Supervisor tries to get witness to change story about homeless gifts

August 16, 2013

adam hillBy KAREN VELIE

Less than a week after his fiancé filed a slander lawsuit against a local private investigator, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill began contacting a key witness in the case, attempting to get him to change his statement.

On March 21, Dee Torres, homeless services coordinator for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO), filed a slander lawsuit against private investigator Mike Brennler claiming he slandered her in a phone conversation with one of her ex-husbands. The lawsuit was one of several actions taken by Torres and CAPSLO against persons looking into or providing information about practices by providers of services to homeless persons in San Luis Obispo County.

Brennler became aware of allegations of fraud against the homeless after reading a CalCoastNews exclusive about allegations of CAPSLO mistreatment of the homeless. After learning that former CAPSLO staffers said that Torres took and used the gift cards for herself, her family and friends, Brennler volunteered to identify individuals who might have information about Torres.

Brennler spoke to several of Torres’ ex-boyfriends and former co-workers who said Torres regularly pilfered items donated to the homeless including gift cards.

Torres’ lawsuit claims that Brennler told one of Torres’ ex-husbands 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 has denied telling Barber that Torres had stolen from Anderson and says that none of the statements he made during the two and a half minute phone call were false.

Torres’ former boyfriend told CalCoastNews and Brennler that Torres had taken gift cards that had been donated to CAPSLO for use by the homeless.

On March 26, Hill texted Torres’ former boyfriend Ralph Almirol 18 times attempting to get him to change his story.

The texts began at 10:05 p.m. At first, Hill keeps repeating “123” to Almirol, which Almirol took as a physical challenge, he said.

Hill — “123.”

Almirol — “Still need to clarify what 123 means? If you can?”

Hill — “Streets.”

Almirol — “Well, you know where to find me! Anytime!”

Hill –“What does that mean?”

Hill — “O, beating up women, I suppose. You do have that record.”

Almirol – “Over 13 years ago. Now I am back too well you can catch me in wrestling room doing what I have always been good at. So if that’s all you got your wasting my time. But nice pathetic try. LOL Would you like to know the things I sexually did to your finance?”

Hill – “You are a deadbeat meathead, Ralphie. You did a stint in our county jail for beating up Dee. You have not been able to hold a job and you have paid next to nothing to support a daughter who is ashamed of you.”

Hill – “You really expect to have a relationship with Savannah after smearing her Mom? Why do that? To satisfy your spite? How are you going to make that right, Ralph?”

Almirol – “And if Dee was a good person she would never have stopped Savanah and I from having a relationship. It is a two way street Adam. Dee could make this right she does not want too so it on her for her actions are now being called into question and should be.”

Hill –“ Look, I do not know about your relationship and did not need to know until you lied about her to CalCoastNews, Ralph. I have gone through difficult times with my own father–even until this day, but my mother would never have done what you did by lying to CalCoastNews. How is that going to make anything, anything at all, good for Savannah, Ralph?”

Almirol – “I am not lying that is the part you keep denying to yourself. And Savanah knows the truth and it will take time for us to heal but I will never give up trying to be a small part of my daughter’s life. Dee could have made this right she choose the lower path not me. I am just telling the truth.”

Almirol – “There were gift cards back then at Prado. And I am doing the honorable thing and willing to take what punishment I deserve for my part in letting my children and myself benefit from the charity of others for those that were less fortunate then us.”

Hill – “Ralph, please. This is stupid. We already have a sworn statement from Tom’s Toys, we already have other documents. You went to jail in ’99, Ralph. So come clean. What is it you want? Everyday I work to settle issues. What do you want?”

The documents that Torres filed in her lawsuit do not include a declaration from Tom’s Toys. The manager of the toy store said they no longer make gift card donations. He told CalCoastNews that he did not want to discuss the past.

Almirol – “Dee could make this right!”

Hill – “I asked you how she can make this right. And no, I would not badmouth you to your daughter. But this is ugly to have done this to her mom. Let me know if I can help to make any of this right. You will have to let me know.”

Hill continued to text Almirol to shortly before 2 a.m.

On June 22, Hill began messaging Almirol through Facebook asking him to change his statements.

Hill – “You agree to write up a statement admitting that you lied about Dee, revealing how that website and their PI worked with you, and you don’t get sued. Otherwise, you get sued and you will need a lawyer and more $$$. The truth will set you free, Ralph.”

Hill – “More court coming for you, Ralphie, and more $$$ you will be paying. You do have a way to save yourself.”

In his August 15 declaration to the court, signed under penalty of perjury, Almirol said he stood by his earlier statements that Torres had taken gift cards and other items donated for the homeless. Almirol also swore that Torres’ own declaration included false statements.

