Oceano discussing terminating employee

April 15, 2013
Tom Geaslen

Tom Geaslen

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies are looking into allegations that the Oceano Community Services District’s beleaguered general manager committed perjury when he claimed he was an IRS-approved enrolled agent on his Form 700 statement of economic interest, which was signed under the penalty of perjury.

In the past, the OCSD Board of Directors has been supportive of Manager Tom Geaslen amid issues such as failing to file required reports to the state on time, and operating a corporation after it had been suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board.

At a special board meeting today at 9 a.m., board members are scheduled to discuss the discipline, dismissal or release of a public employee. Board members are not disclosing the name of that employee.

However, the only public employee the board has the ability to fire is Geaslen. While the board can terminate contracts with the district’s attorney and engineer, those contract negotiations usually are held in open session.

The IRS terminated Geaslen’s enrolled agent status in 2009. Nevertheless, he has continued to submit bills to local governments that claim he is an enrolled agent.

Geaslen frequently brags of his ability to get the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to give financial support because of his friendship with District 4 Supervisor Paul Teixeira. Geaslen’s wife Deb Geaslen is Teixeira’s legislative assistant.

During a March 13 board meeting, Geaslen responded to questions about funding for a proposed farmers’ market by pointing out his ties to the board of supervisors.

“You know the network I run with and I all need to do is say, hey, I’m trying to do this. I’ve never been turned down for support before,” Geaslen said.




  1. CherieMcKee says:

    I just realized that Geaslen may have been representing himself as an EA to more than the gullible OCSD.
    How many tax returns has he prepared for other people? He’s often overheard talking about doing people’s taxes.
    How many lives will be ruined when the IRS audits all those returns he’s signed since 2009?

    (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      YIKES. There is no way OCSD is going to be able to keep this quiet.

      (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
    • Cindy says:

      The IRS isn’t going to audit someone because their taxes weren’t prepared by an enrolled agent. Anyone can prepare a tax return or many returns and the IRS enrolled agent status is simply there to assure credibility regarding the preparers competence.

      It’s certainly probable that the IRS will fine Geaslen for lying about his current status if a client complains directly to the IRS but no one is going to be singled out for an audit because of it.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        I don’t agree with that, Cindy.

        If the “IRS enrolled agent status is simply there to assure credibility regarding the preparers competence,” and the “IRS enrolled agent” is, in fact, NOT an IRS enrolled agent, then the credibility of the preparers competence HAS NOT been assured.

        That would call into doubt the credibility of the person preparing the IRS submission, no?

        (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
        • Cindy says:

          The IRS wants the public to have the ability to discern a trained tax preparer from a self taught preparer. An Enrolled agent simply means that the individual took the required tax courses and knows how to prepare taxes and knows how to apply a variety of possible deductions for their clients etc. Enrolled agents are NOT about assuring the IRS that they know what they’re doing, it’s about assuring the public when they decide to hire someone to prepare their tax return rather than to prepare it themselves. Anybody can prepare a tax return for anybody, it doesn’t matter to the IRS.

          This guy was certified up until 2009 and is still more competent than the average citizen where taking certain deductions is concerned. The IRS has it’s own criteria that triggers audits and it has nothing to do with whether a person claimed to be an enrolled agent, used turbo tax or had grandma do it for them.

          (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            Can someone convicted of perjury be an Enrolled agent?

            (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
          • CherieMcKee says:

            More competent in preparing taxes, less competent in running a little water dept.

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • DemandTransparency says:

            Cindy wrote: “Anybody can prepare a tax return for anybody, it doesn’t matter to the IRS. ”

            That could not be further from the truth.


            The IRS is coming down hard on ‘shade tree preparers’ – the ones with no licensing, etc. If you get PAID to prepare a tax return, you are required to be licensed. Period.

            The level of your licensing determines the level of responsibility you must exhibit in order to maintain that license. Period.

            With the internet at all of our disposal it still surprises me the level of uneducated pomposity put forth by the general masses. Learn to read, read to learn. It’s good for everyone.

            (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
            • Cindy says:

              I said it doesn’t matter where an audit is concerned. No one is going to get audited because their preparer wasn’t an enrolled agent. I didn’t say the IRS wouldn’t sanction someone for claiming that they’re an EA if they aren’t.

              (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
              • DemandTransparency says:

                To be honest, you’ve asserted several things in your comments lately.

                You are correct that audits are not contingent on who prepared the return.

                BUT. It does absolutely matter in the big wide world if someone puts themself out there as being licensed/qualified to do a job that they, in fact, are not licensed/qualified to do.

                Imagine how you would feel to find out that your pediatrician HAS NOT BEEN LICENSED for the last 3+ years that they have been medically treating your child. Or that your gynecologist HAS NOT BEEN LICENSED for the last 3+ years that they have been medically treating your, well, you know. Or that your husband’s proctologist HAS NOT BEEN LICENSED for the last 3+ years your husband has turned his head and coughed.

