David Edge fired by supervisors

May 19, 2009


San Luis Obispo County’s top administrator, David Edge, was fired Tuesday afternoon by the Board of Supervisors following a week of speculation about his fate. Edge spoke to the board for 10 minutes before the vote, calling their decision “a foregone conclusion.”

Then the board voted 5-0 to terminate Edge “for no cause” as allowed by a contract Edge himself wrote.

Edge called for “an investigation” into the circumstances of his dismissal.

“We all know that this decision was made over a week ago in a closed session to which I was not invited,” he said. “While I would not have chosen to end my career this way… it’s not my choice to make. The board is executing its discretion. The timing of the item, however, combined with rather inaccurate leaks, intentional or otherwise, from closed session, is to say the least unfortunate.”

Edge referred to “extreme unpleasantness” he experienced because of “some blogs out there.” CalCoastNews broke the story last week about Edge being placed on paid administrative leave along with Assistant County Administrator Gail Wilcox.

“I have done nothing that I regret,” he said. “I simply acted as always with compassion and concern for employees struggling with huge personal stress.”



One Comment

  1. ccn_debate says:

    Member Opinions:
    By: BeenThereDoneThat on 5/23/09
    Vagabond. Even if Gibson didn’t like Edge, how would you have a vote of 5-0 at the Sup. meeting, unless there was more to this??

    By: Vagabond on 5/21/09
    Pretty obvious SLO should just give up on using humans for any executive position, perhaps a pachinko machine could be utilized for guidance to the supes.
    This is going to be expensive, Edge will get about a quarter mil.
    To bad they couldn’t just act like real humans within the framework, again maybe a machine is what SLO needs.
    And maybe there is something more to this that we will never know, after all Gibson is on record that he didn’t like Edge,,

    By: Newsome on 5/21/09

    I think we are saying the same thing. I was only trying to reiterate my earlier concern which is this: As many CCN articles are bombastic, it becomes less likely that newsmakers are going to willingly talk to CCN reporters.

    I don’t have an answer for that. The answer is NOT “to suck up to everyone,” as the Trib is sometimes accused of. I simply recognize that it is going to be a problem to garner information if your interviewees won’t talk to you.

    The secondary point of my post was to take a poke at Bruce Gibson, who’s paternalistic shenanigans are becoming more and more apparent and worrisome to me.

    Both points are off topic, and candidates for deletion …

    By: Clemintine on 5/20/09
    PS to you McDave:
    Ref …Congalton: “Unfrigginbelievable.”

    I agree with Dave Congalton 100% … From a taxpayer standpoint this situation is “Unfrigginbelievable.” ….

    Actually I would use a little harsher language but then again Dave is a gentleman, so I will follow the lead.

    If not for Congalton and the Cal Coast News to help expose the sinister underbelly of SLO County politics we would already be in the jaws of the devil.

    By: Clemintine on 5/20/09
    Newsome writes:

    “It looks like the Trib scooped you with the in-depth Edge interview…”

    Come on there Newsome! … Open those big blues of yours and try to visualize the big picture.

    Do you think that Edge would dare grant an interview to CalCoastNews who first broke the story and who he referred to as sleaze?

    He has consistently sought refuge with the Tribune who he knows plays softball and who he can hope to redeem his place in history.

    Cal Coast news plays hardball … Edge knows it and he is scurrying down the mooring line of a sinking skiff.

    Edge has violated his position of trust and has taken us citizens on an expensive ride.

    Kick this BOZO out the door with no more taxpayer $$$$

    By: mccdave on 5/20/09
    Congalton: “Unfrigginbelievable.”

    To me it sounds all too believable and sad. A personal friendship between two co-workers goes wrong and turns into a huge mess that was probably unnecessary but for mistakes on both sides. This happens a lot.

    Here’s the book, which isn’t what “Getting Naked” would make you think (though Edge may have been trying to mask an innuendo):

    There are a couple of central questions: Was Edge was really pursuing Wilcox? If so, was it against her wishes throughout? Was Wilcox’s official complaint warranted or could this have been resolved between the two of them? Was there a political motivation for it?

