Mayoral candidate facing criminal charges

October 26, 2012

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE

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.







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SuperDave

For those inclined to say this City would be better of with a new Mayor- your only choices include a guy with a restraining order from a dog (only Michael Vick has reached
this this distinction), and a guy so uncommitted that he waited to long to be on the ballot. Some upgrade, huh?
Admit it, Duane is not the problem here. It’s the guy pulling the strings above him. Duane is working to keep employers from relocating elsewhere (see Applied Technology about to move to Texas, but talked out of it) and his efforts to keep this City running as well as can be with a broken budget, and frivolous spending coming from above his pay grade. Lighten up people, though the place needs fixing, it does not need drunks, or wishy washy types elevated to working on our problems.

BeenThereDoneThat

Yea signs off with other council on quarter million payout to ex chief and I should lighten up? Yea right. I don’t think there is anymore room in the sand along side you to put my head.

IronHub

No one is above Duane’s ‘pay grade’ in terms of authority. He’s the MAYOR, for crissakes! He should be a leader, not a follower. In a strong-manager-weak-council situation like this one, a mayor has the chance to be a very productive boss. Instead, Duane kisses Jim App-ass and lets the Phat Bald Guy run things. No one can spend ‘frivolously’ without Duane’s OK. Duane IS the problem, SuperDave, whatever you might think.

GaryN

I am the WRITE IN GARY NEMETH candidate FOR MAYOR. I filed the papers on Oct 10th. Since then I have walked our neighborhoods, taken the city tours and participated in the formus I was invited to take part in. On the tours I missed two of the incumbants as they never attended to see what a mess they have left us with.

I have gained some great insight from our city employees and the stress they work under. Short staffed in every department with the exceptiom of supervision, the “boots” on the ground are feeling it the most. I am fortunate to listen to current staff andprior staff members who left in good graces who will speak freely with me.

I have been able to listen and speak with citizens all over our community and from all age groups. Some of the comments from their view of the forum and what they saw on CPRN2012 and the questions/answers. Some from the article in Paso Robles Press Election 2012 guide. My answers vs. the incumbant.

I will try to answer this question once more, I ama WRITE IN CANDIDATE GARY NEMETH FOR MAYOR. I was informed there was at least one candidate to challange the incumbant. I want the BEST for Paso, I am very familiar with what happens when three run a race, usually the incumbant wins. Even though I felt I was the best qualified for Mayor, I waited it out as I wanted the best outcome for the city we have grown to love. When no one came forward to challange, I took out papers for a write in candidate.

I would ask you the citizens of Paso if you believe: IS OUR CITY OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE?
Here is SUPER DAVE: Admit it, Duane is not the problem here. It’s the guy pulling the strings above him. At least according to Dave the ENTIRE COUNCIL has ALLOWED CITY MANAGER APP who is unelected to run our city. I always thought that the order of rule was the citizens first, then the city council, then the city manager. In Dave’s world and those that vote to keep the status quo, they want to changethe order of government so the unelected take over. Remember what happens if you, the citizend, are willing to give up absolute power, it does corrupt?

Read what BeenThereDoneThat: Yea signs off with other council on quarter million payout to ex chief and I should lighten up? Yea right. OR

IronHub: No one is above Duane’s ‘pay grade’ in terms of authority. He’s the MAYOR, for crissakes! He should be a leader, not a follower. Instead, Duane kisses Jim App-ass and lets the Phat Bald Guy run things. No one can spend ‘frivolously’ without Duane’s OK. Duane IS the problem, SuperDave, whatever you might think.

By working together we can make a difference. I believe this election IS about who we can put our trust and confidence in. Do you believe as SUPER DAVE states that the entire city council is being led around by a unelected official, and all the problems are not their fault?

I DZO need your trust and confidence that together we can make a differance, WALK your neighborhood, CALL your friends and everyone you know in Paso, ASK them to WRITE IN
GARY NEMETH FOR MAYOR.

Cicero

I couldn’t stop reading this article once I’d seen the first sentence. There is only one news organization that digs in to find out who these candidates are.

There is only one news organization with the courage to shine a light on corrupt officials who have fooled the public into electing them to public office.

CalCoastNews.com brings investigative reporting back to San Luis Obispo County. Most of us contribute to Public Radio to get unvarnished National News. Readers of CalCoastNews can only depend on getting the straight scoop about the service, or disservice, of public officials and wannabe candidates for office by financially supporting CalCoastNews. This is why whenever Cicero subscribes to the Tribune, the Five Cities Times Press Recorder, or the Paso Robles Press, Cicero Contributes to CalCoastNews by clicking on the Donate button (look above the article).

Secure your window to the truth by donating today. Cicero

danika

Gary Nemeth had not filed his papers to be a write in when Jeff Rougeot filed his. This means Jim Reed likely signed the paper for Jeff wanting SOMEONE, anyone to run against Picanco, because no one had stepped up at that point and not because of any love for the guy. I know Jim Reed and I’d bet Jim didn’t know Jeff Rougeot other than a casual acquaintance. Let’s ask Jim Reed to give his view of what happened before crucifying him.

