Ex-Public Access TV leader facing jail time

Anthony Pope, the former head of the San Luis Obispo County Public Access television station, faces up to a year in jail for embezzling $2,525 from the station.

Pope, 55, of Arroyo Grande, pleaded no contest to a felony charge of grand theft by embezzlement, said Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran. In addition to the jail time, the plea agreement calls for Pope to be placed on probation.

He will be sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on May 9.

Gran said Pope obtained the $2,525 last year to purchase equipment for the station. He spent only $1,600 of that money and spent the rest on personal purchases.

He then returned the equipment he had purchased and used the $1,600 for more personal purchases.

“It sounds like everything started out OK and then went off the tracks,” Gran said.

This is not Pope’s first run-in with the law. He has a criminal record with several felonies and misdemeanors dating back to 1986 for convictions that included resisting arrest, grand theft, disobeying a court order and sale of a controlled substance, Gran said.

Pope remains in County Jail on a $20,000 bail.

Reach David Sneed at 781-7930.