                For many people, trusting their tax preparer with their personal tax information is just as intimate.

                Anyone can call that IRS Office of Enrollment number and find out the truth. Several of us have and for us? The jig is up. The lies have caught up to the liar.

                We can only hope the OCSD expects better from their GM. They finally did of Montemurro. There is no reason that Mr. Geaslen should be held to a different, more lax standard.

                (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. MaryMalone says:

    The OCSD website indicates there is a meeting tomorrow, 4/16/2013, on the same subject.

    Also, the irony of the first special meeting being held on 04/15/2013, when income taxes are due, cannot be missed.

    (5) 19 Total Votes - 12 up - 7 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      I noticed, and chuckled, at that too.

      (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Oddly, you got 6 “thumbs down” for just pointing out what was on the website, and a witty comment. People are strange, are they not?

      Things like this always end up costing all of us. This is why “small government” types (aka Tea Party people) do not like larger government – the human factor can always be counted on to be flawed. Seriously flawed, in many cases.

      When we get a government run by Angels, then I’ll be all for a big, centralized bureaucracy. Not until then.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Unfortunately, a big society with a big population needs folks to run things like water and sewer services.

        While looking out for public health issues, it also helps stabilize a society. Government also ensures the health and safety of the masses. Like it or not, an infectious disease, such as TB, is an equal-opportunity killer, and your kid sitting at a McDonald’s next to someone else’s kid that doesn’t have access to health care can end up not only infecting and killing your kid, but all the people your kid is in contact with…and the closer and more frequent the contact, the more chance you have of getting an infectious disease.

        Or, if you want to bring it more close to home…John Wallace’s self-serving administration of the SSLOCSD ended up causing a small-scale, but major, environmental disaster when raw sewage was allowed to run into Oceano residents’ homes. That could EASILY have ended up in cases of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and worse. Like TB, hepatitis is an equal-opportunity disease, and it can easily be a killer. Worse, hepatitis C can cause liver cancer, as well, and that also has the potential to be a killer.

        Problems arise when we get folks in charge of government who have completely abandoned the reality that they are in government to benefit the masses and stabilize a society.

        Without a centralized form of government, the people would have to take things into their own hands. People are way too busy these days to spend the personal resources necessary to both provide services and deal with the providers when they prove to be corrupt and harmful to society.

        In short, we have two options: a centralized form of government or people who brandish pitchforks and burning torches. The latter option would destabilize society and put the power into those who run the biggest bullies. The former option requires watchdogs to keep the centralized government honest.

        The SSLOCSD board should have performed the oversight on Wallace that would have prevented the sewage spill into people’s homes. The OCSD board of directors should have provided the oversight necessary to keep the General Managers–THAT THE OCSD BOARD HIRED–in line.

        In both cases, those boards have FAILED to do their jobs.

        Ensuring the government honest and ensuring they do their job is the role played by media publications like CCN, and activists like Tacker and Edwards. It is this type of activism that helps to keep our government honest.

        If I was CCN staff, and Tacker and Edwards, I would wear T-shirts that read “Pitching a fit about government corruption so you don’t have to.”

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  3. CherieMcKee says:

    Why shoot the messenger (CCN)? The message is loud and clear and what many of us suspected all along. Geaslen is not who he represented himself to be. The real question is, when will he realize he’s not who he thinks he is?
    From reading the op-eds over the last year, it sounds like Geaslen’s lies (in the form of perjury) are catching up to him.
    Now, will the Board let him go? Or will they, as I suspect, forgive and forget?

    (8) 24 Total Votes - 16 up - 8 down
  4. Stunned says:

    The only one who isn’t “something special” in his circle of amigos is him. He’s about to find out just how true that is unfortunately.

    (11) 21 Total Votes - 16 up - 5 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      Three Amigos?
      Paul, Deb and Tommy.
      Deb is the ring leader.
      She’s real brains in the family and on the 4th floor at the County Government Center.
      She should dump Tom like a hot potato.
      As for Paul, well…he’s in the “network” the Geaslen’s run with.

      (6) 22 Total Votes - 14 up - 8 down
  5. unlisted says:

    They got it right with Gearhart, but remember, CCN also wrote about Randall Reed and his purple heart.

    (-5) 19 Total Votes - 7 up - 12 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      And Tribune got it wrong with Lisa Solomon, Gearhart and John Wallace–just the Big Three, there were many, many more.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • Cindy says:

      The story about Torres refusing service to clients who rode their bicycles on Prado Road during certain hours had nothing to do with whether Randall Reed was a veteran or not. If that’s the best that you can do, then you’re batting ZERO, 0, zip, nada.

