Caren Ray campaigner suspected of vandalism rampage

November 2, 2018

Councilwoman Caren Ray and Patty Welsh marching in the Harvest Festival Parade.


Arroyo Grande police have asked prosecutors to charge a Caren Ray campaigner with felony vandalism after she went on a rampage last month damaging more than $4,000 in city, business, campaign and personal property. [Cal Coast Times]

Mayor Jim Hill and Councilwoman Caren Ray are in a heated race for the mayor’s seat. The election is on Nov. 6.

Dressed in black, Patty Welsh left a city council meeting on Oct. 9 and allegedly drove around Arroyo Grande tossing Christmas ornaments filled with brown paint at Jim Hill for mayor signs and property in the vicinity of the signs. At Tom’s Auto Service, after the owner refused to allow Welsh to put a Caren Ray for mayor sign at his business, Welsh allegedly threw paint on both a Jim Hill for mayor sign and a sign for Tom’s Auto Service.

As officers and public officials left city hall after attending a new officer swearing in ceremony, the wide-spread vandalism was discovered. In all, Welsh had allegedly damage property at 11 different addresses.

Witnesses told officers Welsh had threatened to steal Hill’s signs and had been seen leaving the City Council meeting early, according to court records.

“Welsh has a history of vandalism and is a very vocal critic of Jim Hill,” officer Vincent Johnson wrote in a search warrant affidavit.

At 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 10, officers went to Welsh’s Pradera Court home and searched a grey trash can she had pulled to the curb. Inside the can, officers found a rusted out paint can with the same color brown paint that the vandal had used to destroy mayor Hill’s signs, according to the affidavit.

Later that day, officer Bradley Hogan knocked on Welsh’s door and asked her to step outside. She refused to step outside.

“Welsh appeared nervous and while speaking her and her voice were shaky and weak,” according to the affidavit.

Welsh refused to answer the officer’s questions about why she damaged the property and if someone else had put her up to the vandalism. When asked if she would tell an officer why she damaged the signs, Welsh shook her head, “indicating a nonverbal no,” police wrote.

Patty Welsh’s car caught in video

Officers then began searching for surveillance equipment and reviewing videos. On one video, Welsh’s 2017 Toyota Prius is seen at the site of a vandalism on East Grand Avenue, “and then fleeing eastbound approximately 90 seconds later,” according to the affidavit. Welsh’s Prius was captured on video at several of the vandalism sites.

The San Luis Obispo County District attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the request for a felony vandalism prosecution.

Welsh hung up on a reporter when asked about the allegations. Caren Ray’s campaign manager Shirley Horacek said they do not want their campaigners vandalizing her opponent’s property.

“I would never want anyone in the campaign to do that,” Horacek said. “I cannot imagine anyone doing such a thing.”

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People willing to commit felonious acts to “advance” their political candidates?  It’s gone beyond ridiculous.  The obsession with political outcomes of what I believe is a small minority in this country is beginning to threaten our system of democracy and peaceful exchange of political power.

Those of us who are leading worthwhile lives will never understand it.   

George Bailey


Lock up Caren Ray.

Caren Ray should drop out of the Arroyo Grande mayor’s race, because Patty Welsh is a close personal friend of hers, and Caren undoubtably knew from the video tapes who was responsible for this felony vandalism.  If Caren Ray will obstruct justice and cover up the illegal behavior of her friends and supporters, how could we possibly trust her in public office?

As I’ve said on other occasions, Caren Ray lacks the character and judgement to hold public office, and anyone who supports her and votes for her is guilty of advancing incivility in our politics.  Caren Ray has had behavior problems in the past as well, and she was part of a group of people who were running around our community naked, while under the influence of alcohol.  Taken with this latest incident, where she hid the identity of her close personal friend, Patty Welch, from law enforcement, it is now obvious that Caren Ray is unfit to lead.

The Arroyo Grande Police Department needs to investigate the communications links, both cell phone, text and e-mails between Caren Ray and Patty Welch.  If it can be shown that Councilwoman Ray knew about the felony conduct of her close personal friend Patty Welch, and covered it up, then Caren Ray ought to be prosecuted as a conspirator to the felony conduct.  She very well may also be guilty of obstructing justice in this case, and no one should cast a ballot for this mayoral candidate who has a cloud over her head.

Lastly, I would ask Arroyo Grande citizens to compare and contrast  the wisdom, behavior, and judgement and cast their ballot for the proven incumbent mayor, Mr. Jim Hill.  Mr. Hill has a proven record of clean public service, outstanding ethics, and good judgement.  Caren Ray, on the other hand, is the poster child for maturity, bad judgement and poor public ethics.

Vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 for Mr. Jim Hill as Arroyo Grande Mayor.

bobby N

Lots of crazy accusations and ranting opinion but no fact. 

Do you have access to unreleased law inforcement information or just trying to spin the actions of a troubled individual?


Since you seem to be too dense to understand, I’ll help you out. George Bailey is asking for a thorough investigation, which should be welcomed by everyone. He’s pointing out the obvious trail that the perpetrator would have left, and which I suspect is being followed not by the County DA investigators, which will unmask those who requested, planned, and carried out this attack on democracy. See, that wasn’t so hard, when you aren’t trying to cover for someone.

bobby N

Apologies for my obtuse nature. Clearly no resources should be spared in hunting down the campaign sign terrorist and her conspirators. 

Sure Ray joined a majority of the city council and Sanitation District Board to “waste” $100,000 on an investigation, but that only effected a city and a public district. 

