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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Heard Velie on Congalton tonight, boy I wish she was a regular, like once or twice a week.

Anyway, the thing about how she was treated by Tony Cipolla is more and more troubling…to avoid her her questions and then turn around and send out a press release is just sleazy, dirty pool! I hope she sues the crap out of the Sheriff’s Dept, there are laws about fair treatment of the press and in this case…they violated it!

At least Steeb’s biggest fan, Chris Adams, CUSD Superintendent will have his back as far as he goes. Plus he is probably praying for him. It’s a win win. I agree with the post about students at CUSD having a hard time respecting Steeb. Just like when the superintendent (or his family) write a fake letter to the editor, how can you respect that?? We are supposed to teach our kids by example. Nice.

But when a superintendent acts dishonestly (writing the fake letter to the editor) and also pray that the outcome of the object of their prayer is in their favor, doesn’t that invert the prayer and turn it against their cause?

I wish Ted was here. He would have an answer.

Everyone thought Jerry Sandusky was a great guy, too…..Just saying.

The reason stories like this get so much attention is because so many of us know just how corrupt the system has become. Most of us know stories about corrupt cops. Most of us know about a retired prison guard who’s retired at 50 making more money that we are. Most of us know of a fireman who works two days a week who will retire at 50 and will make more money in retirement than a lot of us do in a lifetime in the work force. The cops have the best 4th of July parties because the light off all the illegal fireworks they have confiscated. All of us see these cops NEVER use a turn signal. Something they would only be too happy about to pull us over for. We’re sick and tired of the double standard of these public employees feeding themselves like pigs at the trough while displaying less than honorable behavior on and off the job (where did you go Ryan Mason?? We all can’t wait to see you get out of this mess because of the good ol’ boy network!) How about the cops we know that drive after drinking, knowing they have no problem if they get pulled over? It’s just too much for a lot of us to take. The above the law mentality of many of these people is out of control. And when you combine that with the massive amounts of our tax dollars you take from us………………….well, it just make many of us sick to our stomachs.

Welcome to the POLICE STATE.

Please enjoy your stay.

No photos or cell phone recording of police activity, please.

Come again soon.

101slo…..SLO firefighters work more than 2 days a week and those days are 24 hour shifts. In order to retire at 50 years old, you would have had to start on the job at 20 (you need 30 years of service) and most firefighters do not start even close to that young.

Regarding Ryan Mason, you don’t know what happened in that bathroom…..were you there?

You say you’re sick and tired of the “double standard”…..well I’m sick and tired of people like you who make sweeping, general assumptions about things you are not educated about.

Get over yourself.

QUOTING SLOJO: “Regarding Ryan Mason, you don’t know what happened in that bathroom…..were you there?

I wasn’t there when Jerry Sandusky raped children, yet I formed an opinion on the charges against Sandusky, based on the evidence available to the public.

The “were-you-there” illogical meme is a testimony to the desperation of the local first responders posting here.

In attempting to set the bar ridiculously unreasonably high (i.e., that a person forming an opinion based on the available information to the public, to be credible, must have been an actual eye witness to the event), it shows how worried these posters are about the impact of the pathetically small amount of information to which the public has access.

I believe, in an attempt to shield the likes of John Ryan Mason from the public-opinion results of his own actions, you are actually further tainting the reputation of the SLOFD. I’m sure you’ve read the investigation reports. So have I, and many other members of the public, as well.

Mason got a free ride from the local LE agencies FOR YEARS when he violently assaulted civilians. He’s finally being accountable for a violent attack that could have killed the victim.

If a violent assailant is repeatedly striking someone in the face (including with elbow strikes, and extremely forceful type of blow to be used to a victim’s face) to the point where Mason’s victim had to have multiple plates and hardwires placed to stabilize the front of his skull, it would have been easy to have shoved the nasal bones up into the frontal lobes of the brain, either by lack of control or intent of the attacker.

The fact that Mason left his victim unconscious and bleeding on the floor of a bar’s men’s public restroom certainly could have caused a fatal infection.

And you have the freaking gall to ask, in response to a member of the public’s post which includes an opinion about John Ryan Mason’s vicious violent asasul,t “Were you there?”

I really don’t know why the Sheriffs Department and the Fire Department have not instructed their employees to stay off public message boards because it does nothing but further inflame the public. However, the fact that they have not is truly a testimony to the pathetically pIss-poor management and leadership in both organizations.

