Burton named chief, again

June 19, 2013
Robert Burton

Robert Burton

Cal Poly alumnus Robert Burton was named Paso Robles’ new chief of police following city council endorsement Tuesday.

Burton, 47, has been a captain with the department and was former Chief Lisa Solomon-Chitty’s top aide during her scandal-ridden administration.

CalCoastNews reported on May 14 that Burton had been offered the position, but council members did not have a say in the matter until last night.

Burton has been acting chief and has been leading the department for nearly a year since Solomon-Chitty was dumped from the top cop’s job in March 2012.

Several former Paso Robles Police officers accused Solomon-Chitty of sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment and initiated an illegal ticket quota scheme.

Burton did not compete in the first round of selection involving 103 candidates, which eventually resulted in a pick of Manuel “Manny” Guaderrama, a 29-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. Gauderrama accepted, and then declined, the $160,000 job late last year.

Other prior selections favored by a citizen panel declined the job.

Burton said in a press release that he is “deeply honored” to be named as chief.



  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    The City of Paso Robles is loaded with corruption, fraud and cronyism.

    Burton got the job because he covered up the commission of serious felonies by Jim App’s buddies.

    Burton should explain why he apologized for a convicted Registered Sex Offender who raped a 15 year old.

    Burton should explain why he threatened the victim of a rear end collision with deadly force because the perp was Burton’s friend.

    Burton only cares about cronyism.

    Burton’s “concern” about public safety is as fake as a 3 dollar bill.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. ironyman2000 says:

    The Paso City Council is, indeed, not in it for the salary (though it’s a nice little bonus). Council members
    are in it for the power and for the connections. Blame the electorate for continuing to reelect the likes of
    wuss Picanso (DECADES) and for basic citizens not coming forward themselves.

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  3. jarhead says:

    He was WORTHLESS when he was in SLO, and he aint changed , same old s just a different player, Why do you think he came back to the roost?

    (6) 18 Total Votes - 12 up - 6 down
  4. MaryMalone says:

    QUOTING ARTICLE: “…Burton had been offered the position, but council members did not have a say in the matter until last night.”

    Do I understand this correctly? Someone offered the job to Burton without first running it by the city council members?

    Did James App do the offering?

    It has seemed pretty obvious that Paso has a weak city council, who appears to allow App to push them around. The city council is supposed to provide oversight for the city manager, but it appears that, in Paso’s case, it is the other way around.

    This must have been quite embarrassing for the city council. Maybe they are used to it by now.

    (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
    • Paso_citizen says:

      No doubt the CC know exactly which side their bread is buttered on. This is just one more example of them falling into line, bowing down to the boss man, and being their wonderful selves.

      One can only guess where this city could be if the 4 (5 including mayor) could just simple share 1 backbone.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
      • pasoparent5 says:

        The council members receive paltry salaries for the amount of time they each put into city business. Their buttered bread seems pretty meager. None of them are in it for the $$. But the un-elected city manager and staff are the ones making the big bucks. I’m mean, really–should Jim App be making over two hundred thousand bucks a year? It’s absurd.

        Mary’s right. The elected council’s supposed to be representing the voters and they’re supposed to direct the staff. Yet in Paso, it’s usually the other way around. Issue after issue proves that the mayor and councilmen just rubber stamp whatever App & his puppets put in front of them.

        (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
        • kettle says:

          It’s the same in SLO and Washington DC “elected officials come and go, staff is forever”

          (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    Most interesting. Perhaps they should have considered hiring a “Jamie Escalante” type chief (Stand and Deliver), rather than promoting from within a very dysfunctional class.
    A chief that is determined to change the system and challenge the officers to a higher level of excellence.
    I guess time will tell.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. Paso_citizen says:

    Well, I told you so. Another chief from within the ranks ‘promoted’!! Now all the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of this city can stand up and resoundlingly applaud our fantrastic city leaders for a job well done. That is what the mayor, CC, and the ‘phat bald guy” want you all to do; and most of you will.

    But what about the ‘promises’ made in the open citizen discussion on what this city needed in a new police chief? I do not recall anything about promoting from within to address the problems created by a chief also promoted from within.

    Does anyone wonder why other candidates came up ‘short’? Could it be that our city leaders can not
    sell this city and this region as a good place to live? Or could it be that there was, and will always be, one requirement for the job that no one could bring themselves to accept – that the “phat bald guy” is in complete and total charge – whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, and how he wants it – is how it will be. No questions asked.

    Most of this city could probably care less – but I would like to hear any member of the City Council explain why Mr. Burton was the best choice – given his close involvement with the previous Police Chief. Was he clueless about her actions? Or did he have some knowledge, but did not come forth with it? Just like the $250,000+ in hush money paid to Solomon, we will never know what is fact or what is fiction.

    So welcome to the ‘new and improved’ version of the Paso Robles Police Department — same as the old version. Brings to mind something about smearing lipstick on a member of the porcine species and trying to make it into something it not.

    (14) 26 Total Votes - 20 up - 6 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Those workshop meetings that supposedly were for seeking public input were B S. The council hiring an outside consultant (didn’t that cost about $14 THOUSAND bucks?!) to recruit qualified applicants was B S, too. The good ol’ boy network in Paso continues on. This selection of Lisa Chitty’s righthand man as the new police chief was probably already a done deal only a month or so after she “resigned” in disgrace. App & the cowardly councilmen just want it to appear like they really care what Paso Roblans think.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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