Arroyo Grande mayoral candidate suing brother, sister and son

October 13, 2016
Richard and Laurie Waller

Richard Waller and his wife Laurie Waller


Arroyo Grande mayoral candidate Richard Waller says he will be able to unite the community and bring civility to the council if he’s elected. Waller touts his family’s long-term ties to the community and his ability to promote open discussions.

But a family fight over his mother June Waller’s estate has spilled over into the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Richard Waller is suing his sister, brother, son and other relatives.

Richard Waller, a retired teacher, claims in the lawsuit that his family members schemed against him and his wife, to deny them the inheritance his mother had promised.

Three versions of his mother’s will pass her estate which includes 13 properties, stocks, bonds, money, jewelry, the ranch, homes and leased agricultural lands to her blood relatives with each of her four children and/or their children receiving 25 percent. Both of her two living sons would have the use of one of her properties until they die.

The suit is based on Richard Waller’s disagreement over the latest version of the will which designates which home he will be permitted to live in. He also is suing over other stipulations in the will.

June Waller died in April 2015, and he filed the suit against the other family member listed in the will a few months later.

Now, Caroline Waller is supporting the campaign of her brother’s opponent, incumbent Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill. Other members of the Waller family are also backing Hill in his bid for reelection.

In Arroyo Grande, most of the current crop of candidates for city office are aligned either with Hill or with the council majority that existed prior to a political shakeup in 2014. That year, voters chose Hill, a write-in candidate, over Tony Ferrara, a 16-year incumbent mayor, following a city hall sex scandal and coverup.

Hill has since faced accusations of causing division at the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District. However, the sanitation district is operating at lower costs with cleaner output with Hill on the board than it had been during Ferrara’s tenure.

In his bid to unseat Hill, Richard Waller has aligned himself with Ferrara-allies Councilwoman Kristen Barneich and Caren Ray, a former councilwoman and county supervisor. Both Barneich and Ray are seeking fresh terms on the Arroyo Grande Council. Waller, along with Barneich and Ray, is campaigning on a platform of restoring civility in Arroyo Grande.

“I commit to upholding the highest standards of civility in Arroyo Grande city government,” Richard Waller stated on his campaign Facebook page last week.

Critics say Richard Waller’s legal actions against his closest relatives indicate he does not exemplify civility.

Richard Waller grew up in Arroyo Grande but spent most of his life away from the Central Coast. In 2007, he retired from an elementary school teaching job in Nevada and moved back to the Arroyo Grande ranch on which he grew up in order to take care of his elderly mother, his campaign website states.

In exchange for taking care of his mother, Richard Waller and his wife would get to live the rest of their lives on the rural Arroyo Grande ranch, his lawsuit states. Richard Waller would also get an 18.75 percent stake in his mother’s estate and his son would get 6.25 percent, according to the suit. A promise reflected in the mother’s original will.

However, Richard Waller failed to live up to the promises he made his mother and she amended her will, according to a response to the lawsuit that was filed by his family.

Richard Waller alleges his sister, Caroline Waller, took advantage of their mother’s illness and forced her to amend the will. The amendment resulted in Richard Waller and his wife receiving lifetime privileges of living in a modular home. His brother John Waller, who helped take care of his mother for 20 years, gets to live in the ranch house.

In Caroline Waller’s response to the suit, she alleges Richard Waller’s relationship with their mother became strained because he failed to keep his promises to care for her and maintain her properties. Additionally, their mother became concerned Richard Waller would give the assets he inherited to his wife and step-children, rather than to his biological son, Caroline Waller alleges.

Christopher Waller-Bennett is Richard Waller’s biological child, and he is the grandson of June Waller. Waller-Bennet is one of the beneficiaries of June Waller’s trust and one of the defendants listed in his father’s lawsuit.

The other defendants Richard Waller names in the lawsuit are Caroline Waller, John Waller, Taylor Waller and Austin Waller — his brother, niece and nephew. Additionally, Richard Waller lists 20 Jane Does in his lawsuit. John or Jane Does are persons whose names are not listed but who could be named in the course of the suit.

Richard Waller did not respond to several requests for comment about the suit and his campaign.

Caroline Waller said she could not discuss the lawsuit but mentioned that Richard Waller is estranged from many of his blood relatives.

“He is the nastiest person I have ever known,” Caroline Waller said.


Barneich, Ray and Waller running as a slate. What a resume!

Barneich who lock step and barrel was unable to place Steve Adams, the City administrator on leave when he was caught at night with a female subordinate.

