Two informants of former narcotics detective Cory Pierce have filed claims against the city of San Luis Obispo. Pierce was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to extortion.
During Pierces time as a San Luis Obispo police detective and narcotics deputy for the SLO County Sheriff’s Office he admitted to taking cash, property and drugs for his own use. In that time he used two informants to help with the dirty work. The couple has been identified as April Stewart and Kip Holland.
In both Stewart's and Holland’s complaints it says they were forced into indentured servitude, which included keeping them addicted to drugs and coercing them into engaging in dangerous and illegal activities.
In Pierce's plea agreement he admitted to offering to drop drug charges for Holland if he and Stewart helped him sell drugs and split the profits. The plea deal also stated he admitted to stealing meth from evidence to give to Stewart and Holland for personal use. Both began working with the FBI during its investigation recording conversations that eventually led to Pierces arrest.
Monday, the city will meet in closed session to go over the complaints.
"We'll give direction to council they will proceed to mediation, offers will be made, and hopefully a settlement agreement will be reached without even going to court," said Councilman John Ashbaugh. "We'll be asked back to approve that agreement within the near future."
The attorney representing Holland and Stewart, Stephen Dunkle, declined to comment on the claims or the damage the two were seeking.
According to City Attorney Christine Dietrick, the council can direct staff to negotiate a settlement or defend the case in court, if the individuals decide to file a lawsuit.