Sheriff’s department sex scandal lands three under investigation

July 30, 2012

John Pozdolski

CORRECTION: While senior deputy Todd Steeb and Pozdolski’s wife are under investigation, Sheriff Ian Parkinson placed only John Pozdolski on paid administrative leave.


An alleged affair between a senior San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy and a lower ranking officer’s wife has prompted department officials to place one employee on paid administrative leave and three under investigation.

Following allegations that senior deputy Todd Steeb was having an affair with a lower-ranking deputy’s wife, the lower-ranking deputy allegedly assaulted his wife, a sheriff’s department dispatcher. After learning of the assault, sheriff officials sent Commander Aaron Nix to arrest John Pozdolski for domestic violence at his home in Los Osos on July 16.

Department officials then placed John Pozdolski on paid administrative leave while internal affairs looks into the allegations.

Shortly before Ian Parkinson was elected sheriff, the department was investigating another sex scandal involving several department employees. In the summer of 2010, a male sheriff deputy and a female jail correctional officer were accused of sexual misconduct on the job and of filing a false report against the wife of a former officer.

Department insiders said the false charges were filed to retaliate against a former lover. However, the results of the department’s internal affairs investigation were never disclosed to the public with officials claiming it was a personnel issue.

In response to a request by CalCoastNews for information on how long the employees have been on paid administrative leave and who was performing the investigation, sheriff department public information officer Tony Cipolla said he would answer questions in an email. However, he instead sent a press release out to county media announcing Pozdolski’s arrest.

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@ Gordo

I read your previous post. If that stuff with Steed did occurr then you and your wife should make a complaint to the Sheriff Dept as it would be in everyones interest to get it documented.

14 flawless years with the SO. Crawl in burning buildings to save people and animals. Kick a trash can and get arrested. Yeah, there’s nothing going on here.

If you equate being arrested for domestic violence with being arrested for kicking a trashcan, you are sick.

Pozdolski’s emotional state caused him to fail to follow his training as an LEO. He knew how and why to deescalate a potential domestic violence situation. He was trained how to recognize a potential domestic violence situation.

Because of his failure as a Deputy Sheriff, he was arrested for domestic violence.

There has to be zero tolerance for arrests for violence in our LEOs. The next time it could end up as a fatal shooting. If Pozdolski failed once, he has the potential to fail again.

And you equate that with “kicking a trashcan”?

Were you there?

For Pozdolski to be arrested, it makes one wonder if this was the first time the LEOs were called out to his home because of domestic violence.

Has an EPO ever been issued?

I wasn’t there when Jerry Sandusky was arrested, either. That didn’t mean I didn’t form an opinion on his child rapes.

Why spanky, because you were there? So you are going to stand trial as a witness and under oath say that he did not beat his wife, he in fact did kick a trash can? Get real. You are embarassing yourself.

Yes Mary I am sick of your type of BS.

DO NOT presume to know his “emotional state”. YOU WERE NOT THERE>

What a lot of hate you must carry inside you.

I will tell you what else sickens me.

An infant being beaten to death by drug using parents.

A child eating crack and being removed from the home but a fetus being exposed to drugs over and over is “re-united” with its mother after it detoxes for months in the hospital.

If someone is angry, kicking a trashcan, as i am sure MANY people have done, is certainly better than turning that anger on a human.

And yes, I have also been taught to “deescalate” situations.

It must be such a strain Mary to be in control of yourself 24/7, even when you are not sitting at a computer tearing down people you have never met.

I’m still wondering what has happened in your life that has caused you to feel that kicking a trashcan could somehow “magically” lead to a fatal shooting.

Let’s see….who was it who was arrested for domestic violence? That was Pozdolski.

I’m not the topic of news article. Pozdolski is the topic of this news article.

Your attempts to shift blame to the messenger are transparent and skanky.

Also, your comment about a “trashcan” is out of context. I was replying to spanky’s post (07/31/2012 at 7:08 am) in which it mentions kicking a “trashcan.”

Interestingly, you also mention “trash can” AND both you and Spanky parrot “were you there?”

Let’s see: the correction was made due to the sheriff’s department not giving Cal Coast News all of the information as far as who was put on paid vs unpaid leave, which is really irrelvant to this entire thread. What is relevant is the question of why is the officer who allegedy beat his wife getting paid leave, but the officer sent to arrest him on unpaid suspension? And you wonder why *we* are suspicious?


The “kicked a trashcan” came from one of Karen Velie’s sources. Karen mentioned it to me in a phone conversation.