      If you’re the PR specialist that CAPSLO hired to spin negative discourse at the messenger, it’s just more funds intended for the homeless going down a rabbit hole.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  6. Justducky says:

    O.K. Now Mr. Geaslen himself, has helped us understand why he is such an attractive asset to the Oceano Board and why they hired him in the first place. “You know the network I run with and I all need to do is say, hey, I’m trying to do this. I’ve never been turned down for support before,” Geaslen said.

    And this part of the article rings very true considering the man’s personality. “Geaslen frequently brags of his ability to get the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to give financial support because of his friendship with District 4 Supervisor Paul Teixeira. Geaslen’s wife Deb Geaslen is Teixeira’s legislative assistant.”

    (7) 25 Total Votes - 16 up - 9 down
    • CherieMcKee says:

      Whoa, careful how you use the word “attractive”. Small hands, small feet = Little Debbie’s treat.

      (-5) 17 Total Votes - 6 up - 11 down
  7. WiserGuy says:

    One of the problems with this story, as with many CalCoatNews “news” stories, is the frequent use of loaded, subjective terms used in a condescending, negative manner. For example, the story above states that Geaslen “brags” about his abilities. This is not a term that should be used so loosely in an article purported to be “news” and objective. A better word would have been “touts” or “claims”.

    “Brag” carries the connotation of being pompous, boastful, and/or arrogant, each of which are subjective value judgments, and indicate a bias or slant pushed by the article writer, whoever it might be. If one of Geaslen’s critics was identified and quoted as saying Geaslen “brags” or is a “braggart” I would have no problem with that. But for the reporters to make that claim without qualification, I find to be an example of shoddy, unprofessional and unethical journalism, something found far too often at CCN.

    I have no particular fondness for Mr. Geaslen and would not protest if he were forced to leave his position. But what I am trying to say is that CalCoastNews would have a lot more credibility if the articles were not written in such a way as to suggest heavy bias on the part of writer.

    Which brings up the issue of: Who wrote the article and why is there no by-line?

    (9) 55 Total Votes - 32 up - 23 down
    • kettle says:

      Wiser? no apparently not. So basicly you are not going to stop complaining about that which you have no say and no standing, being a just another back seat driver,

      Anonymous commenter demanding names on things, lol.

      Please stop making this about YOU and your obsessions.

      (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  8. WiserGuy says:

    What is the definition of an “IRS-approved enrolled agent”?

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  9. veritas says:

    Well,well, well…They’ve got Wallace’s hide and, since they don’t know what else to do with their time, it looks like Geaslen’s next. After Dee Torres, Hill, Gibson, et. al. who’s next? Be careful everyone…Calcoast’s need for clicks/readers trumps your and my rights to make a living.

    Calcoastnews? More like Salem Witch Hunt Weekly…

    (-41) 77 Total Votes - 18 up - 59 down
    • tomsquawk says:

      is the article accurate?

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
    • ApathyWillKillYou says:

      And if you think Geaslen is an OK guy then what does that say about you?

      (19) 33 Total Votes - 26 up - 7 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Good point. An “OK guy” doesn’t commit perjury.

        (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
    • danika says:

      Veritas, no one needs to “be careful”. CCN is an asset to our community and very much appreciated by most. We appreciate their in depth, thorough reporting. There is no “witch hunt”.

      I do, however, find it most interesting that you speak to Calcoast’s need for click/readers and yet here you are, posting and obviously reading. What does that say about YOU?

      (16) 40 Total Votes - 28 up - 12 down
      • veritas says:

        My point regarding “be careful” is that, should CCN deem you “unworthy” or a target of their “truthiness” they will stop at no lengths to sling all the mud they can dig up. Truth be damned…The law of averages shows that if you sling enough mud, some of it is going to stick. Since none of us are perfect, it seems to be to be splitting hairs for the sake of gaining another pelt for the office wall. I’m of the opinion that Oceano is MUCH better off now than they were prior to Mr. Geaslen’s arrival. Is he perfect? No. Is he better than the alternatives, like Tacker and Edwards? HELL yes!

        (-6) 30 Total Votes - 12 up - 18 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Saying the OCSD is better off than under the last GM is like saying OCSD is doing better now that Bozo the Clown isn’t GM.

          Really, you set your bar on public servants rather low.

          No one wins when a GM commits perjury regarding IRS certification. This is going to bring more government attention to OCSD, and at a time when OCSD should be on the road to smoothing over the last GM’s administration.

          I am interested as to what kind of vetting the OCSD BOD did for Geaslen? Why didn’t they discover this perjury?

          When it comes down to it, it is the BOD who provides both directions to the GM, and provides oversight for the GM’s work.

          This is just one piece of the problems at OCSD. They continue to have problems complying with open-meeting regulations. IMO, that is a very serious failure, and prevents the public from being informed sufficiently to express their opinions about PROPOSED board actions.

