Torres sues private investigator over questions about abuse of homeless

March 27, 2013
Dee Torres asks the San Luis Obispo City Council to approve more aggressive treatment of the homeless who do not enter case management.

Dee Torres asks the San Luis Obispo City Council to approve more aggressive treatment of the homeless who do not enter case management.

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

Dee Torres, homeless services coordinator for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO), has filed a slander lawsuit against private investigator Mike Brennler.

The suit, filed by attorney Roy Ogden, alleges that Brennler slandered Torres in a telephone conversation with her former husband, Charles Barber. Brennler has been investigating Torres and others providing services to the homeless in San Luis Obispo County. Brennler said the suit was an attempt to shut down inquiries into practices by homeless services providers.

Torres has been one of the subjects of a multiple-part CalCoastNews series of articles entitled “Keeping Them Homeless.” The suit has the potential to force Torres, fellow homeless services officials, workers and even the board of supervisors to testify about what they know about the practices laid out in the CalCoastNews series, CCN Editor Bill Loving said.

Torres’ three-page suit claims that Brennler told Barber that, “(Torres) has been stealing money from homeless clients at the homeless shelter and that (Torres) has stolen money from a homeless man named Cliff Anderson.”

Brennler, a former mayor of Atascadero and retired SLO police officer, told CalCoastNews Tuesday that the lawsuit is an apparent effort to “chill” an investigation into questionable fiscal practices by CAPSLO officials and a related nonprofit, Family Ties.

Brennler said his conversation with Barber was not as described in Torres’ filing.

Torres’ suit includes unnamed defendants, referred to as John and Jane Doe, who can be included in the suit at a later date. The 100 John and Jane Does include “radio broadcasting stations and individuals associated with those stations” as well as “an online news agency and associated individuals.”

The timing of the suit was suspect, Brennler said.

Mike Brennler

Mike Brennler

“As far as I’m concerned, it becomes apparent that some of the players are trying to keep potential wrongdoing as far under the radar as possible,” he said. “What I find extremely disturbing is that the lawsuit was filed the day after I had made a public records request to an administrative aide assigned to the Board of Supervisors for federal grant information.”

The suit is an attempt to keep the public from finding out what has been taking place in the system that is supposed to aid the homeless, Brennler said.

“As the legal process winds it way through court, I believe the evidence will speak for itself and expose this action for what it is, an act of desperation aimed at intimidating certain members of the media, as well as anyone who is inclined to cooperate with the investigation,” Brennler said.

The lawsuit could accomplish the opposite, Bill Loving said. Loving is the co-author of a media law textbook and has taught communications law since the early 1990s.

“Lawsuits open the door to the discovery process,” Loving said. “Discovery is that portion of civil suits in which the parties get to discover the information that the other side has. It is a way of avoiding trial by surprise.”

Under discovery, Brennler and any of the defendants later named in the suit, can require Torres to produce documents that show how the homeless have been treated, Loving said.

More importantly, discovery allows Brennler and other defendants to depose persons who have knowledge of the facts in the case, Loving said.

“This means that everyone who works with CAPSLO, the employees and members of the boards of homeless services, and even members of the board of supervisors and city councils, may have to testify under oath and answer questions put to them by Mr. Brennler’s attorney,” Loving said.

 

Torres vs Brennler by CalCoastNews


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Citizen

How many Exs and baby daddys does Dee Torres have? Sounds like Lisa Solomon.


MaryMalone

I think Torres out-floozies Solomon. I know it is hard to believe, but Torres beats Solomon by virtue of the sheer numbers.


kettle

“out-floozies Solomon” Hardly, where is the table dancing and hot tubing? Or is that part of discovery?


Cindy

Solomon’s problem appeared to be alcohol related. Every report always surrounded alcohol, be it in the hot tub, in a bar or having beers with an employee and giving him a BJ. In every case there was always alcohol involved. IMO, Solomon simply needed to stop drinking and while that wouldn’t make her chief of the year, it would have saved her a lot of embarrassing moments.


Torres is a cut from a different cloth. She doesn’t require alcohol to influence a lack of judgement or inhibitions. If it feels good she does it until it inevitably doesn’t. What’s that saying? Oh Yes, “so many men, so little time”.


mbactivist1

Mr. Brennler and others might want to take a look at this Web site: http://www.casp.net/ It is run by lawyers working against “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPP) suits. Torres’ suit certainly has the look of one. There are laws to stop such suits and they may well be applicable here.


kayaknut

Let’s hope Ms Torres doesn’t figure out how to get taxpayer money to pay for her legal costs and in the end, hopefully the cost she will have to pay for the other sides legal bills.


Do lawyers work for gift cards????


MaryMalone

QUOTING THE ARTICLE: “‘The lawsuit could accomplish the opposite, Loving said. Loving is the co-author of a media law textbook and has taught communications law since the early 1990s.

‘Lawsuits open the door to the discovery process,’ Loving said. ‘Discovery is that portion of civil suits in which the parties get to discover the information that the other side has. It is a way of avoiding trial by surprise….’

‘This means that everyone who works with CAPSLO, the employees and members of the boards of homeless services, and even members of the board of supervisors and city councils, may have to testify under oath and answer questions put to them by Mr. Brennler’s attorney”’Loving said.”


BINGO.


What Dee Torres is doing is akin to what message-board posters do when they have no other way to influence the discussion or the outcome of the debate….they attack the messenger.


This is clearly an act of intimidation on Torres’ part, and what a dumb cluck she is for opening herself to the product of discovery.