Oh Mary…..**yawn**


I hear you brother. You will likely never be able to educate some on certain forums who have no direct contact with LE, FIRE or EMS. The general population hears or reads bits and pieces of what these professions do and get paid, benefits, etc. some factual much of it not factual and develop a mindset. Few are ever accurate in their rant. It’s no wonder they are twisted with anger from the information the have gleaned from who knows what source. Be assured that the judicial system and the pillars of the community have a much more favorable, realistic and mature view of those that serve. I say let those that want to blow off some steam do just that.. It may help them in their personal life.


I understand your anger about double standards within government. But this double standard exists throughout all branches of government and in the private sector too. We attorney’s tend to look out for each other and so do doctors, accountants, judges, some members of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs look out for each others business interests. Double standards exist and what makes us angry is when we see it occur among people whose salaries we pay. It is okay to criticize the double standards and lack of equity but remember most of our police officers and fire fighters do a good job in spite of our criticism of them. I wouldn’t want their job; the idea of running into a burning building or running TOWARDS the sound of gun fire scares the hell out of me. While we must carefully watch what our elected leaders pay our cops and firemen I for one am grateful that someone is willing to step up and do their job.

Thank you for your post. Those that walk the walk certainly see life differently than those that do not.

I agree with your post, and I am grateful for those who chose LE and other first-responder careers.

IMO, it isn’t an issue of a “double standard” for LEOs and first-responders. It’s an issue of, as a condition of their employment, being required to do the things the majority of the public don’t want to do. Part of what they are required to do is conduct themselves at a higher level of “upstanditude” than the average JQP employee is required to do.

They are held to a hire standard because they carry lethal (and non-lethal) weapons on the job, and because they have the power to arrest a civilian, based on their own judgment and interpretation of the law.

They sign morality agreements, as a condition of their employment, regarding how they conduct themselves on, and off, the job. If they don’t live up to that agreement, then they should be fired.

Taxpayers fund the training LEOs undergo as a condition of them carrying a firearm or other lethal-force weapons in the line of duty and as a condition of being able to arrest a civilian. Taxpayers also pay for the weapons our LEOs use in the line of duty.

Taxpayers also pay for the lawsuits against the county that occur when LEOs err in judgment and are convicted of crimes, in the line of duty, against civilians.

We have a logical right to hold our LEOs to a higher standard because we, the public, have granted them more rights (some of which can kill civilians or other LEOs).

Our lethal-force-carrying LEOs must have good judgment, and must be able to meet the conditions of their agreements with the county, including the morality agreements, because, if they break one agreement, it is much more likely they will break other agreements, as well.

Considering part of their job includes carrying lethal weapons and having the sound judgment as to when they should, and should not, use them, I believe it is imperative that our LEOs both uphold their agreements AND remember what taxpayers have paid for them to use when it comes to when, and when not, to use weapons against civilians.

Sorry, but I might have just a different viewpoint here (and I don’t have some swanky govt retirement fund either)…..But

These guys were hired and retirement was a part of the employment package they had. They worked for it, with the assumpation it would be there when they retired. Don’t blame the govt employees for taking advantage of the best opportunity possible. You and me would have done the same damn thing if we had the opportunity.

Who you should blame is yourself for voting in politicians who allowed these types of programs and employment laws to be enacted. If you don’t like it, it’s too late to honorably take back back what was given as payment for services rendered.

Change future packages. Vote in people who will really represent the PEOPLE, but don’t blame people for taking the best job with the best benefit package they can get.

For those who like to follow hanky panky news, you might pay attention to the local water issues.The price of a cold shower is about to go up thence hanky panky will not be news anymore. 178 comments on THIS and only 4 on water conservation, what’s up with that?

I agree. I believe this topic is very close to home of many of the posters. They have a kind of anger and frustration regarding their lives or their families lives and it manifest itself as we see, bashing a LEO when the chance arises. Cop bashing is a national pastime in the USA. Those that bark the loudest are victims of reverse psychology and actually pointing their finger at themselves.

I could also post psychological opinions about the slimy toadies posting here who are apologistas for those who commit domestic violence and those who have affairs with their co-workers’ wives.

However, that would be invalid and illogical since I have not met anybody who posts here. Therefore, I would simply be using–in the form of an attack–an uninformed opinion about the psychological status of those with whom I agree here.

So, instead, I’ll ask you about the article about Todd Steeb–“A Day In the Life”–and ask you, who seems to know the major players, why it was that this article doesn’t include, in “A Day in the Life” of Todd Steeb, Steeb having sex with a fellow deputy’s wife.

Without listing all of Steeb’s activities, it really kind of gives an unrealistically positively slanted impression of Steeb.

