CalCoastNews Contributor

Karen Velie

Karen Velie lives in San Luis Obispo County.

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Two Pismo Beach police officers axed

By KAREN VELIE Three Pismo Beach police officers were reprimanded and two were let go late last year because of issues in their romantic relationships that allegedly impacted their ability to serve as peace officers. Two of the officers had a relationship with one another and the third had an altercation with a girlfriend while […]... (Continue Reading)

Feds look for links between Rabobank and drug cartels

By KAREN VELIE Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating Rabobank over questions about whether the bank overlooked signs of money laundering by customers with connections to Mexican drug cartels. For more than a year, investigators have interviewed current and former employees of Rabobank in San Luis Obispo County where statewide compliance checks occurred, an employee […]... (Continue Reading)

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Sanitation district attorney misled ratepayers

By KAREN VELIE Confidential documents obtained by CalCoastNews reveal a long-term plan by South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District officials to delay fines and findings of mismanagement by mounting a legal battle against the state — a fight they did not expect to win. In 2010, failures at the sanitation district resulted in 384,000 […]... (Continue Reading)

Jail population plummets, sheriff budget increases

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Jail inmate numbers in San Luis Obispo County have dropped by more than 25 percent since last year following initial implementation of Prop. 47, but San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s spending continues to climb. Proposition 47 reduces the classification of most “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug […]... (Continue Reading)

Sanitation district board pursues an audit

By KAREN VELIE After several years of voting against an audit, the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board voted 3-0 on Wednesday to pursue a financial review of the past 12 years. Approximately 30 people attended Wednesday’s meeting. Attendees asked the council to approve the audit and to terminate its contact with embattled […]... (Continue Reading)

SLO police chief travels on the family plan

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell attended 13 conferences during 2014. Expense records show that some of the conferences turned into family trips and the city footed the bill. A two-month investigation by CalCoastNews has uncovered multiple violations of city policy and what appears to be abuses of […]... (Continue Reading)

Legal counsel battles board

BY KAREN VELIE Amid allegations he had repeatedly failed to follow board direction, the San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board will review the performance of district legal counsel Mike Seitz on Jan. 21. At a Dec. 17 sanitation district meeting, the board unanimously voted to direct staff to seek a mitigated settlement with the […]... (Continue Reading)

Steve Adams threatens to sue Arroyo Grande

BY KAREN VELIE Former Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams filed a claim against the city last week threatening a lawsuit if the council does not extend his paid administrative leave for six months. The city will meet in closed session on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. to discuss the threat of litigation. Following a […]... (Continue Reading)

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Vons to pay for illegal dumping

By KAREN VELIE A judge from Alameda County ordered Safeway, the parent company for six San Luis Obispo County Vons grocery stores, to pay $9.87 million to 42 California counties and two cities for the illegal dumping of chemicals and medicines. In the case, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney along with 43 other […]... (Continue Reading)

Did Gibson purposely doctor the agenda?

BY KAREN VELIE San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s last act as chairman of the board of supervisors was to shut down public comment and board discussion over Supervisor Adam Hill’s appointment to vice chair in violation of the Brown Act. The Jan. 5 agenda, the last agenda created with Gibson as board chairman, […]... (Continue Reading)