Mayoral candidate facing criminal charges

October 26, 2012


A longtime Paso Robles business owner making a write-in bid for mayor has an extensive criminal history, was arrested five times in September alone, and faces felony charges for making terrorist threats while brandishing a firearm against a neighbor.

Jeffrey Rougeot’s rap sheet includes at least 10 misdemeanors and the felony, and stretches back to the late 1980s. It includes charges of knowingly purchasing stolen property for resale and several uncontested charges of driving under the influence.

Rougeot, 45, owner of a car stereo business, entered the mayor’s race Sept. 23. He was encouraged to do so, he told some attendees at a recent candidate’s forum, by “a lot of important people” in Paso Robles. The first person to sign Rougeot’s nomination papers to submit to city officials was Jim Reed, a council candidate.

Rougeot showed up apparently under the influence at the Oct. 17 forum in the Grand Ball Room at Paso Robles Inn, sponsored by CPRN2012, answering questions haltingly, and walking in and out of the auditorium on numerous occasions. He also snapped at audience members who laughed during his time at the microphone. (See the video.)

Local media has ignored Rougeot’s actions, even though reporters from both KPRL and The Tribune witnessed Rougeot’s meltdown at the forum.

His deportment in front of an audience of 75 at the forum was explained over the next two days by personalities at Paso Robles’s KPRL radio as the result of “a cold.” And in a recent article days after the forum, The Tribune blandly noted Rougeot was “running to help local youth.”

In fact,  Rougeot has been barred by court order from having any contact with his ex-wife and their two children, even through a third party, because of a domestic violence restraining order. The court has also ordered him not to molest, strike, threaten or come within a 100 yards of a puppy called “Baby.”

Efforts to contact Rougeot for comment were unsuccessful.

Paso Robles police officers have been arresting Rougeot regularly.

On Sept. 22, Micah Warnke, a neighbor of Rougeot, called 911 to report the mayoral candidate was threatening to shoot and kill him with a 9mm handgun. Police arrived to find Rougeot had fled the scene.

Jeff Rougeot

Warnke told police Rougeot arrived at his house, started banging on his front door while screaming sexual insults and “I am going to kill you,” according to a police report.

A woman who lives across the street from Rougeot came home with two teenage girls shortly before the alleged incident. She told police Rougeot appeared drunk, was yelling about not liking Warnke, and that “he was going to go across the street and do something,” the report says.

The unidentified woman told officers she saw Rougeot pull something out of his waist band and raise his arm, but because it was dark, she was unsure what he was holding. The woman related that she quickly herded her teens into the home “because of the way Rougeot was acting,” the report says.

In that same report, the officer cites other alleged instances of Rougeot threatening his neighbor while wielding a gun.

A week before that incident, on Sept. 15, police received a call that a man was slumped over the central console of a vehicle with its engine running and it headlights on in the 400 block of Creston Road. Officers arrived, turned the engine off, and attempted to waken the driver, Rougeot.

“I shook Rougeot numerous times and pulled on his shirt but he continued to sleep,” the reporting officer wrote. “After numerous attempts to wake Rougeot, we finally were able to do so.”

Rougeot told police he was on his way home and that he was tired and had not been sleeping well. Officers attempted to give Rougeot a field sobriety test, but stopped because “he could not keep up with his body.”

“My supervisor and I had to catch Rougeot prior to him tripping over the curb and falling on the ground,” officer Lance O’Brien said in his report. “During a pat-down search incident to arrest, I also noticed Rougeot had urinated on himself while sitting inside the vehicle asleep.”

Rougeot’s blood alcohol was .221 percent, according to the police report.

During September, police arrested Rougeot three times for allegedly violating the restraining order. In one of the instances, Rougeot’s ex-wife called police to report that he was repeatedly telephoning her. An officer arrived, answered a subsequent call, and asked Rougeot to stop calling while informing him that he was violating the restraining order.

“Jeffrey Rougeot then said ‘fuck you’ and hung up,” the report says.

