Arroyo Grande council eyes reopening Adams inquiry
August 27, 2014
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
Stung by accusations of a cover-up, the Arroyo Grande City Council Tuesday decided to probe further into a late-night rendezvous between two officials who were discovered in a darkened City Hall last month.
Prodded by council member Tim Brown and a string of angry residents, the panel decided to set a date to consider an independent investigation into the July 3 incident involving City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish.
More than 70 people attended the overflow meeting, including a dozen public safety officers.
The council may set an emergency meeting for next week, or may handle the issue at its next regularly slated meeting.
According to law enforcement records and reports of people who were present at the scene, the pair appeared “disheveled” when found following a 911 call for assistance from McClish’s husband. He was concerned about his wife’s heart condition, he told officers.
Police officers responding to the call later reported feeling “uncomfortable” by the circumstances.
When CalCoastNews reported the incident last week, Mayor Tony Ferrara denounced the website and asserted that an internal investigation by an assistant city attorney found no “wrongdoing.”
Deputy City Attorney Michael McMahon conducted an inquiry into the incident, and told council members Tuesday he had “not skewed the report in any way.” He noted that the officers had said they did not find the pair in a sexual encounter. Then he contended that Adams and McClish said they were fully clothed when discovered, which differed from officer accounts.
In his cautiously crafted commentary, McMahon said,“There was not evidence that improper sexual behavior occurred.”
Nevertheless, as details of the incident surfaced in the 18,000-population village, residents began expressing “embarrassment” and “suspicion” and demanding a more thorough investigation.
Adams attended the meeting but made no comment about the episode.