Adam Hill using government resources in election bid

June 5, 2012

Adam Hill


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s use of his office in his bid for reelection appears to be a violation of Government Codes 54964 and 8314, which ban government officials from using public resources including buildings, computers or phones to discourage or support a ballot measure or political campaign.

On June 1 at about 2 p.m., Hill was forwarding links to a positive and misleading article written by Tribune reporter Bob Cuddy titled “Nastiness increasing in 2 SLO County supervisory campaigns,” using his San Luis Obispo County Supervisor email.

Cuddy’s piece slams Hill’s opponent Ed Waage while praising Hill as the only candidate who had not reported negative issues on radio advertisements or fliers. Cuddy did not include negative campaigning on Hill’s website and instead touted Hill as an opponent of negative advertising.

In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill sent the emails in a way that the names of recipient are hidden.

While no criminal penalty exists for violating government code 54964, Government Code 1222 makes a willful violation of any of the provisions by a government official a misdemeanor.

Hill did not respond to requests for comment.

Travis from SLO

I was at least one of the people that wrote to CCN and reported the misuse of Mr. Hill’s official email.Mr. Hill did use his official email address, as in . The article is accurate in that the email to me from Mr. Hill linked to an “interesting Tribune article” and Hill’s contact info.

I am not a supporter of Mr. Hill nor do I currently live in his district. The only way I have ever communicated with Mr. Hill was on Jan. 20th 2012 when I emailed him about his high school level prank call pretending to be Mr. Wagge and his denial than confession 10 days later because he forgot all about it. I appealed to him to be more responsible and accountable. He did write me back.

Here is the entire exchange from Jan. 20th, 2012:


No doubt I would better understand and even appreciate your opinions were they not derived from the fallacious and intentionally misleading “news” reports you’ve cited.

Should have any interest in discussing actual work I’ve been involved in as County Supervisor, I would welcome that.

Regardless, I send you best wishes.


District Three Supervisor

San Luis Obispo County

1055 Monterery, Rm D430

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408


(805)781-1350 Fax


To: “”

Date: 01/19/2012 08:47 PM

Subject: Impersonation

Supervisor Hill, I was very disappointed in the news that you called in pretending to be someone else earlier this month. Then, when people recognized you, you tried to blow smoke up Karen’s ass about a lawsuit. Then, you claim you forgot all about it and it was just a big joke ha ha. Well, your integrity is in question and you are acting like a high school freshman instead of a county supervisor. How about stepping aside and letting some other person with integrity run in this race before you and your clown like antics get you booted out of office this November.

So much for being a centrist, you ended up being a one term sick joke. Good luck in finding a job not too many are hiring dishonest people these days.


This was the only interaction until Friday June 1st., 2012:



View contact details



District Three Supervisor

San Luis Obispo County

1055 Monterery, Rm D430

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408


(805)781-1350 Fax


On Saturday Evening, after checking my email, I replied back to Mr. Hill thanking him for the article and asking how this was official business. No reply from Mr. Hill. He could have just written and said sorry to bother you just a mix up or whatever. I then sent CCN a tip. Mr. Hill on Monday looked me up on facebook and “liked: two posts that I made almost a year ago on a public forum for no apparent reason, perhaps to let me know he is watching me or whatever slimy politicians think. Whatever. That is just creepy. All that has done is to motivate me to file a complaint with the FPPC for using government resources to campaign.

It is not so much what Mr. Hill did, but his attitude that really gets me. A simple apology would have been in order. Attempted intimidation by a has been professor is laughable. I am a 5th generation resident of this county and I will not back down from a washed up bureaucrat, this is not in my nature.

I doubt much will happen to Mr. Hill, but I have absolutely no respect for him or his ideas at this point.


Thanks for posting the email from his office, something I wish that CCN had done.

Your initial communication with him was so juvenile, on a level blow the very prank call that you were criticizing him for, that I’m not surprised that he responded coldly — you didn’t give him room to respond any other way — he was obviously on the defensive at that point.

So, in my book, you don’t have any grounds for being critical of his “attitude,” least of all with your claim of “5th generation” resident, which is so over-used it has become a meaningless cliche.

I’m supposedly descended from Eric the Red, the Viking who invaded and brought Christianity to Sweden. Who the F*** cares!!!


Oh, so it’s YOUR fault that MY ancestor that was a Rabbi that emigrated to Sweden had to convert to being a Lutheran.