    By: Newsome on 5/20/09
    It looks like the Trib scooped you with the in-depth Edge interview…

    I find it odd that the Trib quotes Pappy Gibson “speaking for himself” on the issue, and not as a supervisor. “Himself” is not a part of this issue. He is only involved because he is a supervisor, and he appears to want to have his cake (remain silent) and eat it (get his smear on) too.

    By: katmello on 5/20/09
    I’ve heard that Edge’s behavior is far worse than he is letting on. Keep digging, Karen!

    By: congaltonkvec920 on 5/20/09
    It came out today. Edge was forced out based on a complaint by Gail Wilcox, alleging “hostile workplace.” Edge crossed the line in his relationship with Wilcox, including giving her a book called “Getting Naked.”


    Thank you, Karen. Thank you, Dan. Thank you for breaking this story and being essentially correct. Good job.

    By: itneverends on 5/20/09
    It’s no mystery why Vic Hollanda gave just two weeks notice. The B/S gave him a resign or be fired option.

    By: skyler on 5/20/09
    And you gotta wonder why Planning Director Vic Hollanda suddenly announces retirement with only 2 weeks notice, rather than say, at year end which is more like a retirement plan and would allow propper time to vett the candidates and transition the new director smoothly. He is bailing out quick, NOT a long awaited casual retirement. Something stinks.

    By: Jared on 5/20/09
    Mr. Edge knew something more as did Ms. Wilcox, I’m hearing it was more to do with some internal behind closed door votes and off the record meetings from current board members and two of the past. Then when it appeared a leak was in the “house” Ms. Wilcox rumored a false hint of ” Improper” conduct to get him ousted, it worked. The secrets are now gone ? or are they ? As Official Investigations from out of the County are now taking place without the current BOSS even knowing what is coming down the pipe line. I too agree since I pay nearly $45,000.00 per year in property taxes I want to know the entire TRUTH and facts. I suspect something really sinister has happened and is still going on, sex rumor was a ruse to get off the real topic and subjects. If what I was told this morning is true then, a US Federal Grand Jury may very well be looking into somethings much wider and deeper than these two subjects. MR. Edge if you read this site, go public and consult with OUT of Town Law Firms, Sidney & Austin or Paul,Hasting firm to name two. As you would have it several Big Law Firms have had investigators in town from Florida,Texas, Arizona,Georgia and now New York. So we know something is up, really big so tell all we taxpayers need to know the truth and facts of what has been going on in closed rooms, and it is not sex. It is about $ payoffs, bribes and kick backs isn’t it. My business Accountant meets this week with several Federal Agents to discuss what our firm knows of some shady deals from Tribal influence on Casinos to SMR scams and fraudulent bank loans.

    By: Insight on 5/20/09
    Quote from David Edge Public Comment At the San Luis Obispo County Supervisor’s 5/19/2009 meeting.
    … “I would encourage a full and public investigation and review of this matter. (Unlike some) I have absolutely nothing to (hide or fear), or hide from that kind of review. I think it would serve me very well. (For the rest)I’m not so sure.”

    1. Questions: Who are the persons he is referring to where he said (Unlike some…) and (For the rest…)?
    2. What is it (they) have to (hide or fear)?

    Sounds like a job for the SLO or State Grand Jury! At the time he made these statements he was still a County official. His job description allows him to be privy to everything County. Mmmm?

    By: Newsome on 5/20/09
    Let me get this straight, Karen:

    Under Ca-FOIA, this is a matter of public record, however it is being kept from the public? By who?

    If it is by Daddy-knows-best Gibson, then I am outraged.

    If it is by county counsel, who is erring on the side of caution on a very delicate matter, then I am more forgiving.

    Who *should* be releasing the files and is failing to do so?

    By: mccdave on 5/20/09
    The County Board seems to be worried about exposure to a lawsuit if details of their reasons for firing Edge are disclosed. But you have to wonder what kinds of misconduct would be disclosed as a matter of course. Clear mismanagement, conflicts of interest, etc., would probably be discussed openly, wouldn’t they?

