The San Luis Obispo rancher convicted two years ago of violating property codes at his sober living program and parcel where he houses the homeless has avoided jail time by obtaining permission to wear a monitoring bracelet as part of a county home detention program.
Dan De Vaul, 67, said he began wearing an electronic ankle bracelet Wednesday. He runs the Sunny Acres sober living facility and houses homeless people on his 70-acre ranch on Los Osos Valley Road just outside San Luis Obispo.De Vaul has wrangled with the county for years over conditions on his property.
By agreeing to wear the bracelet, De Vaul avoids having to serve a 90-day County Jail sentence for his 2009 conviction in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on two misdemeanor counts of violating fire safety and vehicle-storage laws.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department operates the program that allows low-level criminal offenders to serve sentences at home and work at their regular jobs.
“I’m prepared to go to jail to help the homeless and help people get sober,” De Vaul said. “But I’m taking the bracelet and continuing to work out here.”
As part of the home detention, De Vaul is allowed to leave his property for work related to his ranch operation after first notifying sheriff’s officials, he said.
He’s scheduled to complete his sentence Sept. 23 barring any violations, Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Aaron Nix said.
On Friday, some tenants of De Vaul’s facilities are faced with finding a new place to live because of a court order issued by Judge Charles Crandall, who has ruled that some housing conditions are illegal.
“I’m going to try to work something out until the eleventh hour to keep those folks there,” De Vaul said.