SLO worker convicted of assault to serve time in ‘pay-to-stay’ jail

Chris Olcott

By JOSH FRIEDMAN and KAREN VELIE

The San Luis Obispo city employee, whose unprovoked assault on a woman and a man at an Avila Beach bar caused public outrage, will serve his time behind bars at a “pay-to-stay” jail.

Earlier this year, Chris Olcott pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and received 60 days in jail with a three-year suspended sentence. Which means he will spend 30 days of incarceration, 15 in jail and 15 of home detention with an electronic ankle monitor.

Olcott, however, will not be spending time in the SLO County Jail. He has the finances to pay for special jail accommodations.

County prosecutors objected to the request, but Judge Jacquelyn Duffy approved it on Tuesday on the condition that the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office also allow the pay-to-stay arrangement. The sheriff’s office approved the arrangement.

The city of Santa Ana has already accepted Olcott as a potential inmate, at $140 for the first day and $110 for every day thereafter.

Olcott’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said his client has received death threats because of outrage over the video of the assault, which was originally published by CalCoastNews.

Pay-to-stay jails are safer and often offer amenities such as newer beds and flat screen televisions.

 

Camile Chavez, one of Olcott’s victims, is frustrated with the pay-to-stay accommodations.

“I feel he committed the crime in SLO County and he should do his time in SLO County,” Chavez said. “The judicial system has been pretty lenient up till now, and they continue to be lenient.”

On May 28, 2016, Olcott was drinking at Mr. Rick’s in Avila Beach when he purposely bumped into Chavez, a special education teacher at Righetti High School. After he pushed her a second time, Chavez pushed back.

Within seconds, Olcott hit Chavez in the temple with his elbow, which knocked her unconscious.

Olcott then punched Chavez’s companion, Isaac McCormack, in the back of the head three times. Both Chavez and McCormick suffered concussions during the assault.

More than a year ago, city administrators discovered that Olcott had been arrested on felony and misdemeanor battery charges. Even so, Community Development Director Michael Codron awarded Olcott a promotion and a raise.

After CalCoastNews posted the video of the assault, city administrators placed Olcott on paid administrative leave while an outside investigator reviews the incident and Olcott’s past behavioral issues including a prior complaint of hostility towards a co-worker, a co-worker said.

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