Fairfield council questions SLO CA police chief’s record

Soon-to-be former San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell is facing scrutiny in Fairfield, just weeks before starting her new job — over her lost gun incident and the department’s handling of Black Lives Matter protests.

According to the Daily Republic newspaper in Solano County, two members of the Fairfield City Council raised concerns at a meeting Sept. 15 about Cantrell’s handling of the weapons incident, noting they received calls from city residents on the issue.

“I think we will have a better sense of the police chief when we meet her,” Vice Mayor Pam Bertani told the Daily Republic. “I have never talked to her or met her. … I think her presence will make a difference.”

Prior to her resignation from her post as head of San Luis Obispo Police Department in August, Cantrell was the subject of some high-profile local incidents.

In July 2019, she left her gun in an El Pollo Loco bathroom in San Luis Obispo. The follow-up search for her missing weapon led to an investigation and arrest of an unrelated suspect.

Fairfield Councilwoman Catherine Moy said at the Sept. meeting that she wanted to hear more from Cantrell on the gun incident and the subsequent investigation.

“My concern is the arrest of a person who did not at all look like the person who they believed took (the gun), and they got him for something else,” Moy said in the Daily Republic article. “I believe that is a violation of his civil rights.”

At the meeting, Cantrell was also criticized for the handling of Black Lives Matter protests in San Luis Obispo.

During as march in June, the San Luis Obispo Police Department fired tear gas at protesters. The department later arrested activist Tianna Arata and asked the district attorney to file eight criminal charges against her for leading a separate July protest.

According to the Daily Republic, Fairfield city manager Stefan Chatwin, who was responsible for hiring Cantrell, said he stood behind his decision, noting Cantrell was the clear favorite for the position after community, professional and staff panel interviews of the top candidates.

Cantrell began the recruitment process for the Fairfield chief job in May. Her last day with the San Luis Obispo Police Department will be Sept. 30.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.

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California Pizza Kitchen closes in downtown SLO after 14 years. Here’s why

California Pizza Kitchen has officially has closed in downtown San Luis Obispo.

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The chain restaurant shut its doors at 876 Marsh St., Suite E, on July 14, according to a company spokesperson.

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lease challenges with our landlords, we can confirm that we have closed our CPK San Luis Obispo location,” the company said in a statement. “We have loved serving the San Luis Obispo, CA community and thank our guests and business neighbors for their patronage.”

The move to close the San Luis Obispo restaurant came before California Pizza Kitchen announced July 30 that it had filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“Prior to the filing, CPK closed some restaurants in the United States due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lease-related challenges with our landlords,” company CEO Jim Hyatt wrote on the company’s website. “We do not have plans to close any additional restaurants at this time.”

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California Pizza Kitchen first opened on Aug. 1, 2006, near Downtown Centre Cinemas. At the time, the restaurant employed 133 employees and seated 185 customers, according to a past Tribune article.

The former home of the restaurant, which spans roughly 6,000 square feet, is part of the San Luis Obispo Collection, a group of commercial buildings totaling 285,200 square feet in San Luis Obispo’s downtown.

The landlord, Jamestown LP, is a multi-billion dollar real estate company based in Atlanta with offices worldwide.

“CPK approached Jamestown for a modification to their lease which we were actively negotiating prior to the brand making the decision to close the store prior to their lease expiration,” said Therese Cron, Jamestown’s vice president of West Coast leasing. “While we’ve enjoyed our partnership with CPK over the past 10 years we are exploring all merchandising options for the 6,000 square-foot space.”

The San Luis Obispo restaurant was part of a national casual dining chain with locations in 32 states, as well as operations worldwide.

California Pizza Kitchen specializes in hand-tossed, hearth-baked pizzas with varieties including barbecue chicken and Thai chicken. The restaurant chain also offers ribeye, salmon, pastas, salads, soups and desserts such as Belgian chocolate souffle cake.

As of Thursday, California Pizza Kitchen signs remained posted at the former location of the San Luis Obispo restaurant, with CPK SLO designs and furniture still inside the commercial building.

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SLO CA restaurant California Pizza Kitchen closes downtown

California Pizza Kitchen has officially has closed in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The chain restaurant shut its doors at 876 Marsh St., Suite E, on July 14, according to a company spokesperson.

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lease challenges with our landlords, we can confirm that we have closed our CPK San Luis Obispo location,” the company said in a statement. “We have loved serving the San Luis Obispo, CA community and thank our guests and business neighbors for their patronage.”

The move to close the San Luis Obispo restaurant came before California Pizza Kitchen announced July 30 that it had filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“Prior to the filing, CPK closed some restaurants in the United States due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lease-related challenges with our landlords,” company CEO Jim Hyatt wrote on the company’s website. “We do not have plans to close any additional restaurants at this time.”

California Pizza Kitchen first opened on Aug. 1, 2006, near Downtown Centre Cinemas. At the time, the restaurant employed 133 employees and seated 185 customers, according to a past Tribune article.

The former home of the restaurant, which spans roughly 6,000 square feet, is part of the San Luis Obispo Collection, a group of commercial buildings totaling 285,200 square feet in San Luis Obispo’s downtown.

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Douglas Beima puts out table cards at the California Pizza Kitchen in San Luis Obispo’s Downtown Centre before the restaurant’s opening in 2006. The restaurant moved into a space formerly occupied by Fresh Choice. David Middlecamp

The landlord, Jamestown LP, is a multi-billion dollar real estate company based in Atlanta with offices worldwide.

“CPK approached Jamestown for a modification to their lease which we were actively negotiating prior to the brand making the decision to close the store prior to their lease expiration,” said Therese Cron, Jamestown’s vice president of West Coast leasing. “While we’ve enjoyed our partnership with CPK over the past 10 years we are exploring all merchandising options for the 6,000 square-foot space.”

The San Luis Obispo restaurant was part of a national casual dining chain with locations in 32 states, as well as operations worldwide.

California Pizza Kitchen specializes in hand-tossed, hearth-baked pizzas with varieties including barbecue chicken and Thai chicken. The restaurant chain also offers ribeye, salmon, pastas, salads, soups and desserts such as Belgian chocolate souffle cake.

As of Thursday, California Pizza Kitchen signs remained posted at the former location of the San Luis Obispo restaurant, with CPK SLO designs and furniture still inside the commercial building.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.

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