SLO County official resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

May 14, 2019

Daniel “Colt” Esenwein


Daniel “Colt” Esenwein resigned as director of the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made by several female employees, according to county sources. [Cal Coast Times]

During the investigation, Esenwein spent approximately a month on paid administrative leave. Esenwein submitted his resignation last week.

After former public works director Wade Horton became SLO County’s chief administrative officer in 2017, the county had a vacancy to fill. Following a lengthy selection process, in April 2018, the SLO County Board of Supervisors approved a contract that provided Esenwein $272,950 a year in total compensation.

Like Horton, Esenwein is a United States Navy veteran, having served in the Navy from 1990 to 1994. Esenwein also previously worked as the deputy public works director of Stanislaus County.

Cal Coast Times has submitted requests, under the Public Records Act, for records of the allegations and the investigation into sexual harassment.


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San Luis Obispo city/county government: Come for the weather. Stay for the money (and side-benefits).


“$272,950 a year in total compensation” another outrageous amount, again we know why government entities are always looking for more ways to tax and fee the minions, when they waste so much and salaries and benefits.


Just a reminder that when you give into the tax pleas that they all go to the General Fund and 75% of that goes to pay all of these guys.


Our governing motto: ‘Give him everything he wants, and more’.


“Colt”? Really?

Jon Tatro

That picture says “Date me because I’m your boss and no one else will go out with me”.


Somebody here posted that the “pot holes have social security numbers” meaning, I presume, that they are old and longstanding in nature. Agreed. You could replace this PW Director for $125,000 and bennies and have a giant list of qualified applicants.


Absolutely, $125K plus full benefits is plenty to get a qualified applicant, but it must be more than double that to justify other County salaries including the useless HR people who hired him.


That is what should happen but never will. Must remember that they have worked for years telling us that they are the best and therefore are entitled to the most $$$$. That would be pulling the rug out from under all of these lucrative salaries and benefits that most of these high level city government employees are getting.


Likely there was or will be a payoff possible along with a quick retirement and a full pension with benefits, it’s the government way. And Poly rest assured it will all be hidden should he seek another job in government. Just pass the bad employees around all while the taxpayers pay and pay and pay.


If local history proves correct there will be at least a $100,000 payoff. Looks like he resigned in lieu of being fired. So the normal governmental process is to just pay them off and hope they disappear without the taxpayers really knowing what happened. And their excuse for this is that it would have cost more to fight it than to pay him off. Unfortunately that may be a true statement. But at some point they have to start standing up for the taxpayers and try to defend them against this outrageous abuse of funds.


For that kind of salary he should have tried harder to control himself.

What a fool.


I don’t think a pay rate should decide if he “should have tried harder to control himself” Anyone in a working environment should act appropriately with coworkers. Bottom line.

nazbol gang

Yea but if you are only making $20/hr or something it doesn’t really matter too much if you get fired because there are plenty more crap jobs where that came from. However if you are making anything over $100k it’s actually worth caring about, you can start to think about home ownership and a family at that point, start building a life here.


They probably won’t be able to give you the records that were requested due to it being a personnel matter. On a positive note:

The allegations were apparently taken seriously and an investigation launched.

He’s gone fairly quickly, rather than being covered up for years, as we’ve seen in the past.

No sign of a large payoff to him for having him leave.

Hopefully the investigation will be made known to the next place he attempts to land.


Wait. My money, no pun intended, says that there will be a significant payoff.


Probably pay off the remaining time on his contract even though he resigned. You know, to leave quietly with no muss. None of these clowns ever leave with empty pockets.


They have a clause that if they are released with or without cause determines their payoff. Without cause (resigns) they get there firing bonus.