Local News

Nov 23, 2009 11:58 PM by Ryan Foran

Controversial recovery center owner opts for jail

Sunny Acres owner Dan DeVaul is sentenced to jail time, but the fight over his recovery center may not be over yet.
DeVaul refused probation at his sentencing hearing Monday and instead opted for jail.
He was convicted on two out of nine charges stemming from his San Luis Obispo County facility.
DeVaul will serve 90 days in jail and pay a $1,000 fine.
KSBY News was the only television station in the courtroom Monday.
Simply put, DeVaul could have accepted probation and avoided any jail time or fines, but his supporters say he opted for jail to make a stand, and
the Dan DeVaul Sunny Acres saga continues.

With the news media cameras clicking the latest chapter has the controversial recovery center owner sticking out his arms and being handcuffed before being taken to jail.

"We're here for you Dan, we're not going nowhere," one of his supporters Darcene Clayton shouted to him from inside the courtroom.

After DeVaul acknowledges his supporters in the courtroom they stood and applauded his decision.

It's a decision the deputy district attorney says is all Mr. DeVaul's.
"He chose not to accept terms and conditions of probation, so the court really had no choice but to sentence him to some amount of time in jail," Deputy District Attorney Craig Van Rooyen said.

The terms and conditions of his probation stated Devaul still needs to bring his property up to code. They say even when he does get out of jail, he will still have to do that. DeVaul supporters say there is another side.

"The moment he'd walk back on his property they would arrest him for a probation violation and not for housing the homeless," Clayton said.
DeVaul says the terms of probation would prevent him from housing about 30 people who reside at his recovery center.
Darcene Clayton has lived there since 2007.
"Today he's making a stand for the people of homeless, and alcohol and drug, and the people that are living in the creeks. The people that can not afford the $700 and $2,200 programs," Clayton added.
County code enforcement officials tell KSBY News, DeVaul is under the impression if he goes to jail he will be absolved of all fines and penalties,
and they say that is not the case.
County code enforcement says it will wait for DeVaul to get out of jail and then continue to pursue the case if his property is still not up to code.
DeVaul's supporters say they will fight to keep Sunny Acres open.

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