CAPSLO exonerates Dee Torres?

March 22, 2013
CAPSLO Executive Director Elizabeth Steinberg

CAPSLO Executive Director Elizabeth Steinberg

Faced with allegations of numerous former homeless service employees, as well as ex-boyfriends of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo’s Homeless Services Coordinator Dee Torres, CAPSLO officials now say they launched an investigation — and have completely exonerated Torres.

CalCoastNews reported on Monday that a handful of homeless service employees and several of Torres’ ex-boyfriends say she routinely took gift cards intended for the needy and homeless for her own use. Employees and former clients have also said that CAPSLO case management has failed to return money it holds in trust for some of its clients.

At Thursday night’s CAPSLO board meeting during public comment, Donald Dana asked the board to have an outside investigation look into the allegations raised by CalCoastNews.

CAPSLO Board President Frances Coughlin responded saying, “I want to assure everyone here that the leadership team has evaluated the allegations. They have all been proven false. No misuse of gift cards or client funds.”

CAPSLO’s leadership team is comprised of its seven program managers which includes Torres. The team appears not to have called any of the sources listed in CalCoastNews series on homeless services.



Good management practice by CAPSLO would require its board to demand an outside investigation into the allegations raised by CalCoastNews. Even if their are no improprieties, their behavior is effectively killing CAPSLO’s reputation.

The grand jury is not a bad idea…


Anytime someone denies an investigation there Might be a need for one. A conflict of interest includes the perception of one.


So the Presidents response is;

CAPSLO Board President Frances Coughlin responded saying, “I want to assure everyone here that the leadership team has evaluated the allegations. They have all been proven false. No misuse of gift cards or client funds.”

If this is true, produce the accounting records that disprove the allegations line item for line item please.

Words are cheap, and can be bought. The “Leadership Team” should have proof in the form of records

Biz, please produce the accounting records to the public so we may for once know your truth.


What accounting system is used for the gift cards? Both receiving, and distributed? Is the distribution arbitrary? Is there a merit system? seniority? Lets see the very system used and the documentation the leadership team used to determine the validity of the defense of one of their own.


Technically, Frances only said that the “leadership team” only evaluated allegations. Evaluation does not equal investigation. Evaluation is not the correct term; normally, I’d give the benefit of the doubt, but this is politics, and this may have been a “crafted” response… anyway, that wording sent up a red flag for me.


This is like asking a six year old with crumbs all over his face who ate all the cookies in the pantry. I can just imagine how that “internal audit” went.

BOARD: “Dee–are any of these accusations true?”

DEE: “No, they are not.”

BOARD: “Great. Now on to the next order of business, whose buying lunch today?”

DEE: “I am! I’ve got gift cards to four or five places, so take your pick!”

What kind of organization conducts only an internal investigation with such serious allegations on the table? My faith in CAPSLO and it’s leadership has diminished to disgust.


This community should be OUTRAGED!! How could an interal team find allegations to be unfounded? Did Ms Torres send out an email telling everyone, “i did nothing wrong,” and with that, they wrap up the investigation! Ok so, lets get things straight, former employees aren’t viewed as credible, they are disgruntled; current employees arent credible, if there were problems they would let someone know and then they would be fired; the homeless aren’t credible, they are all mentally ill, drug addicts, or alcoholics; her ex isn’t credible, he beat her and she was issued a rprotection order against him! Why would CAPSLO care to talk to anyone of these people when they have Ms Torres, who is such a victim and targeted by a group of crazy people, telling them the world is a liar and only she speaks the truth! At this point I can understand (not condone) the actions of her ex, than again, I’m really starting to think all that was just another one of her star performances!


I think it’s time for the grand jury to take a look.


That’s EXACTLY what a grand jury is for!


The only problem is that our elected officials seem to just ignore anything from the Grand Jury


I have heard that Grand Jurors are “cherry-picked” anyway… who’s watching the watchmen?


So, They asked themselves if they did anything wrong? I’m 54 years old. I’ve been involved in a lot of different issues in my life. Unions, Police volunteer, Rotary, Navy etc. I have NEVER seen such absolute honesty demonstrated here. It’s a God Damned miracle that all of those people that don’t know each other, have no common interest, demographic relations etc. but, they are ALL liars with identical stories? Why would someone invent a story about gift cards? Why would someone invent a story about something so obviously fake at the same time that someone else invented the same story? Where is the originality? c’mon, if these alleged liars want to go to authorities can’t they do something different from all of those others?


Maybe people should people start making up lies and see where that gets them?


What is still kinda creeping me out is the comment about Dee Torres having a locked safe underneath her desk.

I wonder what she keeps in there….


nothing now


Who was under her desk?


No surprise here. Looks like the good ol’ girls network is alive and well.


There is another possible reason that CAPSLO Board President Francis Coughlin responded as he did.


Possible you know; and ye olde Occams Razor suggests that possibility too.


And like Occam’s Razor, Mr. Coughlin is quite subjective.

And outside investigation would lend more credibility to the board’s absolute denial of the accusations.


Yes…an outside investigation would be credible too.

While I would be saddened to see CAPSLO limited resources spent on what is (IMO) as an agenda-driven witch hunt, that may be the end result. So be it.

As an alternative, the best recommendation given so far is to file a complaint to the SLO Grand Jury.

