Pressure prompted Solomon claim cancellation?

April 21, 2012

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

James App

Former Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon has withdrawn her claim for workers’ compensation, a claim which city officials had promised they would not contest, City Manager James App confirmed in a terse email Saturday.

The claim could have cost city taxpayers as much as $3 million if Solomon were to live to age 80, according to actuarial estimates.

Solomon resigned earlier this month after a five year stint as the city’s top cop after allegations of sexual misbehavior and unlawful ticket quota practices were reported by CalCoastNews.

The sudden withdrawal of the claim came in the wake of questions directed at App and Mayor Duane Picanco by a man who identified himself in an email as James Bailey. (CalCoastNews has been unable to contact Bailey but has received copies of the email exchange.) App could not be reached immediately for comment.

The writer asked App: “(I) have yet to find the financial impact Paso Robles will incur from the uncontested workers’ comp that was part of Ms. Solomon’s deal to ‘resign’ her position as police chief… what about the uncontested workers’ comp disability claim for mental and physical stress related to this sordid affair?  Is there a dollar value or a time limit imposed on this claim? Or is it an open check, from which Ms Solomon can receive benefits forever?

“I have found out that Paso Robles Worker’s Compensation plan is a self-insured plan, meaning the employer (city taxpayers) assumes the financial risk for providing benefits to its employees.  In general terms, this implies the city pays the cost of each claim ‘out of pocket’ as they are incurred instead of paying a fixed premium to an insurance carrier or to a state sponsored workers’ comp fund.  This would further imply that payments would come directly from the city’s general fund.

“Given that this claim was uncontested, does this also mean anything and everything about it is a secret, and the residents of Paso Robles will never know just how much this will cost them?  If truly, there are no dollar or time limitations on this claim, then couldn’t she draw on this for years?”

Bailey then asked, “Don’t the citizens of this city deserve this knowledge?”

App, in a return email to Bailey Saturday morning — 12 hours after Bailey’s questions — wrote: “The claim has been withdrawn.”

When Solomon left her post, she and other city officials blamed news reports of her alleged transgressions for causing her undue stress, and as part of her so-called “retirement” at age 43, the city council agreed that her claim for workers’ comp would not be contested. Additionally, she was given $250,000 in walking money, and a confidentiality agreement so far has prevented either her or the city from revealing the contents of a city investigation into her alleged behavior.


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SewerHeightsRez

CalPERS and CalSTERS pensions are in fact “tax payer money”. Every. Single. Penny. The amount of tax payer provided salary that the employee contributes to his retirement fund from his tax payer provided paycheck ranges from insignificant to miniscule. The remainder of his tax payer provided pension is comprised entirely of tax payer provided tax revenue. By far the best course of action for public employees / pensioners is to simply sit quietly while the current wave of tax payer rationality rolls by, which it will, smug in the knowledge that in California what is stolen can never be reclaimed.


Citizen

Check out the discussion of this story on the Tribune.


viamagnolia1

CPRN2012 has the very first resident petition on line on our new interactive website. You Paso Residents may want to sign it. We are in process of getting our supporters over to the new site.


You do not need to be a member to sign this petition.


You will need to be a member to blog on this site.


viamagnolia1

I tried to post this same message on the Trib site but they stopped me from posting it. Why do you suppose that is?


zaphod

they probably have a over sensitive spam filter and the “2012 ” triggers my guess . not suggesting just guessing!


pasoman

Bob Cuddy (sp?) runs the website. ;-)


limitedgovernment01

Lisa will receive a pension worth $3 million+ when she retires at 50 and lives to be 80 ($100,00 x 30 years = 3,000,000). Guess that was not good enough for her as she tried to get another $3 million from taxpayers for a GRAND TOTAL of $6 million. Was she that good of a police chief?


Ted Slanders

“Was she that good of a police chief?”


As the history shows, most likely NOT! But, she allegedly was a great bar dancer, fondler, grabber, flasher, and manipulator of Paso Robles tax money for her own gain!


