Hill goes to battle with CAPSLO
March 22, 2014
By KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN
Editor’s note: Read a letter from Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo to the board of supervisors that includes a statement by Supervisor Adam Hill at the bottom of this article.
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill publicly chastised and threatened his fiancée’s employer this week, prompting the organization to notify the board of supervisors that Hill is running a misinformation campaign geared toward influencing public officials.
Last week, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo CEO Biz Steinberg demoted Hill’s fiancée Dee Torres from her position as director of homeless services to a newly created role of homeless services manager. The demotion came with a more than 20 percent reduction in pay and followed multiple allegations of mismanagement of a program that is currently operating under a deficit.
On March 18, Hill sent his legislative assistant Hannah Miller to a homeless advisory committee meeting held at the CAPSLO offices. Miller read a statement chastising CAPSLO for demoting and humiliating Torres shortly after she voiced concerns about the safety of volunteers and homeless services employees.
In addition, Hill’s statement called CAPSLO’s leadership trio of Steinberg, Jim Famalette and Grace McIntosh “obnoxious and counterproductive.” He accused Steinberg of spending thousands of dollars on travel while neglecting the underprivileged whom the nonprofit is supposed to support.
At the end of the statement, Hill warned that the controversy created by the “egos” of Steinberg, Famalette and McIntosh would continue to be an issue with elected officials, the media and donors.
Twenty-two people attended the homeless advisory committee meeting Tuesday.
On Friday, CAPSLO fired back in a letter to San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bruce Gibson, a close political ally of Hill’s. The letter authored by CAPSLO Board President Frances Coughlin noted the nonprofit’s “serious concerns and disappointment” with the actions taken by Hill.
In the letter to Gibson, Coughlin commended Steinberg as an inspiration in the battle to end poverty. She chastised Hill for his actions regarding Torres’ demotion.
“The tone and tenor of this letter, the insulting commentary on our CEO Ms. Steinberg and her management team, and the implied threatening nature are unacceptable and we take exception to his statements,” Coughlin’s wrote. “We also call on Mr. Hill to discontinue his campaign of misinformation to influence other elected officials in an effort to discredit CAPSLO’s reorganization of its homeless division.
“We believe his recent comments, emails, and texts reflect a personal conflict of interest inappropriate for an elected official of our county.”