          (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Political activists perform a vital role in government, especially local government where an impact can really be made. “Tacker and Edwards” have focused on legitimate concerns, including my hot-button, the failure to follow open-meeting regulations.

          I would like to know why the BOD didn’t know about this perjury? What kind of vetting did they do?

          Ultimately, it is the BOD who instructs and provides oversight for the GM. They’ve allowed open-meeting regulations violations to repeatedly occur, and have missed checking the background of certification their GM claimed to have.

          (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
        • CherieMcKee says:

          I wondered how long it would take before Tacker/Edwards names showed up in the conversation. 7 hours, I would have guessed sooner.

          How is CCN mud slinging, when Geaslen signed his form 700 as an EA and wasn’t one?

          (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
          • veritas says:

            Clearly, Mary Malone is Jeff Edwards. He has more than a passing interest in the goings on of the OCSD. Funded by outside forces intent on developing the ever-loving snot out of Oceano, he throws wrench after wrench into the gears of the OCSD. The plan is simple…make things as bad as possible in Oceano so that public sentiment moves toward development. They (he and Danika…errrr…Julie Tacker) tried to take the direct route, applying for the gm position. When they were rebuffed, it became personal. They have had it out for Geaslen ever since and, with the help of this website, are making inroads. Ms. Velie fancies herself the intrepid reporter, but shows little adherence to the whole truth. The big lie…keep repeating things until people believe it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. These people do not care one iota about Oceano or its people…they care about the almighty dollar first, last and middle.

            (-4) 18 Total Votes - 7 up - 11 down
            • r0y says:

              You should change your moniker to Corruptio.

              (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
            • CherieMcKee says:

              And you, Veritas, must be Adam Hill, raiding the public coffers (with your fiance’) for homeless services and then sticking them in the dredges of Oceano. As far away from your district as you can get them, under the airport, next to a packing plant and the railroad tracks.

              Back to the subject at hand…Geaslen has brought this mess upon himself and dragged the district into it with his lies.

              (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
            • Cindy says:

              Mary Malone is Jeff Edwards and Danika is Julie Tacker! LOL LOL LOL.

              Most everyone knows who danika is as she is a business woman from Paso Robles in fact she writes insurance including mine. She was also high profile when CPRN2012 ran it’s campaign. As for Mary, many of us know who she is too and Julie Tacker she isn’t. What a joke you are coming over here making statements like that while accusing CCN ….

              (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
              • Jonathon says:

                MaryMalone uses a lot of the same verbage a wife of a former OCSD board member uses.

                (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • CherieMcKee says:

          What exactly is better about Oceano since Geaslen arrived?
          The meeting format has changed to prevent speakers from speaking.
          He’s helping the homeless center come to town.
          He got the OCSD into the porno mess.
          He hired others to do what he said he would; audits, budgets, etc.
          He is making 50% more than the previous GM’s and doing less.
          Rates are still rising, no new pipes.
          He told the Board and public he wouldn’t take cellphone and medical benefits, he did adding $10,000 to his annual haul.
          He narrowly missed getting the district fined.
          He’s hired new people without the Board’s consent or advertising the jobs.
          Watch closely, the Farmers’ Market will fall on its face due to his ineptness. Unless of course, the “network” he runs with ponies up to help. I’m not holding my breath.
          All will be blamed on the “outsiders’ “detractors” “them” “obstructionists” i.e. Tacker/Edwards.

          (7) 25 Total Votes - 16 up - 9 down
          • r0y says:

            Sounds like someone living in a home on Pennsylvania Ave.

            (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
          • MaryMalone says:

            It’s not just Tacker and Edwards who will be be the “detractors.”

            ANYBODY who stands up to their failures will be the “detractors.”

            (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Part of what public officials are supposed to do is accomplish projects and tasks that serve the best interests of the people. However, FIRST they have to be savvy enough to evaluate the tasks and projects to ensure they actually will be serving the best interests of the people.

          Gleasen could not even run OCSD so that it met the regulations to which it has to perform.

          When your fall back qualification for holding a public office is “I am the junior partner in a very small, bucolic good-ol-boy’s circle,” then you don’t deserve to hold that public office.

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      I don’t care for the “style” of the Tribune’s reporting in that they often end up leaving the reader uninformed as to the seriousness of the issue about which they are writing, especially if a person or company that is the subject of the article has done something very, very wrong.

      CCN has an experienced editor. Especially now, when CCN is in the middle of this CAPSLO/Torres thing, CCN appears to be taking extra caution in what they publish. If the editor approves the final copy that is published, then it becomes a question of “style.” “Style” is like an “opinion” in that everyone has one, and both can be unique to the person or organization voicing that style or opinion.

      You might want to discuss this with CCN’s editor, since he has the ultimate say on whether an article is appropriate before it is published.

      (4) 24 Total Votes - 14 up - 10 down

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