EDITOR’S NOTE: Since CalCoastNews reported on March 25 that District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill’s home was searched by the FBI, several anonymous accounts and key evidence linked to CCN co-founder Karen Velie were removed. Concerned that she was potentially spoliating evidence during a criminal investigation, I decided to release my unredacted report on Velie for public consumption.
CalCoastNews co-founder and publisher Karen Velie engaged in abuse of process and coercion in sweeping and extensive faction, oftentimes weaponizing her website CalCoastNews.com to influence public opinion, denigrate personal and professional reputations of actual and perceived political adversaries. Evidence of these practices began to surface in early 2014.
In March 2014, a confidential source contacted me with an allegation about Velie compromising then-State Senate Sam Blakeslee. The source, who had several conversations with Blakeslee’s then-wife Kara Woodruff, alleged that Velie uncovered an extramarital affair Blakeslee had with his former Chief of Staff Christine Robertson. I reached out to Blakeslee and Woodruff for comment at the time, but never received a response. Around that time, I publicly asked for tips about this potentially explosive lead but had not stated for certain that Velie attempted to blackmail Blakeslee. Given the lack of engagement from the alleged victims, I presumed the allegation lacked merit and decided to publicly disclose what was alleged for transparency purposes.
Since then, I learned that Blakeslee had/has a working relationship with Velie as an advertiser for CalCoastNews (Blakeslee & Blakeslee), a student in her Bridge class, witness in her 2013 criminal trial and was sought for a declaration in her unsuccessful lawsuits against District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill. The extent of their relationship remains unclear.
In May 2014, I served as a writer, web and graphic designer for Information Press, a monthly news and information magazine serving California’s Central Coast since 1991. Soon after Information Press’ publisher Sandra Marshall announced her bid for Congress, Velie contacted Marshall. On Saturday, May 10, Marshall called me to relay the conversation she had with Velie. Velie reportedly claimed she had evidence I was posting and maintaining my Facebook page, “Cal Coast Fraud,” on company time; that I was using my salary pay for operating the page, therefore my employer was susceptible to a libel lawsuit. Velie reportedly…