This is hilarious! One wouldn’t think that a farm tractor could do that kind of damage to a bunch of police cars, must have been a great big heavy one! Well that will teach them to think twice before they go arresting another hard working farmer with a big tractor! LOL

That’s not the topic of this folder, is it?

If you want to discuss that issue, you can write and submit an opinion piece to CCN (and other news publishers) and, if the op-ed is published AND readers are motivated, they will post their opinions.

Open post to TS’s wife C.

I know both of you.

Do you know all the past conduct of your husband?

Are you turning a blind eye or do you just deny it and accept it or do you not know?

You are a great woman, he’s not worthy.

I’m sorry but he’s not.

After reading all your posts, Psych 101 class taught us you are speaking about yourself.

You seem to like to make attacks against posters whose opinions you are impotent to refute. You seem to like to use uninformed psychological opinions in these attacks.

So why don’t you give us your psychological opinion of a wife who remains married to a man, and allows him to come slopping home after he’s screwed another woman.

I do not know either one of them but from what i hear….this is not the first time or the second time this has happened. I feel sorry for his wife but i also say, If she continues to except his behavior he will never change.

Perhaps, at this point, she is hoping a furious husband will make her a widow, enabling her to Steeb’s various forms of life insurance and pension.

This will certainly make it hard for the kids in town to respect Officer Steeb, and quite frankly, I don’t really want him coming by my house to check on my wife’s well being. I don’t care how many good deeds he has done or how many bad guys he has shot. If you can’t trust your partner, then your effectiveness is lost.

I have read all of what you have to say. To those of you who think you have the right to cast stones against Todd, I ask you this:

* Have you or do you put your life on the line for your community for over 15 years? (Lets not forget Todd’s time as an EMT and Fireman.)

* Have you spent countless hours in community service work, so many hours that you can’t possibly count?

* Have you NEVER committed a sin in your whole life?

Well since Mother Theresa is Dead, I think the answer would be no to 99.9% of you .

I know Todd, and when I needed help raising money for kids to go to camp he said yes without hesitation. About 95% of our community slammed the door in my face and said no. When there were little to no people at my fundraiser , he called people he knew. I know every single person that wrote a check to my fundraisers, and I can assure you that not one of you that are writing a blog and casting stones ever contributed to our community’s call for assistance to help these kids.

In fact, the majority of you are blogging during work time or are out of work and should be looking for work instead of casting stones. Todd hasn’t committed any crime, he made a very stupid mistake. And No, all the community service that he has done in our communities shouldn’t be over looked or forgotten because he did make a difference at that time when he made the commitment. Are you telling me that NONE of you have EVER made a dumb mistake that you were sorry about? Just because you didn’t get publicly flogged for it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

How about his so called friends? How many times have you asked him to help you with something and he did it on one of his very few days off? Where are you now? Are you standing behind him or are you keeping your distance?

If any of you can say that you have risked your life to serve your community, put in community service and have never done anything wrong, then by all means cast your stones. But if you don’t fit into all 3 categories like Todd does, then you have no right at all. The Sheriff will dish out the punishment that fit’s the crime. It is none of our business. What is our business is the homeless problem in our county, the unemployment, sewer spills that get swept under the rug right under your faces and you don’t notice because you would rather gossip out sex. Go back to work people!

Thanks Todd for chirping in.

Good post and I respect your opinion.

Nice to hear an opinion of the mop-and-bucket-brigade.

This poster made some good points but to say that boinking your friend and subordinates wife was just a mistake! How do you do that by mistake?

Very nice attempt to blame the messenger, and shift blame for the Steeb-Pozdolski scandal onto those discussing it.

Unfortunately, the effort is a tad too transparent.

Really, how dare you attack posters on a message board because you don’t like their opinion about a sleezy SD scandal and the attempts to cover it up.

I think Steeb must have legions of pals with buckets and mops who go around cleaning up his sloppy leftovers for him.


He was screwing around with a fellow deputies wife. I don’t care about how many cats he saved from a tree, the guy can’t be trusted. If he is stupid enough to screw around with another cops wife and thus help to create turmoil in his department then he is too stupid to have this job. I hope Sheriff Parkinson has the balls to fire him once he is done investigating the complaints made against him.

Wish his wife would’ve left ages ago. All I can think when isee her is Get Out now.

He’s an awfulmperson, serial cheater.

And Ihave never heard one person say anything nice about him or have any respect. He’s a sick sad

joke with a gun..