    By: karen on 5/20/09
    According to the California Freedom of Information Act, very few aspects of a non-law enforcement public employee’s personnel records are not open to the public.

    “Only purely personal information unrelated to ‘the conduct of the public’s business’ could be considered exempt from this definition,” according to the First Amendment Coalition’s website.

    “In an opinion interpreting the Act’s privacy exemption in the light of the federal courts’ view of the parallel exemption in the Freedom of Information Act: “The critical question is whether the information associates the person with the business of the public agency or with an aspect of the individual’s personal life” (68 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 73 (1985). It appears well settled that information directly bearing on their qualification for public office, or the discharge of their public duties, is in no sense private,” according to the First Amendment Coalition’s website.

    “Complaints against the conduct of public employees, if they are submitted in confidence, are in their raw state are probably protected from disclosure by the official information privilege in Evidence Code Section 1040, to protect the interests of the complaining party. But if they deal with serious matters, and are confirmed by the agency’s investigation, the public interest dictates disclosure,” according to the First Amendment Coalition’s website.

    By: rogerfreberg on 5/20/09

    I believe that it was Howard Jarvis in his book “Mad as Hell” or somewhere else that called San Luis Obispo county the ‘most corrupt in California”… I don’t know if that is true… there are so many contenders.

    It doesn’t sound like ‘corruption or overt favoritism’ going on here… but with the lack of ‘transparency’ within county government we will never know.

    It does seem like they were both making a lot of money… I wish you all luck in uncovering the back story which I am sure is a good one!

    Congratulations again,

    Roger Freberg

    By: mccdave on 5/20/09
    It has to be said that the anonymous source CalCoastNews cited was almost certainly correct, except on the particular of Edge resigning. But since the board meeting yesterday appears to have just been a formality, Edge, for all intents and purposes did effectively resign.

    By: Snoopdog on 5/20/09
    Another big payout for the county, and I’m sure a payout for Gail will follow–all while necessary positions remain vacant due to budget cuts. What a joke! The next CAO should be placed in an office right behind the 1st floor information desk, where he/she is available to the general public.No more isolating in the tower! Relatye to the common folk. This goes for Johnson Ave, too.

    By: R.Hodin on 5/20/09
    BTW, Karen & Dan, a big public tip of the hat to CCN for breaking this story, even though you’re “just a blog!”

    Blog on!

    By: R.Hodin on 5/20/09
    What can you say about a man so arrogant that he wrote his own contract to stipulate that the supervisors are required to have a hearing and vote to fire him at a public session of the board?

    Well, for one, you can use his own words:
    “I have done nothing that I regret,” he said. “I simply acted as always with compassion and concern for employees struggling with huge personal stress.”

    This man can do no wrong. Thank you for your selfless service, Mr. Edge. I, for one, will miss you.

    By: WazzUp on 5/19/09
    FINALLY Edge is out. I just hope they don’t pick an Edge cronney as his replacement.

    I’ll bet on Kat-a-list for Wilcox. It’s #1, #2, #4 and #5. Another lawsuit we will have to pay for.

    Of course things will never change in SLO, it’s not what you know it’s who you know.

    By: Kat-a-list on 5/19/09
    Actually there are a couple of options for Wilcox.
    1)She now returns since Edge is gone, she stays for about a week, then goes out on paid stress leave and never returns,
    2)She never comes back and remains on temporary paid stress leave while the County passes the hat around other departments willing to take her on for the interim, until she goes out on perment paid disability,
    3)Her lawyer fenagles a voluntary quit with a payout that is presented as “Less than litigation will cost.”
    4)She negotiates a lucrative deal for a SPREAD in Playboy magazine called “Girl on the Edge” and becomes Heff’s Number 1 Girlfriend,
    5)Wilcox writes a tell all book and goes on Oprah-Where she’s found to be a fraud.

    I’m just sayin’…


    By: Truthbeknown on 5/19/09
    So one now has to wonder what will happen with Wilcox . . .

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