Judge finds SLO County clerk recorder overcharged for recount

January 30, 2024

SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano


A judge ruled Tuesday that the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office overcharged a citizen for a recount of the 2022 county supervisor race between incumbent Bruce Gibson and Dr. Bruce Jones.

After Gibson defeated Jones by a mere 13 votes in the November election, Darcia Stebbens requested the recount. Stebbens then terminated the recount after less than a fourth of the district’s precincts had been counted, noting issues with transparency and costs.

Before the recount was halted, Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano agreed to count one ballot that her staff had failed to properly tally. The contested ballot, however, did not end up being tallied in the recount.

After Stebbens had paid the county $48,898 in estimated charges, Cano sent her a final bill. Stebbens refused to pay $4,448 in charges, alleging Cano had failed to provide itemized bills and documents requested with the recount. Cano then filed a small claims court suit against Stebbens, which Cano won.

Stebbens appealed, and the case moved to Superior Court Judge Rita Federman. Even though Stebbens pointed out multiple issues in which she asserted Cano overcharged her, for example a charge for a court filing that did not occur, the judge said she lacked the jurisdiction to consider Stebbens’ claim for reimbursement of additional false charges.

Judge Federman determined Cano charged $5,088 for overtime hours for herself and two other staff members, even though her office never paid those costs. The court determined Cano overcharged for the recount and that Stebbens does not owe the county any additional money.

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Is it a conflict of interest case? California’s big problem is the collusion of highly paid bureaucrats and the maintenance of status-quo politicians. One hand washes the other sort of thing.

Typical County of SLO … Clown Show. I see where the city has received state funding for a homeless – Project Homekey. The County received similar funding 6 months ago and are still trying to figure out where to site the shelter. Rumor has it Ortiz-Legg is going to surprise her personal neighbors and put it on Johnson. Did I mention Clown Show?

speaking of ‘Clown Shows’, where is Heidi Harmon again?? asking for a friend…

Heidi is still here, and her minions still run the City of SLO. The free weed from Helios was bad PR so she has to stay on the lowdown, for a while…

If you must go to court over a financial matter, in my opinion, Judge Federman is the absolute best judicial officer you can hope to have review the law and the facts of that matter.

And she’s a nice person…


As county clerk-recorder, Rodewald was non-partisan and apolotical. Cano is the opposite.

“Apolitical to me means you really have no focus on any of the politics…you have a ministerial duty to follow the state law, and it should not be colored by political leaning.” –Julie Rodewald, June ’21

Neither Elaine Cano or Tommy Gong seem trustworthy or competent.

Too bad Julie Rodewald couldn’t come out of retirement. She ran a tight ship and was respected by both sides of the aisle.