“And Ihave never heard one person say anything nice about him or have any respect. He’s a sick sad

joke with a gun..”

You post are working against you. Classic sour grapes from someone with suspect motives.

Here’s a first for you. Maybe I’ll make you day? Todd is well respected by many members of the community. He has assisted on calls he did not need to, but went the extra distence to help out and more important helped the citizens involved.. So there you have it.. You have now heard what you claim you have never heard.

Todd is respect by many members of the community because the Sheriffs Department has pimped him as a good-guy public-relations outreach effort. The majority of people don’t know the specifics of Steeb’s alley-cat-in-heat ethics, nor do they know that he had an affair with a fellow deputy’s wife.

I don’t think many parents would want their kids going on his “ride-along” programs, or other outings, that is for sure…not without making the kid suit up for haz-mat safety. Who knows what Steeb has used the seats of his patrol car for.

I’ll quote poster GORDO:

He was screwing around with a fellow deputies wife. I don’t care about how many cats he saved from a tree, the guy can’t be trusted.

BS, he is not respected by anyone! He shows up on calls just to show up because he has angrand delusion of being the world’s greatest Resident Deputy.

This guy thinks he is the law of whatever beat he is on and being he is the resident deputy of Cambria, a position he created for himself, he thinks he can do whatever the f he wants.

He goes above and beyond all right, so did Manson though.

Why hasn’t he been fired? There’s a political reason that I don’t know but I just can’t wait

*sarcasm* til it all blows open and his wife and kids are embarrassed more and we get to

Pay for it.

So “Jack L.”, let me claim the first spot in line to say told you so.

Those that try to hold a LEO up against the level of absolute perfection, should reflect on the highest office in this county. Few of our presidents have walked the straight and narrow. Deputy Steeb is welcome on my property unless it is proven that he would not be capable of executing his duties. Ask the pillars of the Cambria community what they think of his service.

Personal life should not have any bearing on job performance of ones duties. Unless one can prove they do regarding this deputy, I welcome his service anytime I would be in need. The last thing I would care about if I could not breath, or a psycho killer was lurking at my door would be what the responding deputy did the day before, on his time off, that was not illegal.

I think your caution is warranted. Do you have a sense of how others in Cambria feel about entrusting Deputy Steeb to having access to their family?

Does Todd Steeb have a history of intradepartmental affairs?

I would bet the answer is no. What about deputy Pozdolski or his wife? Do they?

Really? At his age, this is his first intradepartmental affair?

Oh, that’s right. It was domestic violence and a suspension that I heard about. Never mind.

One would have to defer the scenario to the law team for specifics. Interdepartmental issues are often not released as public information. Many situations where a arrestable crime has not occurred is handled behind closed doors because there are privacy laws when dealing with public agencies and their public employees.

Oh, I see. You are quite willing to attack others by making uninformed psychological diagnoses of their mental health, when you have never even met them—but you grow coy when it comes to talking about an issue relevant to the discussion…whether Steeb has a history of floozy-mongering.

Your self-serving coyness demonstrates your ethics.

From what i understand, Steeb has indeed had Interdepartmental affairs but you can also call them him being a predator. Pozdolski and his wife have not.


Infidelity is not a crime however violates workplace rules nearly everywhere so employees may be subject to discipline. The problem here is, Peace Officers are held to a higher standard than normal civilians and should know where the line is drawn. That line was crossed when the Domestic situation occurred.

The other issue is integrity. Given the higher standard rule, all parties involved show little integrity or honor. Thirdly, If the Sheriff knew of or ignored the illicit affair, he owns some culpability of the end result. Had this issue not been made public, most likely there would have been no arrest and this would be one more notch in the 75% divorce rate Peace Officers suffer through for doing a tough job.

Unfortunately, IP is a politician first and a manager second. He wants to claim transparency but does what he needs to in order that his image isn’t tarnished. If a Deputy needs to be tossed out as a pawn, IP will do it quick to make the problem go away. It’s all about damage control.

Could be some counseling, time off or demotions involved. The public system offers otherwise dependable employees a chance to correct their behavior if it was the employees first offence.

1. “Had this issue not been made public, most likely there would have been no arrest…”

WRONG. The arrest occurred weeks before CCN published about the arrest and the affair between Steeb and Mrs. P. The arrest may be unusual, and the reason for the unusual arrest may stink, but it has nothing to do with the knowledge of the affair becoming public.

2. “The problem here is, Peace Officers are held to a higher standard than normal civilians and should know where the line is drawn. That line was crossed when the Domestic situation occurred.

