Letter by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly to SLO County Social Services Director Lee Collins

December 4, 2013
Tim Donnelly

Tim Donnelly


Dear Director Collins,

It has come to my attention that allegations have been made that San Luis Obispo County Child Welfare Services seized the grandchildren of Karen Velie, a respectable local publisher, in retaliation for her news agency conducting an investigation into alleged abuse of power by county agencies.

Aside from the trauma inflicted on these children, especially during the holidays, this apparent act of intimidation is in violation of TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241 ; “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…”

As a California State Representative, I have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and of California against all enemies foreign and domestic. In addition to the freedom of the press, the United States Constitution requires that legal proceedings be fair and that the accused have an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away their life, liberty, or property. Indefinitely removing children from their loving family without proof of a wrongdoing is unfair and an abuse of power.

Please explain by what authority this action was taken. Having a dirty house is not a crime and I am convinced that these children would be best served by a prompt and permanent return to their family. Numerous studies have shown that the stability and love that children receive in their own homes can never be matched by a faceless government bureaucracy.

Due to allegation of misconduct against the county, and the apparent connection to the seizure of the children, these children need to be returned to their family immediately unless proof exists that a crime has been committed.

I hope this troubling episode will be quickly resolved and will seek steps to ensure this never happens again in our state.

Thank you in advance for your prompt and thorough reply.


Tim Donnelly

Assemblyman ; 33rd District


Tim Donnelly is an assemblyman representing California’s 33rd district and is currently running for governor.




Where in God’s name do we live? Is this Cuba? Russia? No! We live in the United States of America I’m sorry to say……can you believe this is happening in a supposedly free country? Where is law enforcement? Are they all paid off or in fear from superiors? This makes me sick! Can this really happen here in San Luis Obispo County? Folks, it is time we take back our lives from these people who are working for us! They seem to have this confused with a dictatorship……is this really adam hill’s county to do with as he pleases? I don’t think so……and so far it looks that way!


Good on Donnelly.

However, calling out CPS will prove to be the third rail of politics.

As CPS/CWS/etc circle the wagons, they can point to all the good they do, and make their accusers seem like the bad guys for demanding accountability.

I wish him luck but CPS/CWS already own the “for the children” mantra.


CPS of SLO County is just like Hitler.

Hitler also did it “for the children”.

robert a

Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies; you lose.


I don’t think CPS/CWS “already own the ‘for the children’ mantra.”

I think there is enough knowledge about the number of heinous control freaks who have abused the power of the agency to curry political favor from politicians and enact their own vendettas.

Public pressure needs to be put on the control freaks and the politicians who coddle them and support their frightful agenda.

I believe Assemblyman Donnelly’s letter is an excellent resource. I believe it would make a dandy script for three-minute public comment periods at public meetings, such as the SLO BOS meetings.

It would also make an excellent attachment to a letter to other State and Federal representatives, urging them to speak up against the illegal and harmful behavior of CPS/CWS.


as I said before:

“I am sure the lawyers will have a great deal to say about what happened and I hope the county just does the right thing before this happens. In addition, I would also consider adding to the suit all those who had a hand in this.”

When the emails are seized, interviews taken… I am sure much will come out.

Its best the county clean this up… before some ‘foster’ family molest one of the children as happened here before… This should all be about reunification with the mother at this point.

Just an aside… does Adam Hill or Tom Folks surf??


Re “Its best the county clean this up…”

That has been an obvious reality on many SLO Co scandals. Yet repeatedly our county elected officers and representatives have, instead, circled the wagons and attacked those demanding that the problems be corrected.

In my opinion, since the CWS/CPS is acting illegally, the SLO Co officials and reps who continue to do nothing to address the problem have gone beyond simple negligence and into the realm of co-conspiracy.


Is it just me, or does there exist a pattern when Karen’s life is impacted by “unfortunate events”?

She was popped for DUI; that was somehow a conspiracy between the SLOPD (a city department), and a member of the BOS. I don’t fault these children, but is this a “Karen Family issue” or one of the County?

Like her DUI incident, I suggest personal responsibility plays a significant role in our lives, laying blame on others is self limiting.


Connect the dots. Try reading first, it might help. Did you hear Congalton yesterday? Have you been paying attention? I have and it clearly is what Karen and others say it is. Yes lets go back to the DUI, there was some important information that was missing there. The fact that CWS knew about the DUI the next morning before the PD released the arrest reports for the previous night and CWS used this to keep the children. Otherwise the children were going to have to be returned the next day because CWS had run out of excuses. A DUI for a less than .08%, very strange. A first time DUI with no kids in the car and who have you ever heard of that lost their children for that?