The first time I saw it on this board was in your post. I don’t have access to Karen’s telephone calls.

QUOTING MY3KINDER: “I’m still wondering what has happened in your life that has caused you to feel that kicking a trashcan could somehow “magically” lead to a fatal shooting.”

When did I indicate ANYTHING similar to what you claim?

For the last time, *I* didn’t bring up the “trash can.” That was your pal Spanky.

Thank you!

You might like Cal Coast News but their story had to be corrected within hours of breaking. How much else about the report is inaccurate? What is misdemeanor domestic violence? Is it hitting or pushing? No!

More like how much more is the Sheriffs office hinding and trying to hide. The PIO for the Sheriff says he going to comment and send information out bnu then completely changes his mond and avoids the original issue. Makes reporters have to change stories when the information they get changes. Often like those in the “special groups” to change the rules to fit their needs

ALL news publications make mistakes. ALL news publications have to print “corrections.”

Have you read the Tribune online? OMG, they frequently have to print retractions. It’s become a joke, really.

So why are you targeting CCN?

I wonder which of the new posters is Tony Ciapollo trying to “massage the message”?

Assault would precipitate an arrest right off. The other allegations first need to be investigated before one can be reprimanded.

Many know deputy Steeb as he has served as a volunteer or public employee for at least 25 years. First ambulance EMS, then went to paramedic school, then into law enforcement. I remember him giving many hundreds of hours to the community on his time, not paid time. Deputy Steeb contracted TB from working the jail as I recall. He was a resident deputy serving the coastal northern end of the county again providing needed law enforcement where little if any was available at times. Deputy Steeb was a firearms instructor for the sheriff’s department and helped with the sheriff’s citizen volunteer program in the coastal north country area. He’s a good man. Now that I think about it, deputy Steeb has contributed more to our county than many others will ever do.

We all fall from grace at least once in our lives. I know I have.

OK, Steeb fell from grace. Some of us do. He did things he shouldn’t have. He dragged people into his matrix that shouldn’t have been pulled in. Now he has to suffer the consequences. The people that were dragged in want to go on with their lives. Maybe everything should just be dropped and let the chips fall where they may. This sort of thing happens everywhere all the time.

The only thing that should be addressed is did the S.O. pull some crap to cover up something that shouldn’t have been covered up…Todd.

Child molesters are the same nice volunteer , community kind of guys too . So Jack , why don’t we just shut-up and let the investigation work it’s way out .

Yikes. The image of Jerry Sandusky with a gun and the authority of a deputy’s badge is scary.

No matter how much Podista’s apologistas try to twist and turn, they cannot get past this:

After learning of the assault, sheriff officials sent Commander Aaron Nix to arrest John Pozdolski for domestic violence at his home.

Of all of the many apparent instances of pathetic lapses of judgment, Podista’s decision to address his cuckolding by his wife and Deputy Steeb by domestic violence is, by far, the worst. It demonstrates a lack of self-control and willingness to disregard everything Podista had learned as an LEO.

How much taxpayer-funded education and training has Podista received regarding dealing with an escalating and potentially explosive situation? The LAST thing someone in Podista’s situation should do, when confronted with a wife screwing a fellow LEO is to personally confront her.

The fact that the LEO who was screwing his wife was of higher rank has to have made it worse for Podista.

Podista knew all this, yet he went against everything he’d learned about avoiding domestic violence, and put himself in a position where the situation escalated to domestic violence.

The domestic violence is bad enough. However, it is Podista’s abandonment of his training, leading to the commission of a violent crime, that makes him a danger to the community.

If he was unable to control himself once, and went directly against his training as an LEO, it indicates the potential for him to do it again in the future.

SLO has already had to suffer through one violent firefighter, who was allowed to skate after he violently assaulted a civilian–not once, but on multiple occasions. The lack of supervisor judgment allowed the attacks to escalate to the point where Mason nearly killed a civilian.

If we have not learned the error of coddling violent first responders, then we risk another Mason being, again, loosed on the public. However, this time it will be Podista, who will be wearing a deputy’s uniform and badge, carrying a gun and taser, and wielding the power of a LEO.

It doesn’t matter how many boy scount badges Podista has learned in the past. What matters is when he was confronted with a situation for which he had received ample training, instead of using the training to deal with the situation, he completely abandoned it and escalated it to violence.

The issue is not whether or not Podista is a nice guy. The issue is his willingness to create a situation in which violence would be the likely outcome.

I’m sorry, but there has to be zero tolerance for this very dangerous behavior in our LEOs.

