Solomon out as Paso Robles chief

March 20, 2012

Lisa Solomon

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

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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Mr. Holly

This is plain and simple. App praised Solomon for being the best thing he has ever seen for the city in a police chief.

Amazing as he appears to be part of this extortion scheme. Solomon upholding the laws and her true devotion to PR. I guess that devotion comes in the form of a $250,000 extortion check.

The mysterious illness should be a good one, that too will be accompanied by a significant check. Maybe she lost her voice and will no longer be able to perform on bartops or is it topless?

I guess the praise must go to Solomon for her simple extortion of Paso Robles.

Does anyone think she might become Kelly Gearhart’s secretary, enforcer or protection?


studioclubnews

CONTACT THEM WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS, RAGE, COMMENTS, ETC., ETC…

City Manager’s Office

1000 Spring Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446

Phone

(805) 237-3888

(805) 237-4032 FAX

Information Line

227-PASO (7276)

Hours

Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm

Email the City Manager

CityManager@prcity.com

Email Council and the City Manager

Council-CM@prcity.com


CalCoastOutrage

I find it interesting that any area citizen would thumbs down this. May I ask one of you thumbs downers why? I’m guessing you’re App’s minions, just trying to make it look like people aren’t behind this canning of Soloman.


studioclubnews

@calcoastoutrage I was thinking the same thing…what is more in the process of democracy, law and order and how the system is set up…constitution and all, our rights to contact these people that WORK FOR US…and 3 people thumbs down … go figure


MaryMalone

Remember, the only information the city council members are to look at is info that has been cleared by App.


So I doubt the city council will see any letters that aren’t equating the city council as Jesus Christ risen again.


slowtime

She is not “innocent”, just exposed, caught. She or the city never said; “we did not do these things!” Now this is all brushed under the rug and we will never know thanks to App and his cronies at the tax payers expense.

Lets see; $240K a year x 50% PERS medical retirement=$120K year (+COLA) /12=$10,000 per month TAX EXEMPT income. Add to that say, what $500 a month allowance for health care paid by the city. In addition to all this the lump sum of $250K and the tax free work comp payments until the retirement goes through. Look who has the last laugh now folks!


Pretty, pretty, good retirement for a failed Chief who should be staring straight down the business end of the barrel of Criminal and Civil actions. At least now the plaintiffs have some assets to go after. Oh wait, I betcha the city indemnified her and will cover any punitive damages if these plaintiffs win their cases. But you will never hear about that, that would be a tightly held City secret.


Self serving crooks, all of them. It makes my blood boil!


Cindy

If she was innocent, App and his cronies would have released the results of the investigation. The investigation was started back in November at a cost of $150.00 an hour. What I would like to know is what the investigative report revealed. App say’s that he will not comment as to whether there is a report or not. Its hard to say if App had a meeting with the investigator and after hearing what the investigator had to say he either told her not to write the report or he received the report and “SQUASHED IT”. They don’t want that report to be made public which is why they are now planning to settle all the suits under the radar and include a non disclosure clause.


This is disgusting, somebody needs to refuse to settle and demand so much money that it will have to go to court. Then everything will come out and perhaps we can sue the CC and App for intentional fraud and payoffs to the X-Chief. What Solomon did was criminal, you don’t cover up evidence and pay them off with tax payer money and that is what the City did, in my opinion.


I suspect that although this investigator is known to be “employee friendly” that it is very difficult to say that a complaint surrounding the grabbing a mans penis is a matter of a personality clash or a misunderstanding especially when its 4 different men plus witnesses. That investigator met her match this time!! I bet she has never seen such a blatant case of sexual harassment and assault.


The Gimlet Eye

This is not a “seamless” decision. Far too much skullduggery in between the seams. If she had health problems, no decision about a “settlement” should have been offered until the city council had disclosed this information in a public meeting open for debate.


mtvfan

I would like to know why the city signed off on a Work Comp Claim for Solomon, yet they fight other “real” claims that involve other city employees?