Human Reason

The BIG question is why was a “write-in bid for mayor” even invited to the debate?

danika

All candidates were invited as should be the case. It is unfair political practice to NOT include all candidates. The BIG question is WHY you feel write in candidates should have been excluded?

justme

Because of these CCN releases the cops now HAVE to nail him for something. If he hurts someone now they look impotent and lazy. Watch.

I wonder if a pair of elevator shoes would change his attitude?

Ever hear the term “Little man’s disease”?

Dogpound

The Cops DID nail him for “something” that is why there IS this CNN article, not vice versa. How can the Police be responsible for a drunk if he chooses to drive and does hurt someone?? They arrested him and the Courts allow him to walk free…for now. Don’t blame the Police for this person’s drinking problem, bad choices, and out of control life. Jeff makes the choices he does, and if he makes the wrong one and drinks and drives AGAIN, then that is on Jeff and no one else.

justme

Read it again, he’s been beefing since the 80’s, not just drinking raps, if he wasn’t older and a biz owner, etc. he’d be doing time instead of having a lic. and running for friggin’mayor. But has he ever? Who’s blaming the cops?

MaryMalone

QUOTING JUSTME: “Ever hear the term ‘Little man’s disease’?”

In my youth, I was 5’11”. Back then, that was very abnormal for a woman. I dated a lot, and I dated many men shorter than I was. I wore heels and stood up tall, too.

In my experience, the height of a man isn’t the defining issue regarding whether he is an insecure nincompoop.

The defining fact is the size of his johnson.

Men with little johnsons are very insecure and, ironically, they are what you would call “cocky.” The chip on their shoulders is much bigger than what they swing in their pants, if you get my drift.

slowtime

Thank you for the insight Mary. Your experience has confirmed my suspicions. I guess it really is “little man’s disease.”

justme

Whatever they’re swingin’ down below, some can be a pain in the ass, you can’t hit ’em and they know it, thus they get pushy.
Thanks for the updates on Johnsons. As a proud owner of one, they’ll be useful.

Paso_citizen

Could be that Jeff was just a sideshow- to take some of the heat off of the incumbents. But he would be the worse choice for any elected office.

This city needs changes. Go with your gut, but if we all wake up on November 7 and have the same city council and mayor as today – then we will get exactly what we deserve. We will have knuckled under and became again exactly what the city government thinks we are – little sheep that can be so easily led around.

Vote for change – Write in Jerry Jones for council, vote for Steve Martin. Picanco will be re-elected. Vote No on the tax increase.

MaryMalone

If Rougeot was the “sideshow,” it was a sideshow the Candidates Forum could have easily done without.

The people who put the forum together spent months working on it. So I hope you are not implying that he was invited to speak because the Forum organizers were looking for a “sideshow.”

Paso_citizen

I never meant, nor do I think I implied, that Jeff was a ‘sideshow’ of CPRN or anyone associated with putting on the forum.

My ‘sideshow’ comment was implying that Jeff maybe was put up to ‘run’ for mayor by somebody in city hall. To create a diversion – to take heat off of the incumbents. His personal problems, his lack of demeanor at the forum, his lack of everything indicates to me he was never a serious candidate, but all the press he has gotten sure has taken some the heat off of the incumbents – no?

R.Hodin

I guess having Rougeot in the race is as good a distraction as any other. Just look at all the ink that could have been better spent analyzing the race.

MaryMalone

QUOTING THE ARTICLE: “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….”

WTH, Mel. Jim Reed was the first to sign Rougeot’s nomination papers?

I cannot understand why anyone would endorse Rougeot. Rougeot has been having violent, substance-related issues (including brandishing a gun) for months.

Is that REALLY the kind of City Council Jim Reed thinks the citizens of Paso Robles deserve? How would they ever get anything done? How would the citizens speaking their 3 minutes be treated? Anyone can see how aggressive, insulting and disruptive he was at the CPRN2012 Candidate Forum.

I thought Jim Reed might be a viable candidate, but now….not so much.

Really, what was he thinking to endorse Rougeot?

studioclubnews

it that proves to be true, I am marking Jim Reed off my list… this good-ole-boy club is so spread and ingrained in this town…

danika

Studio and MM,

Jim Reed should be given the benefit of explaning his reason for his signing of Jeff’s petition before hanging him out to dry.

Jeff Rougeot came to my office a couple days before the Forum to introduce himself. I say in all sincerity that I was impressed with his conviction, intelligence, and direction for the city. I thought he might be a viable option against Picanco. His past was unknown to me, his private life the same. I based my opinion that day on how he appeared to be,,,on that day. Then, the Forum production left me shaking my head. He was as different that night as apples and oranges. I was fooled and I can believe Jim Reed was equally fooled.

Jim, I hope you take the time to speak to this issue and clarify your reasons for signing Jeff Rougeot’s nomination papers.

studioclubnews

sounds good Danika… can anybody get him to respond on here?

smiley

If Unabel Maldnaldo unseats Capps Jeff would make a great appointee for Lt. Gov. He could fake it for a few days until he gets the hang of it.