“I have read the declaration by Dee Torres filed on or about August 9, 2013,” Almirol’s declaration says. “Her statement that ‘I have never taken a gift card donated to the CAPSLO (or any of its programs including the shelter) or any gift card intended for a homeless client’ is untrue.”

CCN sent an email to Hill, asking him for a response about the texts and messages.

Hill declined to answer the questions directly.

“As you know, there is only one person named in Dee’s lawsuit, so even the foundation of your typically loaded questions is fallacious,” Hill emailed. “Your vendetta against me is tiresome, Karen. But the courts will unlikely let you continue lying and smearing. Your hatred of me has turned you into a sad farce. The courts will not find it amusing.”

Brennler’s attorney Stew Jenkins has filed a motion to strike down Torres’ lawsuit citing California’s anti-SLAPP statute. (SLAPP stands for Stratetic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.) The law was created to prevent people from using slander and libel lawsuits to silence critics or opponents on matters of public interest.

The motion is set to be heard on August 22. If Brennler’s motion is successful, Torres’ suit will be dismissed and she will be responsible for paying Brennler’s attorney’s charges.



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Reply to MaryMalone,”I vote for Satan”

Remember, Satan’s “pitch” is not as in “sales” but as in “fork” you.

Some glaring holes : Is/was the ‘private investigator’ licensed ?

If so, who was his employer for this ‘identifying individuals’ ? Pro bono, volunteer work is still work; covered under the California Business and Professions Code.

Might want to check out subsection 7561.4 of that code, especially 7561.4(a) and 7561.4(c)

Happy to provide this informational service free of cherge, and i’m not investigating anybody.

So you want to throw up some questions to cast doubt? Is that all you have?

So how long have you been beating your dog? and does he have a license?

This comment by Hill in one of his text messages to Almirol can be filed in the “To No One’s Surprise” folder:

“I have gone through difficult times with my own father–even until this day…”

Adam Hill asks.( “What is it you want? Everyday I work to settle issues. What do you want?”)

So true.. He sits in an office and makes deals.. and cover ups.. Settle issues.. hmmmmm Could he be more direct on what kind of issues.. deals..?

This comment by Almirol is PRICELESS. I would bet Hill did a Yosemite Sam before he replied.

Would you like to know the things I sexually did to your finance?”

You know this affected his “little man syndrome”!!!!

“On March 26, Hill texted Torres’ former boyfriend Ralph Almirol 18 times attempting to get him to change his story.

OMG, Hill is psycho.

Hill contacted Almirol EIGHTEEN TIMES?!? I can see attempting to make a new contact by texting, but 18 times is obsessive and harassing, IMO.

MM. It was back and forth text..and Facebook messages.He is in a bind and when one is in a bind they become deseperate to protect themselves or thier loved ones. I understand.However I find this rather ironic, as I never knew about the politics of this county being so corrupt.I just wanted to buy and sell property.with my mother. Now, I see after Roy Ogden who Hill seems not to want to use for Dee anymore.. pathetic and Karmic. As I went to Hill for HELP,as I thought he helped seniors and corruption.I told him a Board Of Realtors “Debbie Peterson” was one members..sitting there.watching Roy Ogden break the laws of fair housing. By using illness and basically the whole meeting a HATE crime including a Arroyo Grand Police officer new to town that Carson got on her side and Roy thought they would use him in a ethics board on two real estate agents who refused to sell our property.Refused, due to she would get a nondisclosure fine.Carson and Burns now McKnight decided to tell Roy Ogden to use my illness which they had no idea I had or did not have. Hearsay from a vindictive ex.. Now I found out Roy Ogden broke the law and State Bar chief is investigating him as Board Of realtors sold a tape of this meeting and sent it to all brokers and Police departments to cover up this little meeting..I went to DA Shea.. However Jennifer Glimp DA of Santa Barbara took all our depositions and results and sent them to DA Shea.She was so sorry this happened and if this had happened in her jurisdiction they would have not gotten away with it.So I am going to sit back and enjoy the show… As I bet Ogden screws this up big time. Someone has to be very guilty to being using Roy.CNN knows this ,as I have sent them all of my story and all my documents. I was one of those trusting souls who thought justice would prevail.NOT here.So my pop corn is out and I am going to have fun watching this play out. Thanks Adam Hill for helping me when times were bad.. Nada..why is he still in office.. ?

I’ll be at court side on Thursday, 8/22/13 to catch the show re: Torres vs. Brennler…


This ex is smart to hang onto the texts. I’d say it goes a long way to backing up his story that Brennler has told.

Some curious things as to sources here:

1-How did CCN get ahold of these texts? Is it part of the discovery for the lawsuit? Or did the ex give it to them?

2- Can/should Brennler now sue Hill for trying to intervene in his civil case? Trying to stack the deck like this I think is probably illegal, at the least, it should contaminate the lawsuit and force it to be tossed. I’m sure the judge will not be hapy when he or she reads this.