I recommend that CCN file just such a complaint with the Grand Jury; and provide to the Grand ANY FACTUAL PROOF to the backing up their allegations.

This is a very simple thing to do; after all, as CCN has published 9 articles on this issue they must have some hard evidence (sorry…hearsay from questionable or anonymous sources is not factual proof.)

Meanwhile, please remember that in our culture the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty by the vetting of factual proof by judicial or quasi-judicial reviewers.


It’s elementary. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Or is it?


I think you are absolutely correct, MrM. I think Frances was telling the truth. I also think it was a crafted response designed to be “minimally” (but still technically) true; thus covering his arse (or thinking it will), yet denying the allegations with very little credibility, all based on a definition of the chosen term (in this case “evaluated”).

I also believe this cancer goes deeper than Family Ties and the Homeless Services branch of CAPSLO. I think this rot has infected everything touched by CAPSLO and the involved government/media co-conspirators and propagandists. Maybe it has been the “norm” for so long, there are a few people who no longer realize that it is a crime and a highly immoral act. Who knows.


Hi Roy,

I accept your opinions and speculations; and to validate your opinion insist that CCN (as the primary protagonist in this matter) file a complaint with the Grand Jury.

A Grand Jury investigation would clearly settle this matter once and for all; and either validate or discredit the CCN allegations.

Why CCN has not filed a complaint to the Grand Jury is unknown; and puzzling.

But even if a Grand Jury investigation does not occur, CAPSLO has many self monitoring and auditing protocols they will follow to judge the validity of the CCN allegations. I am confident that those protocols will be just as effective as a Grand Jury investigation.


Why don’t you file a complaint with the grand jury, MrM?


Probably because it’s not his job? Furthermore, if one still supports that CAPSLO/Family Ties is innocent of all these accusations (which, technically, they still are), then why would anyone file a complaint?

We each have our opinions, and I do not recall MrM being wholly behind the majority who feel there is something fishy here. That is fine, as it is his right. So, instead of asking him to file a complaint, we should ask ourselves that. I, for one, have not done anything except spread the word to all I know, and point them to this site. Maybe I am derelict in my civic duties, but that is my cross to bear.


Sorry MrM–there have been too many irrefutable FACTS that lead me to distrust any internal investigation by CAPSLO. A lack of reportable accounting and outright lies regarding the Family Ties board mean that CAPSLO has not been doing their job of overseeing Dee Torres and Family Ties.

When a well respected member of the medical community consults legal representation regarding the board of Family Ties you can be sure there’s something rotten in the state of SLO.


I assume that CAPSLO has D & O insurance in case of malfeasance?


Hi SLOEducator,

Do not trust CAPSLO? Want the allegations investigated and resolved?

Then file a complaint to the SLO Grand Jury listing the many IRREFUTABLE FACTS you have on hand.

Just file the complaint as just arguing and spinning the issue solves nothing.

And if you do not want to file the complain yourself, then CCN is obligated to do so on your behalf. Why? Because CCN is pushing this story big time; and claim to be armed with facts. Let us all see what the Grand Jury thinks.

Until then, peace.


Excellent comment. I’m certainly curious about these irrefutable facts myself. And please, don’t waste time providing links to all the CCN stories.


Well, let’s see the investigation report. If nothing else, it will be good for giggles. It will also turn out handy to include in a followup filings, along with Mr. Coughlin’s glib kiss-off, with the IRS, State officials’ offices, etc.

These pukes really think they are above the law.

I’m also revising my opinion of ECHO in north county. If ECHO continues to use CAPSLO case management, then I don’t hold their organization much higher than CAPSLO.

For the love of God, case management holds so much power over ECHO’s clients, and we’ve all seen how vindictive CAPSLO can be.

The fish rots from the head first, as the old saying goes. However, that still means that the entire fish is rotten.

Torres is in charge of Homeless Services. Coughlin is president of the board. These, and many others involved in CAPSLO, are ROTTEN.

And THIS is what ECHO believes is appropriate management for its north county clients?


Was there an investigation? All I heard was Frances Coughlin reported as saying, “I want to assure everyone here that the leadership team has evaluated the allegations. They have all been proven false. No misuse of gift cards or client funds.” – He never said there was an investigation. It was all based on an “evaluation” that no misuse was found.


What about Cliff ?


If there was an eavluation of such serious issues, there should be a report. If they don’t issue a report, it really wasn’t an evaluation. It was, in fact, members of CAPSLO leadership getting together to get their stories straight.


Possibly. You’re giving them the benefit of the doubt, I take it. I can sometimes “evaluate” something without so much as a second thought… I gave up hoping for a reasonable investigation (or even a semi-detailed evaluation) long ago. This has to get uglier before it gets better, I’m afraid.


So Mr. Fox you where guarding the hen house but never once did you eat the chickens is that correct? Yes sir. No desire to eat the chickens? No. O.k. lets conviene a panel to investigate. Someone else suggests, should we use the general population of chickens to investigate? GOD NO!! Let’s just use his fellow foxes that were in the hen house with him.

And the verdict? Surprisingly all the Foxes agreed that the Fox did not eat the chicken, so they must be innocent.


Simple, yet satisfying! (For the FOX that is) very well put however my stomach is turning about this whole situation.

So, a celebration must be in order for the Torres clan…lets use some of the gift cards and go buy a new party dress to strut around the shelter.

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