A copy of the Aug. 28 restraining order obtained by CalCoastNews emphasizes that Rougeot cannot own or possess any guns, firearms or ammunition. The court also ordered him to sell his guns within 24 hours of being served, and to bring proof of the sale to the court within 48 hours. The court order warns Rougeot that failure to do so could result in jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Nevertheless, a Paso Robles Police Department records check revealed that on Sept. 22, Rougeot still had two guns registered in his name, one of which is a 9mm handgun.


Sounds to me like he would fit right in to the Paso city government.


This guy is on the express path to a dark, ugly place. His world is spiriling down the toilet and he doesnt seem to notice. I have a hunch this is not going to end well.


I’m bummed he waited so late to run and I’m not a big fan of write-ins, but Gary Nemeth has my vote.


As I watched this yoyo guy at the Change Paso Robles Now event it just added to the circus atmosphere that is now becoming the operation of the city of Paso Robles. As I watch more and more businesses close down, just look at all the empty buildings around town, even the Quizno Sandwich on Spring street in a very prime location is now gone, winery tasting rooms downtown are pulling out, a number of vineyards are shutting down because no tourist are here… I have walked around downtown and talked to business owners and they are very distraught, to say the least. Meritage Lounge Tasting Room downtown, where they remodeled a huge building space for 5 wineries to have tasting rooms is now gone…

After the CPRN meeting I was perplexed that they argued more about the pot holes in the road, and comments from the audiences and the folks running for office frustration with the city manager yoyo and the city attorney yoyo…and all seeming ending with the feeling that there is nothing we can do about these two yoyos or the pot holes…

Looking at the state of this town and the guys that run the town…this Jeff yoyo fits right in the mix, and hell might even win…


Sounds like he’ll fit right in with Jim App and the rest of the criminals already running PR city hall.

Theo P. Neustic

He’d be more suited for Police Chief, at least he’d fit the recent mold.


But does he sing karaoke and dance in the downtown bars? Does he own any low-cut blouses? Has he filed for bankruptcy yet? Probably not BUT judging from this report, he probably HAS left his loaded gun in his unlocked car before… SoTheo’s right! Stop the search, Jim App. We’ve found our new police chief!


what? Jim Reed was the first to sign his papers, and “a lot of important people in Paso” encouraged him to run.

Jeff’s candidacy will only dilute the votes for Gary Nemeth, and help the incumbent Mayor Duane Picano. coincidence?


In politics, that which appears to be coincidental is usually the result of surreptitious planning and secretive execution.


You may be on to something here Mama… fits right in with the moles, running off the car show, how they have handled the street repair, the water and sewer plant, payoff to the table dancing chief of police, there is something very subversive and criminal going on in this town… Covering up the hot springs is still something I want to know more about, and not far from downtown is the house that the founder of the town, who was Jessey James uncle, and where they hid out Jessey James and healed him in the hot springs from a gun wound is all boarded up… what the heck…do you know what a great tourist site that would be… where are the concert halls, where can we stage plays and events in this one horse town besides where the city runs the closed door fairgrounds that smells of animal crap…


Where is the founder’s home located? Just curious. Do you know who owns it?


Way to go Trib! Nice job KPRL! I have so many concerns about this it’s hard to know where to begin.

– How is Mr. Rougeot’s criminal history/present and addiction NOT relevant to the mayoral race?

– Were the Trib and KPRL aware of these issues when they endorsed him as a viable (the best, KPRL?) candidate on the ticket?

– Who is this guy related to in Paso that he is not already in prison?

– Why was he not arrested by Paso police if he is legally banned from owning a gun, but still brandishes it regularly?

– And, most importantly, how long until this man kills someone while under the influence?!


I think his ex-wife and kids, statistically, are at the biggest risk from violence from Rougeot.


To those few friends that were here a few days back on the other article involving Jeff, what is your response now?

Jeff is NOT fit to run for Mayor. He sounds like he needs to get into an A.A. class and a class for anger management. The last thing he or the City of Paso needs, is the distraction of him as Mayor.

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