3- How much of the text exchange was edited or left out in this story? To be fair, the story should NOT have left anything out. Print it verbatum or not at all.

4- If he’s trying to get the ex to change his story and that story is indeed the truth, then I think this might be seen as suborning (sp?) perjury, that would be a crime and enough to get HIll in serious hot water.

5- The “123” comment… from Hill’s explanation and the ex’s response I’d say that they are pretty clear as to meaning – let’s settle it like men. So if Hill beats this guy’s ass, does that make it physical intimidation and even more criminal? If Hill gets his ass beat, what then? Guess you could say he deserves it.

6- Is this more evidence of Hill’s bad character? Or an example of someone at the end of his rope and mired in self-defense and defense of his lover? At the least it shows recklessness and stupidity.

7- CCN is reporting on issues in which it is involved, namely this lawsuit, which as I recall CCN is a party to (did Karen ever get served with that supeona?) AND a story that they themselves are part of? Remember, this story is about the lawsuit not the shennanigans at CAPSLO. Reporting on things that are part of the lawsuit that they are involved in would seem to be almost as bad as Hill trying to get this guy to change his story. A tight-rope walk on ethics, I’d say.

Of course, no one else seems to be paying any attention to the story, so whom else is going to report on it? So I’d give CCN a pass.

Though Karen going around slipping the process server seems curious. Does she think she won’t get dragged into this whole mess by playing hide-n-seek?

She’s flirting with Torres’ lawyer asking for a bench warrant and her getting picked up by the Sheriff or served by the Sheriff, try ducking those guys. They will find you and anyone who helps her duck a BW could be in hot water too (Dave?) Of course, since this is a civil case, Torres might have to PAY the Sheriff’s Office to serve the papers.

Time to stop and face the music. Time to take the initiative and face this head on. Always better to be on offense than defense, plus imagine all the incredible stuff we’ll all read about when the lawsuit is tossed and CCN can freely print all the juicy details that will come out of all these sworn depositions!

I for one can’t wait.

Classic. SLOBIRD makes comment after comment pretending to know what’s going on, but doesn’t even know the CEO’s name is Biz, not Liz.

‘the CEO’s name is Biz, not Liz.”

The CEO’s name is ELIZABETH.

Liz, Biz who gives a flying ………SLOBIRD obviously knows her name.

You’re such a piece of entertainment.

She calls herself Biz, goofball.

Classic. Homer makes comment after comment pretending to know what’s going on,

” Elizabeth “Biz” Steinberg Chief Executive Officer”

So do you get team adam hill points to redeem? free coffee?

There are so many good, decent people out there who could be the Supervisor of this district that I just don’t understand why Adam Hill is still in office. This is like having a 3rd grader in charge of District 3. To say that this guy is unstable is to understate the problem. Witness tampering by him and embezzlement by Dee Torres is obvious and the fact that neither of them has done the honorable thing, by resigning, or that they haven’t been charged with any crimes is bad enough. I can’t wait for this to go to court. Stealing from the homeless and intimidating witnesses should be enough to put them both in jail. Why haven’t they been charged? This county deserves so much better than these two self serving, publicly paid, dishonest, immoral people.

Let us not forget Torres’ boss, Liz Steinberg, who has actually allowed all this to continue. Torres may have illegally taken and used gift cards and other items intend for the homeless but it is Liz Steinberg, the CEO and director, that has turned a blind eye, endorsing this type of disgusting behavior. She is just as guilty as Torres as many people have reported for a long time these illegal activities to Liz and she does not care as long as she doesn’t have to do anything and obviously does not want to deal with it. Let’s also not forget the Board of Directors and Jim Famalette, Chief Operating Officer, who helped Gottshalks sink.

Tuesday you can go to Atascadero Lake (BBQ every Tuesday in support of different legitimate non-profits) and have BBQ dinner for $10.00 and dine with Liz (and her darling granddkids – probably all ate free) and all the other upstanding key players. Who knows, you might be able to sit next to Adam and Dee. 50% of the proceeds go to Dee….I mean, CAPSLO. Unless you brought your ticket in advance at CAPSLO in which case 100% goes to Dee.

IMO, the reason Hill is in office is because of the presence of Arnold and Mechum are on the BOS. The fact that he is not a tool of COLAB would be enough of an incentive to vote for Hill…and, after the performance of Arnold and Mechum at the 8/6/2013 BOS meeting, I can understand why.

P.S. I can just see a voter thinking, “Hmmm, I can vote for Debbie Arnold or Satan. I’ll vote for Satan.”

At least with Satan we know who we are dealing with.

I agree with your opinions, Taxpayer, especially the “witness tampering” and “intimidation” statements.

Really, how drunk was Adam Hill when he made those texts?