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News Release - Dayspring

Author: Rebecca Campbell, ACAO
Date: 8/31/2021 1:22:21 PM

San Luis Obispo County's internal review regarding Dayspring matters.

As you all know, on July 28, 2021, the County of San Luis Obispo became aware of the Federal charges against Helios Dayspring, and the plea agreement he made with the United State Attorney’s Office. In the plea agreement, Mr. Dayspring admits to Federal tax evasion and bribing former Supervisor Adam Hill in an attempt to influence Mr. Hill’s decisions regarding cannabis legislation and cannabis permits involving Mr. Dayspring’s projects. Mr. Dayspring was arraigned in Federal Court on August 25, 2021, and a date has yet to be set for him to formally enter his guilty plea. 

When the County learned of this profoundly disappointing news, administrators put a hold on all of Mr. Dayspring’s cannabis permits and began a review of all cannabis legislation and land use permits which could be called into question because of former Supervisor Hill’s actions or votes. 

The County has now completed that review which included reviewing each legislative action of the Board of Supervisors related to cannabis, including a review of the minutes and the final vote by the Board. Similarly, the County has compiled each cannabis project that Mr. Dayspring was involved in at the County to determine whether Supervisor Hill participated in any approvals for those projects.

Our review uncovered two decisions that may have been affected due to the bribes Mr. Dayspring admits giving Supervisor Hill.  Both decisions passed by a 3-2 vote where former Supervisor Hill was an affirmative vote. One such vote was on December 17th, 2019, to place an item on the January 14th, 2020 agenda.  And the other was the vote on that item on January 14th, 2020.  That item was to extend the abeyance resolution, or the temporary hold on enforcement of cannabis regulations on certain operators who registered with the County, until June of 2020. That decision allowed some of the 141 original cannabis operators who registered with the County to continue operating while they were working their way through the land use permit process.  Mr. Dayspring was attached to three of those applications, two of which benefited from the abeyance extension. The abeyance Resolution expired in June of 2020 making any needed corrective action on this matter moot. 

Other votes by the Board that arguably could be considered beneficial to Mr. Dayspring either did not pass, or passed by 4-0/5-0 votes with either Supervisor Compton absent or former Supervisor Hill deceased for the decision. 

As far as current cannabis projects involving Mr. Dayspring in the County, all business licenses which include Mr. Dayspring as an identified owner of the business have been denied by the Sheriff’s Office.  Any new owners of those projects must submit new applications with the County and new background checks will need to be performed. The Sheriff’s Office will review any new owners and carefully evaluate any individuals who have a history of doing business with Mr. Dayspring. 

We are not privy to the status or extent of the FBI investigation but in instances where wrong-doing has been alleged, we have done and will do full investigations of our own as well.  The County of San Luis Obispo has cooperated fully with the FBI and will continue to do so.