Chief Deputy Martin Basti appointed to be SLO County's new undersheriff

Martin Basti
Martin Basti

Incoming county Sheriff Ian Parkinson on Wednesday announced the appointment of a new undersheriff: Chief Deputy Martin Basti, a 32-year department veteran.

Basti, 59, oversees the sheriff’s department’s court services and custody operations. He will be sworn in, along with Parkinson and incoming Supervisor Paul Teixeira, during a ceremony before the Board of Supervisors on Monday.

Basti will serve as undersheriff for one year; he will also continue to oversee the custody division, which includes the main jail, its court services division, and the department’s honor farm and includes about 160 of the department’s more than 370 employees.

The chief deputy position will remain vacant, according to department spokesman Rob Bryn. Doing so is estimated to save $152,000 annually.

Former undersheriff Steve Bolts retired Sept. 17. The salary when Bolts held the position was $170,476; Basti’s salary has not yet been finalized.

Basti has worked throughout the department during his career — he started as a dispatcher and has also worked as a deputy, detective, sergeant and commander.

“Chief Basti has a long record of public service and community service,” Parkinson said in a statement. “I could not think of a better person to assist me in leading the department as we transition.”

Basti was named the 2003 Citizen of the Year for Los Osos. He lives in Templeton with his wife of 29 years, Diane. They have two grown sons.