Dogpound

Why are these types of posts allowed on this site? Name calling? Grow up.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea we all get it dog, you work for the city of Paso or in a Gov. type job. If you don’t like my post I suggest same as to others, move along and don’t read them. That is called free will and I don’t think anyone has taken that from you.


danika

Ahem…please define “good”… ; )


Ted Slanders

dankia,


Uh, “good” defined in the respect of dancing lewdly upon the bar. Fondling is “good”, because put it in perspective, is there ever a bad fondling relative to a man receiving same? Let’s see, grabber is self-explanatory and is “good”, unless it is forceful in the grasp part. Flasher seemed to be “good” because of the size of her breastesess!


Of course, this is a man’s perspective.


Dogpound

The pension from PERS in not “taxpayer money”. The employee contributes a % of salary into PERS toward retirement. PERS then invests all the money they get from PERS members and makes money off the investment returns (when the economy is not taking a dump). When a person retires there are no longer any contributios made into PERS. It is also not fair to say that none of it is taxpayer money, but since these are “gov’t” employees, of course taxes comes in to play. To say that tax payers are footing a $6 milion dollar bill is not correct.


MaryMalone

Employee contribution rates range from 5 percent of pay for legislative, judicial branch, and California State University employees to 11 percent for some public safety workers. State employee contributions are expected to total $1.3 billion next year.

(http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?bc=/about/press/pr-archive/pr-2011/may/contrib-st-pension.xml)


Employers’ contributions vary, depending on how much the employer has decided to contribute. It can range to 15% of employee’s pay.


Since taxpayers pay for the costs of government agencies in California, it is, indeed, TAXPAYER MONEY that is paying for the employers’ contributions to CALPERS benefits for its employee.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea and let us not forget that unlike coventional 401’s that can go down, if Pers goes down the taxper has to subsidize, so that the employee still gets same pension.


limitedgovernment01

Your statement is VERY misleading. The percentage that the employee makes only covers a small part of their pension. Most of the contribution comes from the employer (state, city, county).


The employees contribution is based on a % of pay throughout his career. However, the pension that the employee receives is based on the final year salary. What if that employee worked 29 years at a salary of $50,000 and just one year at $100,000? Monies invested by the employee and employer are based on 29 years at $50,000 and one year at $100,000. Instead of receiving a pension of $45,000 (90% of $50,000), the employee will collect a pension of $90,000 (90% of $100,000)…twice as much! The employee will get $100,000 per year for life. Monies contributed by the employee come nowhere close to covering his pension.


Many people have referred to this pension practice as a Ponzi scheme. Here in CA the State must pickup any short falls needed by CALPERS. If the State does not have the needed funds, then it must get it from the taxpayers or some other way.


pasoman

Dog pound, look…


If App retires and gets $150k per year, there is NO way he contributed enough taxpayer funded salary to cover that. For a self employed person to get $150k per year at 65, they would need $3.75 MILLION in their IRA. Financial planners rule of thumb is 4 percent withdrawal rate per year.


So, take the annual salary and divide by 0.04 to get the amount needed.


Do you think App contributed $3.75 million out of his salary? LOL. NO!


danika

Stating the obvious here, the public employee’s entire salary comes from tax payers money. If any of that money is used toward that public employees pension, the originating source of that pension money was from tax payers money. Therefore, both the salary and the pension is paid by tax payers. Since the State of California is responsible for the entire debt of CALPERS unfunded liabilities you mentioned above…that debt is to be paid for by…wait for it…wait for it….taxpayers money. So, we pay them, we pay their pension and we pay the unfunded liability debt. We do not pay the gained investment return (when the economy is not taking a dump) directly. But where does that investment money gain come from, hmmm? Indirectly from the tax payer. Yeah, we kinda do foot the bill all the way around.


