Former Oceano Community Services District (OCSD) board member Cynthia Replogle is no stranger to calls for her resignation. While she dodged such demands from some community members over her stance on off-roading at the Oceano Dunes, Replogle ultimately threw in the towel of her own accord at the March 23 board meeting.
Her reason: harassment and stalking by an Oceano resident, and the OCSD's refusal to file a restraining order on her behalf.
- File Screenshot From SLO-Span
- REPLOGLE RESIGNS Cynthia Replogle resigned from the Oceano Community Services District board after allegedly being stalked and harassed by a resident.
"I was dealing mostly with the general manager and Jeff Minnery, the legal counsel, as well. They led me to believe that they were going to take some action on this issue. But then, they dragged their heels and ended up not doing anything," Replogle told New Times. "It got to the point where I would not feel safe going to in-person meetings. I caught myself shopping online for bulletproof vests, and then I realized this is too far."
She is referring to Oceano resident Clark D'Souza, who is a vocal critic of several officials in San Luis Obispo County—from 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton to Replogle herself. D'Souza's previous blowups with OCSD staff members resulted in the district slapping a restraining order against him on its employees' behalf in 2017.
"The restraining order has since expired and the OCSD refused to seek one on Replogle's behalf, or take any other protective action, including a cease and desist letter or following its own anti-harassment policy," Replogle wrote in a news release.
The 2017 restraining order petition states that D'Souza frequently confronted OCSD staff about an American flag on private property in Oceano that wasn't properly maintained. After apologizing to them with a cupcake delivery, D'Souza continued to approach the same group of employees at the OCSD office. Incidents peaked when he entered the fire authority building's restricted areas and refused to leave.
"D'Souza continued to scream nonsensical statements and was generally belligerent," the petition stated. "He climbed on the treadmill ... lifted his shirt up for no apparent reason. He climbed on the fire truck that was parked in the garage."
At the March 23 meeting, Replogle announced that D'Souza had followed her and filmed her jogging. D'Souza also runs a YouTube channel where he documents his criticism of county leaders, and a handful of the videos are directed at Replogle.
D'Souza told New Times that it was Replogle who stalked him. He added that he felt relieved she was no longer an OCSD board member.
"She brought out a Taser gun and ran around threatening people with [it]. She stood in front of my house while jogging. I didn't say in the video what she actually did ... she would sit and stare," he said.
Replogle refuted D'Souza's stalking claims. She said though her brother did gift her a Taser out of concern for her safety after several off-roading enthusiasts threatened her, she only clipped it to her fanny-pack while out jogging.
She added that D'Souza appeared to have mental health issues and once advised the SLO County Behavioral Health Department to provide him with resources. But she said the department informed her that it couldn't take proactive action and would have to wait until he asked for help.
OCSD President Karen White expressed affection for D'Souza.
"The gentleman we're talking about was in Desert Storm. ... He's a disabled veteran," White told New Times. "He helped me put up fire campaign signs. He's never been anything but a gentleman to me. I have high regard for him, and he's never hurt anyone. He's nonviolent."
White said that she doesn't spend her time on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, so she doesn't know the extent of D'Souza's speech criticizing others.
In March 2021, D'Souza sent an email titled "Domestic Terrorism" to Replogle and other officials from around the county. White claimed she didn't receive this email.
"Unholster your fucking weapons WHITE PEOPLE, and deal with your psychopathic fruitcakes like Cynthia Replogle and Ellene [sic] Villa," D'Souza wrote.
White said she thought granting a petition for a new restraining order was an unnecessary expense for taxpayers but didn't know its exact cost.
"I have no idea," she said. "To me, it wasn't between this gentleman and all of us ... but between [D'Souza] and one board member."
The OCSD has 60 days to appoint Replogle's replacement. Failure to do so would shift the responsibility to the county. OCSD General Manager Will Clemens anticipates her seat to be filled in May. Both White and Clemens told New Times that Replogle had the option to file a restraining order herself.
"I was thinking about doing that before I spoke to the OCSD legal counsel last year," Replogle said. "He told me it's really hard to get a restraining order if you don't live with the person or aren't related to them. He discouraged me from doing that and said that's something the district should do." Δ
This story was changed to correct a misstatement about which agency Replogle had asked to address D'Souza's alleged mental health issues.