding the financial crisis and its costly aftermath. The story of American International Group explains the larger catastrophe not because this was the biggest corporate bailout in history but because AIG’s collapse and subsequent rescue involved nearly all the critical elements, including delusion and deception. These financial dealings are monstrously complicated, but this account focuses on something mere mortals can understand—moral confusion in high places, and the failure of governing institutions to fulfill their obligations to the public……

I want to speak to the matter of the Wcomp claim and why this is money out of the pockets of the taxpayers of Paso. Every work comp claim has a “surplus” or reserve held open the moment the claim is validated. Whatever value the insurance company has assigned, expected to pay out, is reflected on the loss history of the insured (The City of Paso). The charge for coverage is also determined by the total number of loss value, or the aggregate dollars paid out and in reserve. Taxpayers pay that very premium. The more claims held open with reserves pending, the more claims paid out, the higher the premium charged to the city and to straight to you. There is a State agency, the WCIRB or Workers Comp Insurance Rating Bureau which tracks nearly every claim in the entire State, as Wcomp is mandated by State Law. The WCIRB crunches the numbers given to them by the insurance company and comes up with a credit/surcharge factor, called an Experience Modification, that is then added to the premium charged. So, the higher the EXMOD, or experience modification factor, the higher the premum. A credit can be given to those employers who have no claims for the factoring period. Some of you with wcomp for your businesses may already know this. Not every policy is subject to this exmod,(employers with lower payrolls) but the city sure should be.

I don’t know if the EXMOD calculation sheet is considered private info but I will find this out! I hope this helps everyone better understand how Workers Comp premiums are derived.

Also, keep in mind that both sides will be represented by an attorney who will hire their own doctors who will do an evaluation of the claim. The WC doctors will insist there is no work-related injury and the claimant’s doctors will argue the opposite. It’s a messy business.

The Wcomp company will likely send her to their own doctor and, if it goes to arbitration, a 3rd party doctor. It is hard to say with the little detail we actually know….like, what is the precise nature of her injury?

No “likely” about it, WC will want her evaluated by their doctors. And many of the doctors on both sides are no more than “hired guns”. It’s a cottage industry. As for the “precise injury” question, I highly doubt that we’ll ever know unless someone can gain access to what is known as a “First Report of Injury”. An employee can’t file a WC claim without first filing the injury report.

Wcomp could deny her claim to work related injury before sending her for evaluation by their doctors based on info from her doctor(s). This has been known to happen. I would be surprised to see this, though. That FRI is protected under HIIPA but I don’t know if the Exmod Calc sheet would be. At the very least, the public might get to know the total cost of her injury.

You’re right, WC could initially deny her claim but you can bet she’ll be represented by an experienced WC attorney. The back and forth could go on for years. Or, she could get a quick settlement to make it all go away and it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in WC cases. In the end, it always comes down to money.

City recovery plan meeting tomorrow at 9am at Paso Robles city hall. Open mic for public questions.

Who’s going?

I am absolutely going to be there with notepad in hand. I hope many others will join me there.

You know what they say, “When the going gets tough, the (proclaimed) tough, quit and collect 250k” or something like that.

This soap opera has also shown me just how deep-seated sexism is in San Luis Obispo County. Take a look at today’s New Times. Arroyo Grande Chief Steve Annibali is on the front cover because of allegations that if true, still make him look like a choir boy next to the crap Solomon and App have pulled. In the same issue there is a half article by reporter Nick Powell titled “Chief Lisa Solomon resigns.” The tenor of Powell’s article looks as though he is employed by Solomon as a public relations spinner.

The differing treatments must be based largely on sexism or else it would have been Solomon’s and App’s faces on the front page. It makes me wonder just how many sexist/”feminists” are upset right now with Solomon’s departure?

Crusader, you may be correct. It may be sexism at work.

I see it differently. At least for the longer-established, more traditional business-model publications (and their supporters), It feels like its a personal thing. The bizarre and absurd treatment by other publications of CCN’s success cannot be explained by reverse sexism regarding lisa solomon.