Ray, who has never won a public office but swings from the Council to the Supes and back. She denied the Grand Jury report about the Sanitation district as silly. Wasn’t she the one who was involved with that running club?

Waller returned to Arroyo Grande to live for free and alienated his family.


You mean this Caren Ray! How could anyone want her back on any committee in Arroyo Grande. This is not who we are, her buddy Adam Hill, but not the good people of Arroyo Grande!

New Arroyo Grande councilwoman leads a harried secret life…/arroyo-grande-councilwoman-leads-a-harried- secret-life/

Ray brings boyfriend into political fray…/ray-brings-boyfriend-political-fray/

Police dispute that Ray is a target

Bakersfield responds to attack by Caren Ray…/bakersfield-responds-attack-caren-ray/

Supervisor Caren Ray ‘s unwarranted self-promotion…/supervisor-caren-ray-s-unwarranted-self- promotion/


You like her?


Caroline Waller I am Richard’s sister, I am trustee of my mom’s estate, and when I read his bio, posts and platform of civility, transparency, and ethics, I choke. I keep thinking of the phrase “charity begins at home”…….what about civility? If he can’t be civil with his own family, how can he be expected to be civil with the public. It’s public record he is contesting my mother’s will, and also naming me, my brother John, his niece and nephew, even his own son in a separate lawsuit. He is very good at putting on a different face for the public, and I already have heard all the tales he has told about me, but the truth will come out. I love his “let me buy you a cup of coffee” response to questions he doesn’t want to answer. The most recent question was someone asked him about how the water cuts are affecting him, if he’s hurting like everyone else. He didn’t answer, probably because he has never paid a water bill since he moved here. He is on city water, but all his water, gas and electrical were paid for by my mom, as well as the modular he lives in. He implies he is a farmer in several of his FB posts…..( love the video of him standing in a field with his rubber boots on, he has a great wardrobe dept!) maybe he thinks signing his name on a few lease agreements to the farmers that rent our land make him a farmer, or maybe that he hooked up his modular to our AG meter for electricity. Also, just for the record, there is no more Waller Flowerseed, I believe Ball provides some of the flowers for city. They had a long, close history with my father and Grandfather. My brother likes to ride the coat tails of that history, but had no involvement with Waller Flowerseed. If it was just me, I could see you doubting my motives, but when not one person with Waller blood will stand behind him, you have to stop and think about the kind of person he really is.


I (Caroline Waller) did write this and posted on another site, but I am not dogeatdog. I don’t mind they reposted it, but just wanted to clarify I am not dogeatdog :)


For the record, “dogeatdog” is NOT Caroline Waller.

dogeatdog cut and pasted a post of Caroline Waller’s, without attribution.

I do hope “dogeatdog” explains their naive mistake and admits their actual name . . .


For the record—the post from dogeatdog (from Ms. Waller) was copied and pasted from my page.


This is great information on an unknown outsider. Thanks for the story!


Seems like a really nice family now doesn’t it? Leaves the state to enjoy a career then comes back wanting to wreck ship and sue his people that were caring for momma.


Nice! suing his own son!

He moved back to Arroyo Grande in 2007. And done what???



It is becoming more clear Waller was recruited by those who wish to return to Arroyo Grande ways of old. Someone didn’t do their homework with Waller.

Family discord aside, his own words betray him. His Facebook page is chock-full of thinly veiled snipes and jabs. He encourages dialogue yet consistently removes posts of those who disagree with him. Transparent? No.

That Waller Is sueing his family, all the while promoting himself as the candidate to restore civility tells voters more about him than a slogan on campaign signs.

Do not be fooled Arroyo Grande voters.

Remember Ed Arnold?

Caren Ray?

Lennie Jones?

Character matters.

Character mattered for Ferrara also.

He showed his colors when he undestimated the sleeping voters of AG and they awoke to no water, no professionalism, no equity for builders, no ability to have empathy for citizens attending meetings sharing concerns.

Waller has been recruited by Ray and Barneich as their puppet.

Vote the slate down.


Chuckle, chuckle. The guy can’t care for his own mother properly, but he’s going to be the mayor of Arroyo Grande?

This sounds like Tony Ferrara behavior.


He doesn’t have time for court as he is busy bringing civility everywhere. Right. Go Jim Hill!


Can you spell….D Y S F U N CT I O N A L ?

It looks to me it is spelled



Even on his facebook page, you can see this man is not nice. I think his line of “let me buy you a cup of coffee” is because he can’t answer the question.

I feel for his family, death always brings some vultures out unfortunately. Suing his own son, that is a class act.

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