Partners accuse SLO developer of fraud, breach of contract

July 31, 2023

Hamish Marshall

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series regarding allegations of fraud and breach of contract against high-profile developer Hamish Marshall.


In a pair of lawsuits filed earlier this year, partners of Hamish Marshall level allegations of financial misconduct against the San Luis Obispo-based developer.

This is not the first time a partner has accused Marshall of financial wrongdoing. In 2020, developer Taylor Judkins filed a suit accusing Marshall of misappropriating more than $3 million from a project.

In the latest two lawsuits, one of the plaintiffs is Marshall’s longtime partner Alex Pananides, who has been in a romantic relationship with Hamish’s mother-in-law for many years.

Marshall and Rodney Cegelski are co-owners of SLO Brew Rock, SLO Brew Lofts, Rod and Hammer’s SLO Stills, and The Carissa. In addition, they both have ownership stakes in Quiky Car Wash, along with Pananides and Patrick Smith, both of Santa Barbara.

In a pair of lawsuits filed earlier this year, Pananides and Smith accuse Marshall and Cegelski of breach of contract regarding their involvement in Hotel Cerro and a chain of car washes.

Marshall and Cegelski serve as managing partners of Quiky Car Wash, which operates two locations in SLO and one in Atascadero.

In February, Marshall and Cegelski informed their partners of a plan to sell Quicky Car Wash. Even though Pananides and Smith did not agree, Marshall and Cegelski planned to move forward with the sale.

However, their operating agreement bars the partners from selling substantially all assets of the company without unanimous consent of the members, according to a lawsuit Pananides and Smith filed against Marshall and Cegelski on March 13.

According to the lawsuit, Marshall and Cegelski are planning to sell Rod & Hammer LLC and all its assets to Sun Day. A sale that is allegedly conditioned on the transfer of Quiky Car Wash to Sun Day.

The lawsuit accuses Marshall and Cegelski of working to benefit their own financial interests and not those of Quiky Car Wash.

“The wrongful acts complained of herein show multiple breaches by the managing member defendants of their fiduciary duties of loyalty, good faith and fair dealing,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the court for injunctive relief, compensatory damages and court and legal costs.

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The fraud among these players is deep— goes back YEARS.

Amen, but only you and I know this, SLO City staff does not.

Marshall need to ask the Copelands how to get the city to do want you want and to get city property for cents on the dollar.

If I remember correctly, he did just that with the Broad Street parking lot. And deals are still being made if you have cocktails with the right people.

Hamish. So handsome and charming, so absolutely corrupt. The fact that anyone knowingly goes into any venture with him, while most of his Google Search pertains to his fraudulent business practices, is mind-blowing. A man who presents as extremely wealthy- to even those who know he is not- is a man who lives his “fabulous life” funded by hard money loans that he has had trouble repaying.

Great reporting, and yes, this scratches only the surface. Unfortunately, as long as there are wide-eyed gullible wealthy people in SLO, Hamish will be trying to defraud them. Rodney Cegelski is a great guy who, unfortunately, took up with the wrong partner years ago.

Corrupt, but not stupid. I’ll bet he has plenty stashed away. “Rod and Hammer”? I’m going to drink at the airport? Well maybe if I’m taking a jet to go helicopter skiing in Alberta while not paying the bill at Miner’s Hardware which is my Hamish experience. But he will continue to be able to pitch a competitive advantage because he has the City of SLO connections, specifically Tyler Corey.

Never implied he was stupid. He’s sly like a fox, and he knows how to manipulate even those he has wronged. I’m sure he has money tucked away as a means of self-preservation. It’s a shell game for him.

It always catches up to you, though. He’ll get his in the end.

How about the major L Hamish took on Cerro Hotel this past year selling for discount after contractors had liens places on the hotel for unpaid dues?

Scratch the surface in Slo and you’ll quickly realize he’s a shark in shallow waters.

Say what you will, it works! I’ve seen it work, and work well for decades. You go bankrupt and then come back bigger and better. The joke(?) is that if three rich guys get together for a beer the result is a new LLC.

Smells like there is more to this story. Thank you for bringing this story forward.