Six years ago, my former employer told me that CalCoastNews co-founder Karen Velie personally told her that she “made income” filing lawsuits.
These comments were made during a time when Velie attempted to blackmail my employer. The implication was fairly clear: if I wasn’t fired for my job, Velie was going to harass my employer and her family through a lawsuit, specifically a “class-action defamation lawsuit.” Since then, Velie has pulled similar stunts against her perceived adversaries. In the case of Arroyo Grande businessman Charles Tenborg, Velie has threatened litigation if she didn’t pay him the amount of damages that she owed him.
Since she lost the libel lawsuit filed against her and CalCoastNews in 2017, Velie has personally filed, re-filed and appealed a number of lawsuits that she has not routinely failed to disclose to readers. These are lawsuits that are either retaliatory in nature, based largely on insufficient evidence and conjecture or have no probability of prevailing.
VELIE v. HILL
In 2017, Velie filed a federal lawsuit against then-Supervisor Adam Hill and SLO County. The lawsuit was based on her conspiracy theory that Hill personally retaliated against her and threatened to destroy her website, causing emotional distress and loss of advertising revenue. She alleged that Hill and several of his alleged proxies or “agents” were ordered to smear her personal and professional reputation. Velie also alleged that her civil rights were essentially violated because she was denied interview requests with government officials and access to government documentation. Her exhibits included a cornucopia of random and oftentimes anonymous commentary that she claimed, in various declarations, that Hill was somehow involved in. Velie alleged the County was responsible for Hill’s proven and unproven conduct since Hill was supervisor during the time he was “conspiring” with his “co-conspirators.”
Here are some of the conspiracies that Velie alleges that Hill was either involved in or orchestrated. The following was deemed either unsubstantiated or inadmissible hearsay by the court:
- Having a business associate hire a hitman. Velie referred to an email reportedly sent by controversial SLO County developer Ryan Wright, who…