These other publications very obviously and purposely ignore the very issues and news stories CCN capitalizes on. Instead of jumping into the fray and investigating it themselves, these other publications more often try to slap a coat of whitewash on it, or otherwise coverup the wrongdoing of those being investigated by CCN. And sometimes, when they have nothing else, these publications will attack CCN for breaking a story the other publications were afraid to cover themselves.

I think the longer-established publications resent CCN’s success with their newer business model, and the success of the new business model has also become a personal issue for them.

These longer-established publications rely on a more a more traditional (perhaps outdated) publication model, which definitely gives them the advantage in some ways, but also sometimes limits them. And they resent that limitation, which would exist with or without CCN…but CCN has become a handy target for their projection of their own frustration of the limits of their business model.

Their business model includes conflicts of interest, which has, over the years, become institutionalized in their news publication business model.

These conflicts of interest occur where their advertisers, or the big customers of their advertisers, or the contractors who support their advertisers and benefactors, are also the wrong-doers who very much deserve–and need– to be investigated by the news media.

These longer-established publications have grown to depend on the funding/advertising of these sometimes powerful entities. To out a big scandal of a source of funding might have serious consequences.

So those other publications, who seem to be taking CCN’s success so personally, have limited themselves from asking the hard (or sensitive) questions, and pursuing a story past the comfort zone of their benefactors. And blaming CCN for their own self-created inability to go toe-to-toe with wrong-doers, no matter who they are, is much easier than accepting the blame themselves.

I largely agree with what you are saying. Yet still there is a difference in how Steve Annibali is being treated compared to how Solomon was treated. Do you really think there are big advertisers that picked up the phone and told the Tribune and the New Times to lay-off Solomon yet remain mum about Annibali? I’m not so sure I buy that unless it’s driven by sexism/”feminism.” Then possibly, particularly after hearing about that women’s center from Karen Velie in Paso Robles.

The only other thing that might be different between them is that Solomon might have damning information on the right people and Annibali does not.

I don’t know if there are “big advertisers that picked up the phone and told the Tribune and the New Times to lay-off Solomon yet remain mum about Annibali.”

I do know that I, and others, have seen a pattern of the Tribune giving free passes to the likes of John Wallace, the City of SLO, the County, and most of the city and CSD government scandals. The government agencies likely advertise a lot in the Tribune, and since John Wallace is an integral part of most of these agencies, and probably does a fair amount of advertising, too, I believe that figured into the free-pass given Wallace for issues like the Oceano WWT plant, for instance.

I’m sure the Tribune wants to support the absurd SLO meme “the happiest place,” as well, which cannot be supported if the full extent of the corruption in the county is known.

I said that you may be correct, and that it does have to do with sexism. The Tribune may be afraid it will be accused of sexism by the nutball leaders of Paso Robles.

But, in my experience, it is usually, when it comes down to it, financial issues that drive decisions in businesses, including news businesses. Advertising is one avenue of revenue that could be cut off if the Tribune printed something a city or powerful local corporation didn’t like.

I’m open to ideas regarding this pattern of ignoring or–worse, as in Cuddy’s whitewash editorials–aiding int he coverup of some of these local government agency scandals and crimes.

This isn’t an isolated instance of the Tribune, and other local media, giving a free pass to local area government agencies on their scandals, and it certainly wasn’t “sexism” that drove the Tribune to basically take the John Wallace press release on the grand jury findings on the Oceano WWT plant debacle and print it as fact. It was like they didn’t even read the GJ report.

You may be correct but maybe the difference lays with some facts (and I take nothing away from the importance of the suit filed against Annibali) that Ms. Solomon did not JUST have an employee(s) file a harrassment charge. The were the issues of false reporting to the State, the “safety mode” of operations for her officers, the ticket quota issue, the non-response to certain types of crimes (no response to a burglary less that $10,000, no injury accident exchange information and call your insurance company and then claiming crime was down), the union negotation issue, etc. etc. etc. This is no comparison to Annibali and Solomon so far…

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