A new Paso Robles chief just like the old chief?

October 10, 2012


Dennis Cassidy

A six-person Paso Robles “citizens’ committee” advising in the selection of the city’s next chief of police includes the man whose recommendation led to the eventual appointment of  disgraced Lisa Solomon-Chitty as the city’s first female chief of police.

Dennis Cassidy, a long-time veteran who headed the police department until retiring in July 2007, promoted Solomon-Chitty through the ranks to captain. Before he departed, Cassidy championed Solomon-Chitty to replace him. With tacit approval from council members, City Manager James App then appointed her to the post.

Solomon-Chitty left her position in March plagued by subordinates’ allegations of sexual improprieties and reports of her questionable, perhaps unlawful, management policies and practices.  City officials authorized an investigation into her alleged behavior, but it was not completed when Solomon-Chitty decided to quit her post, and thus its contents have been kept secret by city officials. Solomon-Chitty collected more than $250,000 in taxpayers’ money as she retreated, and publicly blamed the reporting of “an online news service” for damaging her reputation to the point where she was unable to perform her professional duties.

Council member John Hamon selected Cassidy for inclusion in the citizen group “because of his experience and background,” said Hamon.

John Hamon

“I had no second thoughts about picking Cassidy,” said Hamon. “This is just an advisory group.”

Asked if he thought the selected group was representative of residents, Hamon said yes, and then hung up on a reporter.

Cassidy did not return phone calls from CalCoastNews.

Council candidate Jim Reed called the appointment “ridiculous.”

“There is no plus side to this,” said Reed. “It’s just more of the same good old boys, and it doesn’t move the city forward.”

Steve Martin, another council candidate, said he thought Cassidy was picked “because they needed a former police chief on the panel.”

Karen Daniels, chair of Change Paso Robles Now (CPRN2012), also was critical of the appointment.

“Dennis Cassidy was ineffective in his stewardship of the safety of the people of Paso Robles.  Under his watch, both drugs and gangs took hold in Paso Robles. In my view, it is a conflict of interest that the ex-police chief who helped promote Lisa Solomon be chosen by a member of the city council to be on the panel to assist in the selection of the city’s new police chief,” she said.

Lisa Solomon-Chitty

The advisory group, hand-picked by council members and the mayor, also consists of Vivian Robertson, CEO of the Paso Robles Event Center (appointed by council member Fred Strong); Julian Crocker, superintendent of San Luis Obispo County schools, and Ed Bedrosian, a former Paso Robles police captain (Mayor Duane Picanco);  Armando Corella, director of the Paso Robles Housing authority (council member Nick Gilman); and Al Garcia, chairman pro tem of the city’s planning commission (council member Ed Stienbeck).

Prior to the selections, the council decided against enlarging the advisory committee to include more representative citizenry.


As Chief, Cassidy was just as bad as Lisa was in the way of morality. The GOBS (Good Ole Boy Society) just did a better job of protecting him


Maybe because he was smart enough to not play in house… just saying!


For the City Council members to appoint ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the sullied past of Chief Solomon’s debacle only goes to prove they learned NOTHING from that situation.

This is just further proof (not that we need it) that the City Council is NOT listening to the wishes of the citizenry of Paso Robles. And it is well-past the time for them to be voted off the City Council. We need a clean slate here!


Here is Hamon’s city council email address:


It has been said in the past that James App, city manager, intercepts council’s emails and passes on the emails he thinks the council should have access to.

However, a large number of emails (even mailing and/or faxing a copy, as well) will at least voice our opinions.

City of Paso Robles

1000 Spring Street

Paso Robles, CA 93446

(805) 237-3888

(805) 237-4032 FAX


Paso likes to spend money. A better way to handle this, would have been to hire a police chief consultant, from out of area, with NO TIES to anything Paso. I for one would not have a problem spending that kind of money.


Also, the police chief selection process should be postponed until AFTER the upcoming election. Why the rush, city czar App? What’s the hurry, councilmen? Hmmm…..




Name Monthly Annual

CASSIDY, DENNIS $10,409.96 $124,919.52




This quote from Karen Daniels, from the article, says it all:

“Dennis Cassidy was ineffective in his stewardship of the safety of the people of Paso Robles. Under his watch, both drugs and gangs took hold in Paso Robles. In my view, it is a conflict of interest that the ex-police chief who helped promote Lisa Solomon be chosen by a member of the city council to be on the panel to assist in the selection of the city’s new police chief,” she said.”

It is obvious the process of selecting the next chief of police was flawed from the beginning, and that is because the same old , has-been cronies selected other cronies to the advisory panel…which will, predictably, ensure yet another washed-up PR crony is appointed as chief of police, a very powerful position in any city.


Meet the the New Boss, just like the Old Boss.


And we WILL be fooled again.


fhil, you hit the nail on the head with your comment.

There can be no positive change in Paso Robles as long as the PR inbred and in-bed power structure controls who is allowed to participate in the governing process.


I’m surprised Mary that you are not down at Mclintocks with Karen to listen to the challengers. How can you be informed, if you do not take the time to engage?


What a bizarre thing to post. Go away, creepy person.



You have to know what’s happening to effective in your pursuit of change.

Your response indicates you were clueless to this AM’s meeting

If knowing the facts makes me creepy, so be it


Allow me to respond, Mary.

NoMoreAnger: If the Karen you are refering to is Karen Daniels, Chair of CPRN2012, that is me. I did not attend the event held at a restaurant by the Main Street Association today because it was held for the MSA and the encumbents, not the candidates themselves and certainly NOT for the voters of Paso. The venue in which it was held could not accomodate a reasonable number of interested people. The time in which it was held pretty much excluded the entire working class of voters in the city.

Allow me to offer this: CPRN2012 is holding a true Candidate Forum at the Grand Ball Room at the Paso Robles Inn next week. We will have a moderator, 3 presenters, and MOST importantly, open mic questions for any and all people to stand up and ask those candidates who attend their questions…whatever they may be. Before you ask, I am footing the bill for this entire event myself. Why? Because I care that the voice of the people be heard. The city council and Mayor have forgotten that they represent the PEOPLE to the CITY, not the City to the People.

This election is about the PEOPLE being served…not the incumbent Mayor and current Councilmen, not to generate revenue for McClintocks, and not to serve the interest of the Main Street Association.

People of Paso…this is YOUR chance to meet your representatives, those persons you entrusted to speak for you. Come and ask the tough unprepared questions, face to face with your candidates. Participate. Take part. I urge you all to watch for the upcoming press releases about the event and hope you ALL make a concerned effort to attend. We will be able to seat 200 people.


thanks for the info. It would be nice if we all new the time as well as the location so that we can calendar the big event.


The event has been announced and moving forward. You can contact me at CPRN2012@aol.com if you have any questions.


I suggest that when Mr. Hamon comes up for reelection the next time, that we the voters hang up on him, by voting this YUTZ out!! What an A-HOLE.


Agreed. Dennis Cassidy absolutely does NOT belong on the advisory committee. Shame on Councilman Hamon for appointing him.

Also I’d like to know the amount of former police chief Cassidy’s six-figure annual pension… I bet that amount added to ex-chief Lisa’s pension nears a half a million bucks per year.

1 2 3