This just stinks so bad of a pay-off! Since the chief took “early retirement” (not resigned) what potential litigation would there be from her suing the city? She retired on her own. App says it was her decision and she confirmed the same.


There was no newspaper articles outlining Solomon’s “Health Issue(s)” over the past year. As far as i know Solomon never told anyone she had health issues but all of a sudden a work comp claim got filed while she was on leave. PeeYew this sticks bad…


Only Jim App can really answer all the questions but he never will until he is called on the carpet.


danika

Remember, Workers Comp goes to health issues created during the course of employment. Stress related Wcomp claims are particularly difficult to obtain pay outs because everyone has stress in their personal lives to some degree and everyone responds to that stress at different levels. Do we know what the Wcomp related injury actually is?


MaryMalone

Oh, wouldn’t it be a hoot if she claimed for getting knocked up by one of her subordinates and bearing her illegitimate child?


Mr. Holly

This is nothing more than a scam. When this first went down I posted a blog that this is exactly what would happen. There are people in prison who have scammed people for far more less that this. Solomon’s reputation? How about the damage she has done to Paso Robles reputation? There should be a countersuit filed by the citizens, aka tax payers, against Solomon for being ripped off be App and herself.

This is an orchestrated crime perceived by App to protect both he and Solomon for all of their misdeeds.

Now is the time for the City Council to act and show their real colors. Unfortunately I think they already have by accepting this agreement between App and Solomon. It’s now time to clean house. Anyone who thinks this is acceptable should be considered a coconspirator to this crime.


The Gimlet Eye

Hold everything! Someone needs to file an injunction to stop this settlement for Solomon until a complete review of everything is done. No final decisions on Solomon should be forthcoming until her case is settled. That’s the ethical thing to do. She must have something on somebody for this not to happen.


Everything that this city council does from now until election time should be put under a microscope. What Paso really needs is a watchdog group to monitor everything that the city council and city does on a day to day basis. They need their own website where people can go to find out what is going on.


SLOBIRD

I heard this morning from someone that by taking the payout check within five days of the agreement, before she is terminated on April 2, that the payout will count as salary and boast her retirement even more. Does anyone know if that is true because if so, she would be taking home (tax free) more money than when she was working. I say keep Jim App on board, let the Police Union file a lawsuit for App’s wrongdoing and then find him guilty and he would then lose his pension/benefits. Also, if anyone really cares, if Mr. App hires someone with a larger salary then Solomon’s the domino effect starts. The Fire Chief makes what the Police Chief makes, the City Manager has to make more than Police and Fire, and then the City Attorney needs to make a little less than the Manager, and of course there are 6 department heads, followed by the managers, supervisors, etc. etc. There is a pay scale whereby there is percentage differences between the positions. We must fight to get this salary reduced and everyother one as they depart. Look at what COUNTY management makes, its a lot less than those in Paso. We haven’t even began to expose the issues here.


Has anyone gone out to the Human Resources Website and seen the Management/Professional/Confidential Employee Chart. On July 1, 2012 all of these employees (including App) are getting a raise and ONLY Ms. Solomon (Safety Executive Manager) and the Safety Professional Manager III (assume this is Burton) are due to get another raise. Assuming she is currently at the top of the scale ($144,120) and because of her longevity and outstanding performance according to Mr. App, she was scheduled on July1 to get $157,644 and in December she was scheduled to go to $160,020.


WHY DID SOLOMON GET 1 1/2 TIMES HER ANNUAL SALARY FOR DESTROYING THIS CITY!


doggin

I had to laugh again after reading today’s Trib article. Solomon’s award of $250K was largly in part to cover her destroyed rep. So who in Paso destroyed her rep, her own officers? If that’s the claim then she should have been placed on admin leave until such allegations by her co workers were proven false. When was the last time a innocent law official cut and ran over allegations of false activity never to return to police work. Instead the City told her to run away and here’s a payoff if you agree to not talk bad (expose?) us. In what manner I ask? I say the city was fully aware of her antics for years and hid and covered it up to prevent any law suits. This entire story stinks of corruption from the get go.


uncomfortabletruth

I think you’re on to something. This settlement is completely out of proportion, especially since there seems to be a preponderance of evidence to terminate Solomon without any payout.