Do you know what he did that was referred to as Domestic Violence? If you did you might be shocked that he was arrested.

I have family in the LACounty Sheriffs Dept. I know that the bar for arresting deputies on anything is much higher than it is for arresting civilians.

I know that for Pozdolski to be arrested, it was probably more serious than a misdemeanor. The department would likely not have arrested its own–sending a commander out to do it–if it was simply a misdemeanor.

I also know about domestic violence. A family member ran a court-diversion program for those arrested for family violence who qualified.

That’s the way it used to be Mary but with police shooting other police officers for violating the law I think you’ll see agencys being hyper-sensitive when it comes to this sort of thing these days.

That isn’t my experience. Of course, if it is obviously a crime (especially if it is being video-recorded), the LEO has to do everything by the book.

However, if there is any leeway or wiggle-room, many LEOs will let their fellow LEOs skate, when they wouldn’t let a private citizen skate.

Mary, again you don’t know the facts.


As you seem bent on spinning this situation into something it is not, when the truth does come out I certainly expect to see some kind of apology and retraction for the smearing job you have done on an INNOCENT until proven anything officer.




Using the behavior of someone else (Mason) to muddy the waters of this situation is dirty reporting at best.

I will certainly have a good laugh when the ” violent behavior” allegation is made public, and the response is…..WTF? thats what this is all about? what a waste of time and “paid administrative leave”.

Your attempt to frame the argument as the only persons qualified to post an opinion on a public message board are those who were “there” when it happened is a pathetically invalid argument.

*I* am the only poster who has used the comparison to Mason. *I* am not a reporter for CCN. Therefore, again, your argument FAILS.

He was arrested for domestic violence. LE agencies are very reluctant to arrest their own for ANYTHING, let alone anything with the word “violence” as part of the title.

I think it is far more likely Pozdolski’s charge will turn out to be more serious than the current charge of domestic violence.. They would not have arrested him and put him out on admin leave otherwise.

Sheriff of Nottingham, is that you?

According to my sister, Deputy Steeb has something else going for him – he is good looking.

Maybe at one time he was “good looking.” Oh, what a bitter toll age and gravity takes on all of us.

So a reporter contacts PIO Cipolla to collect some facts on the story being written (the scoop).

Instead of responding to the information request, Tony broadband’s the story/scoop to a giant media list (Rob’s list).

Stay classy San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Cipollo ain’t no angel in this deal.

It makes you wonder how many other “news personalities” are ‘hos.

So the news that came out of Coppola was a lie. And how come Steeb wasn’t put on leave for behavior that Karen says violated dept policy? Maybe because he and Ian are longtime friends? Something is way too fishy here.

I doubt Sheriff Parkinson would have had Deputy Pozdolski arrested without facts to justify the action. With that said I will say that Senior Deputy Steeb is a real slime. He constantly hits on women, including my wife, at Lake Nacimiento where he works as a patrol boat deputy. It does not surprise me he would have an affair with another cops wife. The only thing left to watch is whether the d.a. files this case and if so what it pleads down too. I am curious if any action will be taken against Senior Deputy Steeb. I understand that he and the current sheriff are very close. I guess we will see if the good work and the transparency that Sheriff Parkinson has brought to the sheriff’s department is real.

I suspect Pozdolski was arrested to show the SO in a good light by not appearing to let one of their depuies slide. I think that is a good thing but I also believe it was unwarranted. A misdemeanor domestic violence charge?? That can be charges without actual contact between the two partners. For example, the accused throws something in the direction of the partner. The object hits the wall and a picture falls and hits the partner. There’s your misdemeanor.

Podista ignored all the training he has received as an LEO regarding how to avoid and deescalate potential domestic-violence situations and, instead, did exactly what would escalate the situation to violence.

This is an egregious lack of judgment. He put his own personal desire to confront his slutty wife ahead of his LEO position, employment, reputation, and public safety.

This lack of judgment led to domestic violence.

LEOs carry the authority of their position, a gun, and other weapons on the street, in the public.

We have to have zero tolerance for a lack of judgment that led to an incidence of violence because the same kind of lack of judgment could lead to a worse situation the next time.

Three words: John Ryan Mason. He should have been fired by the SLOFD after his first assault on a civilian. Instead, he was coddled by his managers and chief, and went on to violently assault other civilians, with the last one being a nearly fatal assault.

I would watch this case to make sure some low level deputy isn’t made a scapegoat to ensure a senior deputy doesn’t slide for numerous violations of dept policy.