CAPSLO demotes Dee Torres

March 14, 2014
Dee Torres

Dee Torres


The embattled director of San Luis Obispo County’s homeless services was demoted earlier this week by Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo’s CEO Biz Steinberg.

In an email to county officials, Steinberg said she was dividing homeless services into two parts – shelter services and case management services — in “order to be more fiscally efficient, coordinate all case management services and better staff MLM Shelter and Prado Day Center.”

Dee Torres’ new position as CAPSLO’s homeless services manager comes with a more than 20 percent decrease in pay. In addition, Torres will no longer report to Steinberg, but instead to CAPSLO’s Deputy Director Grace McIntosh.

In addition, Torres’ former second in command, Prado Day Center Manager Shawn Ison, also received a “hefty” cut in pay, according to an email Torres sent employees. Torres noted that when she confronted CAPSLO Chief Operating Officer Jim Famalette about the restructuring he “was so mad he was practically spitting.”

“They gave me a big speech (one they’ve been giving me for 15 years) about my number one priority and allegiance needs to be to the ‘agency,’ ” Torres wrote. “I said it was to the clients, volunteers, staff, donors, and programs.

“I kind of knew then that they were unhappy with me,” Torres wrote.

Numerous former employees of CAPSLO have said that Torres took gift cards and other items donated to the homeless for her own use, according to declarations filed in Torres v. Brennler, CV130145 in 2013. Torres’ defamation suit against Mike Brennler, an investigator who works with CalCoastNews, was stricken by the court as an  improper SLAPP suit infringing First Amendment Rights.

In addition, Torres allegedly sold items donated to the homeless without any accounting for the revenue she collected, according to tax records.

Torres does not agree that she was demoted so that the program can run more fiscally efficient and instead claims it is because of a power play.

“They are saying it’s economics but it’s control and it’s personal,” Torres wrote. “Grace McIntosh has been working on this ever since she was kicked out of the homeless services department by Biz.”

Most of CAPSLO’s funding comes from government grants approved by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, a board Torres’ fiancé Adam Hill sits on. CAPSLO received over $60 million last year in government funding, with Hill sometimes recusing himself from the vote and other times voting to approve funding for CAPSLO.

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If it wasn’t all about power for Dee, she might have figured out the futility of imposing her over-regulated approach to a population that has not been able to make it in a society with rules,

that in a State where medical marijuana is legal and readily available, many if not most of the homeless are smoking pot to survive their miserable existence,

which excudes them from homeless services, where if you qualify, you have to fork over part of the little precious income they have.

Does anybody even have an idea what they are trying to accomplish with the homeless around here, other than to create jobs for a few power hungry people?

If caring and mercy are not enough to make it worth the trouble serving the homeless, then what are we really expecting for an outcome? Mainstream back into society?

Dee seems to think she is the only one who knows. Anybody else have any ideas?

With Ms. Torres no longer in control of the gift cards and other donations anymore Christmas at the Hill/Torres household may be a little light this year.


Have no fear, I am sure they have other areas where they can skim a little here and there. No one will miss it, besides they are entitled to it – like “PEERS” or as many call it the Public Employee Entitlement Retirement System.

She still has a job after what she did and that is disturbing on so many levels. At Ranacreek we had a guy that took a little here and there and they prosecuted him.

I was going to weigh in on this matter, but you people don’t need my drivel. You people already really grasp and understand just how corrupt this whole thing is. Banana republic corrupt. City of Bell corrupt. Two of your five BOS being adulterous louts.

I salute you for your accuracy, and BTW, I nominate kayaknut as making some of the finest, accurate, biting satiric comments.

WOWEEEEEE! Word on the street about this demotion. Dee misused her authority by having a CAPSLO psychologist take her word for it that Christine Powers was bi-polar and a danger to her children. The bogus verbal report was then used by her friends over at CWS to keep Karen Velie’s grand children away from their mother while CWS came up with excuses why Karen couldn’t see the children either.

WOW…….. they have that kind of information about her misuse of power and they didn’t fire her. Just wait until the lawsuit gets filed. It will all come out when they depo that psychologist who provided a bogus report without ever seeing Christine and caused long term psychological and short term physical suffering to otherwise healthy children..

Nancy, What you have heard may be part of it, I don’t know but what I do know is that an unholy alliance was struck between Dee and Biz back when Dee was promoted to Director of HS despite lacking the credentials to hold the position with competence. Dee outright told Biz that she had enough backing from the BOS to have the entire program pulled from Biz unless she (Dee) was promoted to the Director position. During that time, Hill, Gibson and Patterson (buddies through and through) held the majority vote on the BOS and Dee was in bed with Hill literally.

Stienberg gave Torres what she wanted and enough rope to hang herself. Stienberg is now in a position to demote Torres knowing that the BOS would make fools of themselves to attempt an intervention. The entire county would know that it was about Hill’s bed mate, which is a fact that would not have been obvious or even necessarily believed back when Dee made her initial move.

You guys make things up as you go along? When Dee was promoted to director, they were NOT an item. FYI. almost all the jobs at CAPSLO take experience in place of education.

Well this is all interesting and I’m not surprised that people are bringing up such possibilities. After all someone from CAPSLO did provide false information to CWS regarding those children. Torres did have the backing of the BOS via her relationship with Adam Hill and while it’s true that Hill was married when he was elected, this doesn’t mean that he and Dee weren’t getting together behind closed doors.

