Uncovered SLO

Another county man faces investment charges

By DANIEL BLACKBURN A Los Osos man is in county jail tonight following his arrest on eight felony charges related to a Nevada-based investment company he owns. Leonard Adolph Delk, 80, becomes the latest in a string of Central Coast money managers... (Continue reading)

PERILS OF PASO: Grand theft auto?

FIRST IN A SERIES By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN A steady drumbeat of complaints target alleged predatory towing practices by the Paso Robles Police Department and two towing companies, Alliance and Pete Johnson. Law enforcement, city officials, and reporters have been informed... (Continue reading)

Agency fee assessments shaped by new law

By DANIEL BLACKBURN A new state law rigidly defining a public agencies’ ability to blithely pass along inflationary costs to residents is now in place, and its impact on San Luis Obispo County may be swift. The law, signed by the governor... (Continue reading)

Big-money frauds top our 2008 investigations

By THE EDITORS A scandalous stack of brazen fiscal rip-offs and obscene financial schemes that today imperil the very economic stability of San Luis Obispo County is the most important news story of 2008 – and readers learned of them first... (Continue reading)


(EDITORS‘ NOTE: For months, a concerned investor sifted through Hurst Financial Inc.’s trash, tirelessly collecting eight bags of “Post-it” notes, hand-written letters, and typed documents from the imploding lending company. The investor then shared that trash with us. Part I... (Continue reading)

Cal Poly Saudi deal: Dueling contracts

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Deal-making with the Saudis is proving plenty problematic for Cal Poly officials. Efforts to ink what has become a contentious and controversial plan linking the CPSU Engineering College with Jubial University College (JUC) hit another snag... (Continue reading)

Evidence keepers scrutinized by Grand Jury

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE A San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury is probing allegations of sloppy evidence protection by law enforcement and reviewing procedures currently being used by the Sheriff’s Department to protect evidentiary integrity. Sources with detailed knowledge of... (Continue reading)

Santa Margarita Ranch property on auction block

By KAREN VELIE A thousand-acre parcel of the controversial Santa Margarita Ranch, owned by developer Ronald Hertel, is in default and will be sold at auction December 30. Also on the block, this one slated for December 22, is a Pismo Beach... (Continue reading)

Bank dubbed co-conspirator

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Estate Financial Inc. (EFI) creditor Ron Cooper said he plans to identify Heritage Oaks Bank as a co-conspirator with EFI principals Karen Guth and Joshua Yaguda in a lawsuit to be filed later this month. Heritage... (Continue reading)

Atascadero manager admits falsehoods

By KAREN VELIE Atascadero city officials lied in public statements regarding an eminent domain controversy and made a scapegoat of a city employee. City Manager Wade McKinney, one of those officials, confessed the deception only when testifying under oath in depositions earlier... (Continue reading)