I would be the farm the agreement contains a Non-disclosure Agreement that both solomon and the city will hide behind.


Quick, outsized payout = coverup of city hall activities.


Where’s the outrage in Paso? Streets haven’t been paved in years, but we’re saddled with payouts and overpaid city staff.


Paso needs 3 new councilmember to completely clean house and get us back on the right track


The Gimlet Eye

Is this settlement even legal? How can Paso justify such an action before any of the allegations against the Chief are verified or not? I just don’t see how this can even be a legal course of action for the city at all.


The Gimlet Eye

PS,


The actions of the city council smack of something criminal; it appears that the actions of the Chief are the least of your worries, Paso folks!


MaryMalone

I think the first, most important thing to be done, is to ensure that a new police chief is not selected until after the elections for city council/mayor, and the new leadership has had a chance to get a new city manager and legal counsel.


Everyone in Paso should fear the results of a police chief selection made by the current bunch of incompetent, corrupt city leaders.


Their choice of solomon for police chief was obviously not made based on leadership skills and competence required to lead a police department, and the city leadership has backed every one of the corrupt, sometimes illegal, and usually liability-laden decisions and actions of both solomon and app.


Solomon is gone, but the damage she did to the city will be felt for years. Even now, I question the officer she left in charge when she was put out on leave. If he survived (and, indeed, flourished) in solomon’s police department, he has to have the same kind of screwed-up mentality and priorities that solomon has. Otherwise, she would have gotten rid of him long ago.


App is the one who can really cause more problems and liability for the city. A most basic responsibility for a city manager is to ensure that the employees under his management do not commit illegal/criminal acts (or any act that risks liability for the city). However, app not only didn’t stop solomon from her sexually assaulting her subordinates, nor did he stop her illegal ticket-quota policy. App actually facilitated these illegal acts, and conspired with solomon to cover up her illegal/ criminal acts.


The fact that app, as recently as last Tuesday, claimed solomon was an excellent police chief, and he was very distressed she water terminated/dismissed/whatever. That right there shows his screwed-up sense of priorities, and his inability to make judgments that protect the city, its employees, and its residents.


App’s “leadership” as city manager has, in fact, produced an environment where the city is at much more risk for liability and huge $$$ legal judgments, as well as what looks to be years and years of paying massive amounts of legal fees for dealing with the many liabilities app and solomon have saddled the city with.


Of course, the city council is just as culpable as is app and solomon, because they allowed solomon’s illegal ticket quota policy and her sexual assaults/harassment of the city’s police officers to go unchecked.


Therefore, it seems very clear to me that app, the city council, and Iris Yang should have NOTHING to do with the selection of a new police chief. They are the ones who got Paso Robles in the mess it is now, they continue to stand by their failed decisions, and they continue to stand by solomon and her actions as police chief.


So they haven’t even learned from their disastrous mistakes, which pretty much guarantees, if given the opportunity to make the same decisions that led to the current disaster Paso faces, they will just make the same caliber of decisions.


coasting1

There was a final nod by Council, who does not normally participate in hiring. Yet, there was no outside or inside recruitment for Solomen, much like there was no outside or inside recruitment for seveal other directors of the other 6 departments. What you get is a bunch of people managing departments without proper credentials, experience etc. like librarians managing and ruining rec departments, building inspectors running Public Works with a mass exodus of employees etc. People knew there was no confidentiality in Human Resources, so no where to go to discuss issues and find solutions that could help them. they knew if they complained, retribution would make their lives miserable, so they just quietly left and App and company cheered because it saved the city millions of dollars and he looked good. Always saying they left for incentive. Morale was/is at an all time low. If council members don’t wake up, maybe the election will oust them too and new concerned and brave council members will clean up the mess.