This is the type of strategy one would expect Adam Hill to launch….and we all know what a doofus it is when it comes to damage control of a scandal.


SloHeadInTheSand

Malone… You don’t have to copy and paste the article for us… It’s right there and we just read it!


MaryMalone

LOL. You may find this hard to believe but it some posters don’t read the entire article. In fact, I believe some posters don’t read ANY of the article.


MrM

Hi Mary,


You posted a plausible explanation regarding the motivations behind the filing of the lawsuit; and you may be correct.

If this explanation is correct, a lawsuit and trial would expose Ms. Torres and others to have behaved as alleged.


Another plausible explanation is that the allegations made by Brennler (and other as-yet named defendants) concerning Ms. Torres behavior are not true; and that she has been publicly slandered with untrue allegations and speculations that have harmed her reputation and damaged professional career.

If this explanation is correct, then a lawsuit and trial would expose Mr. Brennler and other unnamed defendants to have been wrong by making untrue allegations against Ms. Torres.


Either way, I welcome the lawsuit as it will resolve this issue one way or the other.


MaryMalone

Sorry, MrM. I don’t see much about Dee Torres that I would trust to tell the truth about anything.


Your mileage may vary (and obviously does).


karma2come

I’d bet Adam is the one who initiated this in an attempt to save her honor! Good luck buddy!


MaryMalone

No kidding. And trying to saver her honor is a lost cause, especially now that she is looking down the barrel of the discovery process.


Cindy

Well I guess she is going to have to sit her children down and teach them to lie.


“NO SIR, We didn’t go to Tom’s Toy’s with gift cards that our mother gave us” and her friends too, “NO SIR”, ” Dee never gave us any gifts cards”. In the end, they will have to pay for Brennler’s attorney’s fees just like Noori had to pay for Roger Freberg’s.


Smart move Adam, we all thank you.


MaryMalone

Kids learn by example and, considering Torres’ propensity for lying, stealing cash cards from CAPSLO’s clients, having affairs with married men, destroying marriages and families, and using her “feminine wiles” to advance her career….Torres’ kids have already had a lifetime of tutoring in the art of lying, and we will all be very lucky if the ONLY thing they learn is lying.


racket

Little bit o’ lego-journalistic chess going on. I’m liking it.


MaryMalone

Me, too. I expect it will be very educational.


Whyaduck

Go Mike! This is going to get VERY interesting. Torres isn’t the brightest bulb apparently. Why would Ogden take such a case?


womanwhohasbeenthere

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”


Roy Ogden is a high-priced litigator who won some high-profile cases but also lost his shirt on a case he messed up with Drake Farms a few years ago over in the valley. He is in it for the money, silly – just like everyone else trying to make a living.


Nancy

“He is in it for the money”, just like Dee. Difference is that he will get paid and attend lots of depositions.


MaryMalone

Ogden also won’t be the one who suffers when his client has to undergo the discovery process.


In addition, he won’t be the one who goes to prison when the discovery process provides enough evidence for criminal cases against Torres, Biz Steinberg, Adam Hill, and the rest of the co-conspirators in the CAPSLO fraud against their homeless clients.


tomsquawk

How would she know what was said to her ex? Everything I’ve read is that her ex’s don’t hold her in the highest regard. Is this the exception?


womanwhohasbeenthere

Maybe she has a private investigator too!


MarkJames

I believe he is the ex baby daddy that she was actually married to. He probably stay’s on good terms with her for his kid, it makes life easier. Who knows, maybe he needs a job or maybe he called her and told her that the cat was out of the bag and she (Adam) used his statement as a reason to sue Mike. Heck, maybe he wanted a gift card and they cut a deal!


PaulJones

No Barber isn’t one of her baby daddies. Barber was her first husband and he goes way back to their younger days. He doesn’t have any dealings with her as she doesn’t have any of his kids. He doesn’t hold anything against Dee because for Dee, marriage is just something to do and he knows that a divorce was and always is inevitable when dealing with her. Just look at all the trapping around that she went on to do and it isn’t over yet, next……………..


I’m sure Mike Brennler didn’t accuse Dee of anything, he is too seasoned and professional for that. No doubt he asked some questions and Barber called Dee and told her about it. Since good old Barber is still her good old buddy from the treasured younger day’s when life was so easy, she decided to suck him in to this.


PaulJones

sorry “trapping” that would be “TRAMPING”


MaryMalone

Interesting. That would mean Barber would be deposed, as well.


I wonder if he has a clue of what she has really been up to?


PaulJones

I doubt that he knows anything, he goes back way too far and basically has nothing to do with her. In fact I just found out that it was Dee who contacted all her ex’s when she learned about the investigation. I suspect that she contacted Barber rather than the other way around and he probably had a good time with all this. As you might suspect, I know one of these ex’s.


karma2come

So do you have info we should know?


gardenslo

Gotta love the two thumbs down. Its like two “please God, NOOOO” shrieks of desperation.


tomsquawk

i think you got it right $$$$$


MaryMalone

Maybe she took a page from Bruce Gibson’s “legal assistant” ‘s book and illegally listens into private telephone calls.


Ted Slanders

A can of worms can’t open itself, but thanks to Dee Torres, she has opened it in behalf of justice, praise God!


womanwhohasbeenthere

You are so right! Love it!


DennySLO

Ted,

We Agree!

Dee has now opened the proverbal “Can of Worms”. This should be very educational and exposing.


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