Try reading or get off this thread. You and people like you are a waste and a part of the problem that exists in this county. I’d like to take some of your friends and bang their heads together. Don’t get me started.


Lets not forget the booking photo (from the arrest) that got out but are not normally released.

That email chain would be very educational.


Thank you for the measured response, “you are a waste,” “I’d like to take some of your friends and bang their heads together.”

I thought these posts were to offer opinion and comments.

Again, thanks for the eloquent and well considered thoughts!


On this note, I’m trying to figure out why the .07 held enough weight to prevent her from access to the children. In other areas of law, including family court, this wouldn’t have held that much weight until it was a conviction. She hasn’t been convicted. Realistically, given the .07, it will end up a wet and reckless. This case should have been handled with kid gloves, not boxing gloves.


But remember, my.02– Kid gloves are used for THEM; boxing gloves are for US. Increasingly, there seems to be a two-tiered approach to applying laws in this county.

The age-old clichés seem to be accurate: “Do as they say, not as they do.” And “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know.”


It’s not who you know or who you blow…..it’s how you blow who you know!

Jorge Estrada

The services that CCN provides to the public does put the writers in harms way, most people do not like be exposed for wrong doing and some may seek revenge. Karen’s personal choice to work the front lines does make here vunerable to a certain level of fall-out. Blaming her, although somewhat logical, does not have merit because her employment sometimes requires her to expose what we should not ignor.

I will tell you from personal experience, the cop that was involved the her DUI allegation was the same cop that once inferred I was lying and tried to provoke an argument from me. I pulled my credentials and proved that I really was where I was supposed to be, this ended his interrogation. Some may say good police work, I a senior citizen thought, what a prick.

I love living here, have great respect for those who do the job of law enforcement and forgive that young, inexperienced, self limiting trainee cop.


I would think some of people who post on here would be happy, this story is worse than Torress stealing from the homeless!! Oh wait, but without that story, we wouldn’t have this one!


As the readers digest this entire issue, keep in mind that Lee Collins, who oversees the Dept of Social Services, also oversees the Office of the Public Guardian (Lisa Niesen) Both Collins and Niesen collaborate with CAPSLO, particularly in area of homeless services.

Connect the dots and follow the money.


Priceless. This guy needs to get out of town before the rest of his dung hits the fan.


Not just public guardian and homeless services, CAPSLO also runs a program that responds to child welfare reports that are in need of intervention, parent education, and support. They are not involved with the high risk cases and the parent educators CAPSLO employees to respond are NOT social workers.


This is what happens when you replace rule of law with rule of man. Unfortunately we will be seeing much more of this unless we stand up and strongly oppose this.


Au contraire. He’s upwind of the fan. The machine masticates it and spreads a fine film on the rest of us, but he’s safely behind the whirling blades.


Anybody even seen a whiff of this on KSBY or in the Tribune? Funny how things work in this county…


After Chittygate in Paso (where else can you be accused of groping your subordinates, resign w/full pension PLUS get a quarter of a million in taxpayer funds because your “reputation was tarnished”?!) I completely lost faith in our local media outlets to cover anything like this latest story. I do wonder, though–wouldn’t this issue and SO many others that CCN has covered be a perfect feature story on 60 Minutes (or 20/20, NIghtline, etc…)


Dear Tim,

Thank you for your recent inquiry into this case. It is, of course, being handled with complete objectivity and with ONLY the best interests of the children in mind, not the occupation and activities one of the family members, though we may have hinted in the past that that was a problem (hint, hint). I assure you that ALL those accused or convicted of a misdemeanors, including DUI and/or are journalists in SLO County have their custodial rights suspended as they are clearly unfit custodians and that ALL reports, including those mandated by teachers and other professionals (required reporters) are diligently investigated. Unfortunately, confidentiality laws prevent us from providing any specific information including the children’s current living situation, food, clothing, and medical care, or the reasons for their being removed in the first place. So your guess is as good as mine. All I know is we get $700/mo/kid and we’ve got a big budget to fund.

BTW, you are not going to be governor of California in 2014 so I do not know why I am wasting my time replying to you.

F’ you very much,

Lee Collins, SLO County CPS/CAPSLO/Adam Hill


if this is genuine…

He should be terminated immediately.


Yes Roger, it is genuine, I took it off his desk when he was getting coffee, or maybe not. You figure it out.




So, When is Katcho going to get a backbone?


Unfortunately it seems as if Katcho is becoming Abelized. As he moves up the political ladder, he’s following Abel M.’s footsteps…willing to say or do whatever (flip-flopping if necessary) to get him re-elected.