The line was crossed twice: when Steeb and Mrs. P initiated their affair, and Steeb sh@t on his wife and his marriage, and when Todd Steeb initiated an affair with Pozdolski’s wife who is not only the wife of a fellow deputy of Steeb, but is also a dispatcher for the SD.

Deputy Steeb very efficiently defecated on two people at once when he chose to initiate an affair with Pozdolski’s wife. AND he defecated on Pozdolski twice: once as the cuckolded husband, and once as a fellow deputy.

Steeb certainly has a rep for cheating left and right and he has hit on me a very overt way many times.

Everyone knows he cheats, geisha

No one respects him, he’s a bad joke in Cambria, itching to pull his gun out, get those perps Steeb.

And ask any Sheriff what they think of him, no respect there in any way.

Can’t believe his badge hasnt been pulled already.

Not geisha,lol, geesh is what it should be.

LOL….you may have been correct the first time. Who knows what posters do behind closed doors? =)

He has been in trouble before.

He thinks Resident Deputy means he owns Cambria.

Uses the cruiser and uniform and position to meet women.

Everyone thinks he’s a sick joke…and embarrassment.


Here’s a Shakespeare quote be that seems to fit you;

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

I wish we all could review ever aspect of your life. I assume that would be quite colorful.

It does no good to try to make this discussion about everything and everybody else but Pozdolski and Steeb. All it does is make the supporters of Pozdolski and Steeb look desperate to do damage control.

I wonder how many people Steeb has following him around, mopping up his leftovers?

This is why i am posting. I feel Pozdolski needs someone that knows him to back him on these comment pages. Pozdolski is raked through the coals for all this. I am not saying what he did was right “kicking a trashcan.” I do firmly believe they are trying to use him as an example.

My life has many colors. Almost all except the colors of being a cheater, disrespecting my

kids, abusing my position, using tax payers money to go on cruises and drive ridiculous

yellow hummers and pick up chicks in uniform……

My colorful life isn’t one painted in sleaze.

If what you say is true, you–and others who feel the same way–should write letters to the local government agencies that have Steeb give regular updates at their city council or board of directors meetings. Letters would be appropriate to those who have Steeb do other public-relations activities on their behalf.

He is a pIss-poor representation of the SLOCo Sheriffs Department, and he should not be given a position of authority, both as a deputy and as an expert reporter of department activities locally.

Another good reason to not allow nepotism in the workplace and especially in government within the same agency, department or division. The impact this must have in the workplace for not only those involved but friends, coworkers, supervisors, etc. becomes a financial burden for the taxpayers – again! This seems to occur often at the Sheriff’s Drpartment as I recall several other incidents a couple of years ago, and then the ex-sheriff with his domestic issue, the second in command with his “ex’ reporting him drunk with a child in the vehichle, etc. This is all at the expense of the taxpayers as work is either halted, debated, long coffee breaks, water cooler discussion, etc. The wasted hours. As to the Sheriff’s office not being upfront about this, especially after what us taxpayers have been through with this department and the transparency Ian promised is very disappointing. Come on Ian, don’t play the game of past administrations, you promised us better. As for Tony, he is a little wimp that needs to go back to Santa Mara, he is overpaid and underworked not to mention a liar now. What a loser!

Remember infidelity is not a crime and actually no ones business except those close to the issue. I doubt Sheriff Parkinson has to bring it to the publics attention if there was no crime committed. In fact, I believe journalists can not mention names in certain instances if no crime was committed, it’s a liable thing. I noticed that the other two mainstream media sources did not mention any name except that of the deputy that was arrested.

RUKidding with the comment ” Remember infidelity is not a crime and actually no ones business except those close to the issue.”

You dont know much about the HR rules do you?

Pose your question to former Chief of Paso and the Paso City Hall and see what they have to say about that.

There are rules governing relationships in the workforce bucko and that is why Paso is on the hook.

Think before you type such sillyness.

How eloquent your pen flows.. By ‘rules’ you must mean department policies? Again, it is not a crime when it takes places off duty.. Please state what crime it is? I shall await your Shakespearian prose and note the penal code when you produce your legal based evidence.

As time slowly passes in the minds of those wondering, here’s a hint;

There are no criminal statutes on the books in California that make adultery itself a crime that penalize it with fines or imprisonment or that authorize enforcement of its violation.

You are the only one who has raised the issue of adultery being a crime. Why do you keep emphasizing that?

People get fired every day for reasons that have nothing to do with committing a crime.

How about if the employee has a past record of domestic violence and suspension?