I support our public service employees. I believe they are hard working (a few exceptions come to mind) fair minded people who have bills to pay, just like non public service employees. We don’t like to stop and think where their money comes from and they don’t either. But it does come from our taxes, directly or indirectly.


jackal

Thank you James Bailey. Now can we talk you into running for Mayor?


SewerHeightsRez

A workers comp claimant is entitled to payment of actual medical expenses yes but can only sit home and receive a check if the insured refuses to offer modified duty, which can be something along the lines of sitting on a couch in City Hall and reading magazines all day. If the employee refuses modified duty they forfeit the check. The WC scam can easily be replaced with the well-traveled disability scam.


danika

More questions: was modified duty offered and refused? Were medical expenses submitted for

payment? Is there a disability claim pending at this time?


Thank you, SHR!


oldbrown

Danika, one thing that’s missing in this story is any mention of Solomon’s First Report of Injury which is typically referred to as DOI (Date of Injury). It’s the first step in the process and there can’t be a claim without it. The First Report of Injury is filled out by the injured employee and requires the signature of the employee’s supervisor. The report requires specific information regarding the injury including how the injury was sustained.


oldbrown

I forgot to add this portion of California law.


“Any person who makes or causes to be made any knowingly false or fraudulent material statement or material representation for the purpose of obtaining or denying workers’ compensation benefits or payments is guilty of a felony.”


danika

OldBrown, thanks for the input, it is appreciated. We are aware of this and are working diligently to bring a call to action in our community in response to this issue. Please check back later for more detail.

Blessiings.


Ted Slanders

Now, when is James Bailey going to follow up and send equal emails to James App concerning the “hush money” that was paid out in the sum of $250,000 to Lisa Solomon?


Using Bailey’s quote; “Don’t the citizens of this city deserve this knowledge?” In the same vein as he questioned the workman’s comp claim, now the TRUE why and wherefore of the $250k should be investigated as well and ALL documents pertaining to this degradation should be exposed!!


As if the Paso Robles citizens were as ignorant as the City Fathers and couldn’t see through this ruse. What a joke.


SLOBIRD

This W/C claim has definitely cost the taxpayers already. From the day anemployee files a claim they go out on worker’s comp and they get paid under w/c based if the claim is accepted by the City (which it was according to App’s and the CC) and based on the contract established with the City and it’s employees get full pay for an established period of time (say 90 WORKING DAYS) although it may be different for safety employees. Another words, Lisa has been getting weekly W/C payments based on her full salary from the time she filed suit until the day she closed the case, assume this was over a month in addition to the $250,000. Nice going Lisa, bleed the taxpayers for every cent you can get.


oldbrown

SLOBIRD


FYI: Solomon is considered a Safety Member and as such her benefits are described in California Labor Code 4850. Under that code she’s able to be off for 12 months (on full salary) in order to recover from her “injury”. Additionally, the salary she receives during those 12 months is not taxable.


Crusader

It App receives a “package” (other than that of his cellmate), the people of Paso Robles have failed.


SewerHeightsRez

In the larger scheme of things, this changes nothing and improves nothing. It just forced them to employ a minor evasive tactic to deflect a temporary nuisance is all. This will pass and “business” will continue as it always has for many, many generations. I’ve lived here 40 years and know for a fact south county is as south county does, always has and always will; a continuous, unbroken pattern of public corruption and thievery, some of it perfectly legal because they themselves have legalized it. This changes nothing. Inbred, imbedded, systemic corruption is absolutely the fundamental defining feature of south county politics, law enforcement, and public employment. This is a demonstrable fact that all who have attempted to rectify in the past understand very well. The recorded history of south county is very simply one of thievery of tax dollars from day one until day this. Rotten to the core, from top to bottom, inside and out. The smart move is to get in on as much of that action as possible or get the hell out.


Crusader

No question that it will require hacking the head off the monster in the form of James L. App and the Paso Robles City Council to realize real, long lasting reform.


App and the current city council must go.