I do know that Adam wasn’t getting along with his wife because I distinctly recall Mike Brennler saying that the night Hill was elected, he butt dialed Brennler. Brennler listened for a bit because he wasn’t certain if someone might need help. He said Hill was screaming at his wife and he continued to yell and belittle her. Mike listened until he determined that Hill was not beating the poor woman. So it wouldn’t be reaching to assume that Hill would have been discreet during the time that he was living with his wife.

As for your comment about experience vs education and the CAPSLO way. Well that only goes just so far before you reach the level of gross incompetence particularly in the higher functioning positions like “Director”.

I have heard that one must have at least a Batchelor’s Degree to have a management position at CAPSLO. They obviously want experience too but not at the expense of education.

This does apply to their Head Start programs but I can’t say for sure about Homeless Services. However, since everyone else in this thread is accepting rumors as facts, I figure I can be equally loose with my claims.

If this is true, it would help explain the lack of the usual chest-pounding baboonery with which San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor Adam Hill usually responds when scandals involving Dee Torres are outed.

Here is a thought people concerning CAPSLO, just follow the lead of King City,

Your Town: King City council mulls city manager’s performance

King City’s council will hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the job performance of City Manager Michael Powers.

about 23 hours ago


King City manager subject of special meeting

King City’s council will hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss the job performance of City Manager Michael Powers. Powers, who has been manager for seven-and-a-half years, has come under intense scrutiny since a third of the Police Department was arrested two weeks ago.

CAPSLO is part of this national organization:

I suggest people contact them with information on what has been going on here.

Community Action Partnership is not going do anything… zip… zero. If people start contacting them it is likely that they will pull some strings to force personnel changes at CAPSLO and that would be very counterproductive. Corruption with CAPs has been going on back to the 1970s. This is one giant club of people who know how to move government money into their pocket by monopolizing certain services in cities and counties. I think it can best be described as a multilevel marketing scam. Of course I’m sure that this does not apply universally, but it doesn’t seem to be terribly uncommon either. The problem will continue in any given area until that community is willing to give up the federal grants.

I have one word–NEPOTISM!

Just a demotion, that’s it considering all the allegations of embezzlement and misconduct? This shows you how weak top level management and the Board at CAPSLO is.

It is kind of difficult for an organization to fire a Director for scandals for which the Director has already been exonerated, very publicly, by the onrganization.

Go Biz!

I now have some faith in you and also now see how the evil Jim Famalette may actually be the lead instrument in all of this. I feel you have been tightlipped under his direction.

As a reminder to all, Famalette was CEO of Gottscalk’s before it became bankrupt: He now is COO of Capslo.

Capslo exonerated Dee exactly a year ago. So why is this happening now? Was Capslo finally notified of the Federal government’s legal proceedings?

Capslo has been under investigation since it’s Family Ties programfell into scrutiny a year ago January. This led to a Federal investigation on that program and numerous accounts of alleged and quite verifiable accounts of wrongdoings by numerous homeless victims. This includes reports by fired employees working under Dee Torresat the Prado Day Center.

These accounts can be reviewed on CalCoastNews by typing in such titles as “Capslo” , “Dee Torres”, and “Homeless” in the website’s search box.

What concerns me is the continuation of the gross mistreatment at Prado and Maxine, and what change if any will occur once the 200 bed facility is in place.

Will the food service continue to be run by People’s Kitchen, an organization run by gracious church volunteers who unknowingly thinkthey’re feeding ALL who are hungry, yet can not feed those who have been suspended from Capslo services for ludicrous violations? As long as People’s Kitchen continues to use a Capslo facility to serve the hungry, it is deberately operating in concert with Capslo.

Capslo continues to control and manipulate the impoverished.

Debbie2255’s experience at the Maxine is one account of mistreatment that continues to occur at the Maxine:

The sickest thing I discovered about Capslo is their campaign to remove infants from young homeless couples by phoning Child Welfare Services. I stumbled across one such couple living out of their car last Spring who had just been denied shelter at the Maxine and shared this horrible news to me. They phoned in to the Dave Congleton show and someone immediately came to their aid. What a shame. All these kids want is to get their child back now and never ever return to San Luis Obispo, our nation’s “Happiest” city.

When you start off with false allegations like the guy was in charge of Gottschalk’s when it “went bankrupt,” what’s to believe about the rest of your screed? Gottschalk’s was a victim of Wall Street’s greed, and never went bankrupt.

Have you heard of the phrase “the buck stops here”?

“Regional department store chain, Gottschalks filed for Chapter 11 protection on January 14, 2009. On February 24, a federal bankruptcy trustee objected to the $500,000 the company requested for bonuses to CEO, James Famalette, and COO, Greg Ambro. Reportedly, the bonuses were requested to compensate the two for the “extraordinary efforts” they would expend in leading the company through bankruptcy.

Leading an organization to an 8.8% decrease in same store sales, a 95% decline in stock value, a delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, and running up $28.2 million in debt is extraordinary, indeed, for one short fiscal year. Personally, I just never thought of those types of accomplishments as bonus-worthy.

At least someone stood up in court and objected to the Gottschalk bonuses, right? Nine days later, however, the bonuses were approved by the Delaware bankruptcy court, without further justification or explanation. You want half of a million dollars for the people who led your company to the brink of bankruptcy? Approved! It’s like one of those loud payday advance commercials on late night television.

(Let’s all remember to incorporate all future businesses in the state of Delaware, where there seems to be few consequences for doing a really bad job.) ”

Does anyone know how much the CEO makes? 10 years ago I heard it was $150,000. I do not know if that is/was true.

The 2011 990 has the CEO at $148,900. base with 23k non taxable benefits.

Adam Hill is a hack