A campaign sign vandal is high crimes! Spare no expense! This is serious business. 

Hypocrisy Much?


Lying and conspiring in such a way as to waste $100,000 of the community’s much-needed funds is not small potatoes. It is an offense preceded by many others perpetrated by Patty and pals and hopefully now ended now that Patty’s obsessive destructive vicious tendencies have caught up with her.


bobby, being a troubled individual is not a defense for destroying public and private property.


Surely Ray signed the pledge that all candidates do; ARTICLE 3. Code of Fair Campaign Practices [20440. – 20444.] / Section 20440. The “CODE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES” section (6) “I SHALL IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections.”

Ray has said nothing publicly denouncing the vandalism, nor has she called the mayor to apologize, she has said nothing about the victims nor has she condemned the perpetrator. Ray should be calling for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

Your silence implies consent.

Not surprising Ray supports this behavior by Patty Welsh, just as she did when she reveled in the false allegations Welsh levied at the mayor that Ray then sunk her hooks into. It was Ray that called for the investigation that didn’t include an interview of the mayor — it cost the citizens of the south county nearly $100,000!!!

Vote Jim Hill on November 6th.

bobby N

I suppose you overlooked her Facebook posts condemning the action and her campaigns condemnation quoted in this article. 

Trying to turn a sad act by a clearly troubled person into political gain. Sad.


Those piddly posts don’t “accept responsibility and take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections”

bobby N

Ah, that explains your confusion. No where is there any indication, anywhere, that the accused person is a subordinate. I’m assuming she was not a subordinate of Hill during the previous elections when she also did less than admirable things. 

A troubled person with a personal issue against someone she once supprted, obviously. 

bobby N

One more try here. 

The point you miss is this individual is not a subordinate. 

When the same person worked with the Hill campaign for two elections I assume she was not a subordinate either. 

Maybe she felt that way which is why she has some personal issue with Hill. 


Oh booby N, she definitely was a “subordinate” of the Jim Hill campaign in 2014 and early in the 2016 campaign, that’s why he kicked her out when he learned she was stilling other candidates signs. She trotted off to help Waller mid-campaign. She obviously held a grudge and lobbed her allegations of sharing public documents as though they were closed session and Ray capitalized on that and sent the community down the rabbit hole spending nearly $100K trying to black Hill’s good name.

Ray should have followed the Fair Campaign Elections Code and denounced the vandalism immediately. To my knowledge Ray didn’t even have the courtesy to call Hill and the other property owners and apologize for their property damage.


So what your saying a handful of words makes it better. On the other hand a handful of words ended the MB coaches career. Much as you’d obviously like it you cant have it both ways. Just think of what you’d do if this was a trump supporter. You’d want an FBI investigation and blood. But of course since she is on “your side” forgive and forget.

bobby N

So are you saying you know how any particular person participated in the investigation?

For the record, I am not on the “side” you suggest and that mindset is what is undermining this country. 



Subordinate –a person under the authority or control of another within an organization.

As someone who wears your t-shirt, solicits sign locations and puts them up for you, Patty is a Ray Campaign Subordinate. Caren Ray “”SHALL” IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections.”

Ray hasn’t and as such her silence implies consent.


If this is up to Dan Dow Patty Welsh is off the hook, since Patty is connected to Caren Ray, who is attached to Adam Hill and he is attached to Ian Parkinson. We all know Parkinson is protected by Dow, and if Dow wont charge a protected police officer when there is DNA evidence Welsh has to worry about nothing. She will only be in trouble if someone else has say so and is not being political, like Dow, and instead actually follows the law. Way to go Caren Ray you have some of the best people working for you.

Rich in MB

Honestly, is anyone surprised that the radical left would stoop to this low a level. We see it on the National stage in their hatred for El Trumpo and with Adam Hill et al….the hate/rage continues.


The irony is that  by her (aledged) actions, she just gave a huge boost to Jim Hill.

Jorge Estrada

Who are the Sandinista Contras of Nicaragua? They are the Commies and they are about the redistribution of wealth. If you want to force others to give up their wealth then it’s ok to be a commie but you don’t need to use that title be democrats lean in the same direction. So vote the democratic roster and promote the redistribution of wealth. Just remember that our financial woes are because we have already funded more than we can afford in California, a state that is a Democratic strong hold. I vote Republican but I am open to consider a democratic candidate that has a verifiable pro-fiscal responsibility in said history and is firm in that arena. I agree on promoting general welfare but not a welfare state, remember Governor Brown’s County Supervisor appointee, Karen Ray? Appointed for her party affiliation, that’s it I think? The real choice is who would you hand your signed blank check to?


Though I don’t believe the candidate is to blame, I think we just truly discovered Caren Ray’s supposedly “non-partisan” affiliation. There is only ONE party full of completely unhinged vandals and they are the same as those supporting, funding, and promoting the “refugee” caravan heading towards our southern border as well as unhinged tactics promoted by the whack jobs Maxine Waters, Pelosi, et al.

Vote Jim Hill


Patty Welsh the felony vandal! That’s so funny to me.


Two very important considerations here:

1. Who was with her in the photos that show two people in her car???

2. Most of Arroyo Grande knows that Patty Welsh is a problem and a repeat offender. Still, the Council used her as one of two prime “witnesses” in their kangaroo court proceedings against Jim Hill. That is now totally debunked for the politically-motivated self-serving abuse of taxpayer money and distortion of truth that it was. This nastiness and willingness to align with the indefensible is characteristic of Caren Ray and the cabal she runs with and protects.

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