Another felony charge against John Wallace

June 6, 2017

By KAREN VELIE

Criminal charges are stacking up against John Wallace, the latest for an alleged conflict of interest while he was the general manager of the Avila Beach Community Services District. Wallace, 73, was already facing two felony and two misdemeanor conflicts of interest charges related to his administration of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District.

In 2010, CalCoastNews exclusively reported on accusations that Wallace had been funneling millions of dollars from the sanitation district to his private engineering company without proper oversight.

Following CalCoastNews lengthy investigation and reporting on Wallace, in 2010 the San Luis Obispo Grand Jury determined Wallace had a conflict of interest in his administration of the sanitation district.

During the 2009/2010 fiscal year, the grand jury report says Wallace and the Wallace Group received $836,000 for administrative and engineering services. At a similar size plant in Paso Robles, those costs ran under $200,000 during the same period.

Nevertheless, district board members were critical of CalCoastNews’ reporting and the grand jury’s findings.

In 2015, the the sanitation district hired Carl Knudson of Knudson & Associates who confirmed conflict of interest allegations and asked the sanitation district board to send his report to criminal investigators.

On March 4, 2016, the sanitation district sent the SLO County District Attorney’s Office the Knudson report and asked county prosecutors to investigate the allegations of criminal misconduct.

Wallace has done work for multiple public agencies including Los Osos, Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Morro Bay, Grover Beach, Atascadero, Cuesta College and San Luis Obispo County which awarded him a new contract last month. In January, Wallace was charged with two felony and two misdemeanor counts.

Wallace is scheduled for an arraignment hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.


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Jorge Estrada

I just don’t buy that after decades of local government oversight (as required by law), John Wallace is the Lone Wolf. The swamp monsters may have statutes of limitation in their favor but then there is still a process before coming to that determination. We should know the list of names that can and can’t be prosecuted yet walk among us.


StakeHolder

Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals is not the lone defender. Ex- Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara and Ex-Grover Beach City Councilman Bill Nichols were all looking the other way when Wallace was presenting outrageous invoices for services rendered, on a monthly basis, for too many years.


They ALL need to be investigated. You have to wonder what they gained by allowing this to go on for so long.


SloHeadInTheSand

The fact that San Luis Obispo County entered into a contract with Wallace after he was accused of a felony speaks VOLUMES.


Interesting that the Avila CSD found Wallace possibly committing felonies speaks VOLUMES that any and all CSD’s that Wallace had dealings with should be thoroughly audited. Maybe the other audits could be paid for by Wallace as part of his punishment if he is convicted.


exWGemployee

Yes, SloHeadInTheSand, they ALL need to be looked at! There is a lot more there, I am sure of it!


hijinks2

Boy, the county public works department under wade Horton has really done a great job in hiring a firm that has been repeatedly charged with crimes. Only time will tell how long before we all pay.


Jorge Estrada

As the discussion of conflict of interest goes forward, picking on John Wallace does nothing to resolve the real issue. The pay and pensions that government justifies for themselves is an ongoing expense that is out of control. My guess would be that John Wallace just travels (does business) within the flow of traffic.


analyticone

Jorge, dig a little deeper and you will discover that Wallace didn’t just travel with the flow of traffic; he directed it, in fact, he owns it.


Someone with the expertise to compare public works costs in SLO County, Cities, and Districts with those of other areas would likely find, that in the same way that salaries are ratcheted up by agency staff, Wallace ratcheted up the cost of public works projects.


Worse, though, Wallace’s signature line, “What can I do to make you happy?” brought him a steady stream of elected representatives and staff who were only too happy to be made happy by Wallace.


No amount of “picking on” Wallace can restore the millions he misappropriated from dozens of public agencies.


Snoid

Keep following that money trail and you’ll see that every agency he was involved with has suffered the same plight. The man is no dummy when it came to lining his pockets with our tax dollars. Hi side kick Seitz need to be investigated as well for hi part in all of this. He may walk, but the pleasure of watching him squirm for years perhaps trying to evade the slammer is priceless. The King hates, and I mean hates, egg splattered on that shit eating grin of his. Do us right Mr. Dow and listen to Mr. Knudsen and the facts. Set and example for the untrustworthy of the Central Coast and put Wallace away for a few years.


kayaknut

Don’t count on D.A. Dow, he has been proven to be no better than previous D.A.’s just more of the same when it comes to government takers.


exWGemployee

Snoid, I agree. ALL AGENCIES HE DEALT WITH NEED TO BE LOOKED AT – Without a doubt!


Julie

There’s probably more instances of conflict of interest than we could ever imagine. Thanks SSLOCSD for hiring Knudson to reveal what so many of us suspected. Now other agencies can come forward and have their business practices looked at.


discloser

His cronies aren’t looking so good any more. John Shoals, Mayor of Grover Beach has defended Wallace all along. Former Grover Beach Mayor Ron Arnoldsen took a lot of criticism last week when he asked the Grover Beach City Council if they would do anything for money – were they whores? Although that question was related to their handling of cannabis businesses, it looks like Arnoldsen was right on point.


ruinitforeveryone

Guess what happens here folks? Nothing. He walks. Watch. He has the resources.