Area man files with attorney general on Settle questions



Gary Fowler has filed paperwork with the state Attorney General's office seeking an investigation into whether SLO Councilmember Allen Settle is improperly living outside the city.

Fowler, a retired highway patrol officer, filed with the office what's called a "Leave to Proceed, Quo Warranto" on April 3, an action he believes will lead to an investigation.

Settle has consistently said in interviews and at council meetings that he lives legally within the city at a house he owns in the Laguna Lake neighborhood. He has acknowledged, however, that he spends time elsewhere, including a house he owns in Arroyo Grande.

The filing arose out of a New Times article that noted neighbors of the SLO house question whether he stays there regularly.

Gareth Lacy, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, explained that the process Fowler is seeking is generally used to settle disputes between elected office holders. It could, in essence, lead to a perfunctory investigation that would determine whether the filer can proceed with a civil suit.

"I am sure the most cursory of investigations by your office will reveal that [Settle] and his wife are living in the Arroyo Grande address," Fowler wrote in his request, noting that the SLO house has student-age tenants living there.

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