Great, now you’ll be coming after me for your family’s otherwise unexplainable penchant for surstromming & lutefisk.



Travis from SLO

That is great…. am I the problem? Was I supposed to be very polite and kiss his ring?Mr. Hill was the man who called a “friend” and “pretended to be another person! I believe that is beneath the office of Supervisor. Since you agree with Hill’s agenda, you find no issue with his behavior? I don’t remember any type of public apology or regret over the incident do you?

I did not trick Hill into using his taxpayer funded email to me. I have never asked for anything from him ever. It is clear to me that he was trying to use his official position to try and influence the election in his favor. This is wrong if it was Patterson, Gibson, or any other public official no matter what side of the aisle you are on.

Lastly, Hodin, I simply stated that my family has been on the central coast for years and I am very much a part of this community. Not some troll that came in from LA or the East Coast and decided to dictate what others need to do. I am proud that you came from Eric the Viking. Good luck with that one. Supposedly is the key word, my family IS from here and has been here for generations.

I do not live in an incorporated city so the county supervisors are my “city council” if you will and I have every right to criticize and hold them all accountable anytime I wish. I don’t have to kiss their butt or use soothing words when I speak to them as if they are little children with tender ears. I was very upset by a ridiculous stance by my “employee” and I wanted to communicate with no uncertain terms my displeasure. Hill can take the comments and hopefully not be so juvenile again.

However, as latest email shows, he lacks the brainpower to stay out of trouble and blindly falls into controversy after controversy. It is a mystery to me why so many people supported him this last go around.


Travis, we’ve heard you on the radio and read your stuff here. Face it, you have a knack for being mean, abrasive and condescending, even with your “local boy” drawl. Now you are being petty, which is a new low for you.

And this is the United States, Travis. Just because your family shat around here before there were flushing toilets doesn’t give you any more rights than anyone else. It certainly hasn’t given you any more wisdom or diplomacy skills, either. I detect bigotry against newcomers on your part. Very un-American, Travis.


By the way Travis, you mentioned a “mystery”. It’s no big mystery to the majority of us. For an answer, read the comments from those who have an opinion that differs from yours. Get a clue, please!

Travis from SLO

Yeah, I am mean, petty, and condescending? That makes no sense. Hill is our employee and he better act like it instead of a high school kid. Now he is harassing me on my Facebook page trying to tag me as a redneck LOL. Can you believe I needed to black a SLO County Supervisor from my own facebook page…the only person I have EVER had to do that to!

Love it, keep it up Hill :-). Saved the screen grabs for anyone interested but to be honest it would have been a heck of a lot easier to just email me Mr. Hill.

Of course, wiseguy, I am sure it is my fault right, and if you read the other article about Mr. Salisbury on here he claims to be a 6th generation farmer from here, go attack him.


Oh, stop picking on poor Adam Hill… he should be great four four more years of laughs!


Yes, now he can sit there and twiddle his thumbs. The N County broke up the cadre and the majority threesome vote is no more. Hill has lost even when he won.


Possibly Arnold will be more interested in effective governance than a putsch.




Congratulations to Supervisor Adam Hill on winning re-election !


Karen Velie wrote:

“In what appears to be an attempt to hide his action, Hill set the emails in a way that the names of recipient are hidden.”

A reasonable person might assume that the addresses were hidden (BCC) to protect the privacy of the recipients.

But hey, it’s election night, so let’s throw moderation to the wind, shall we?


It’s a short step to:

“Some people say . . .”


Yeah, I hate when people use the TO: and CC: for a boat-load of addresses. It’s poor netiquette.

At least Hill had the decency to use the BCC: option. I’m not happy he won re-election, and I don’t think fondly of the man otherwise, but in this case, I don’t see any issue here, really.

If anyone WANTED to, it would be VERY EASY to see how many and who the BCC recipients were… but I doubt that will happen. One would just need to access the SMTP logs… or Hill’s e-mail client… or…

Anyway, between Hill and Waage, I was sort of at a loss for whom to give my vote. I so tire of “lesser of two evils” – evil always gets elected.

Travis from SLO

Hodin, I happen to agree with you on this one. Obviously using the BCC in your email out is not a tactic to keep this email under wraps, it is simply what you do to email and not give away everyone you have in your contacts.

Do you think it was right for Mr. Hill to use his official email to send out articles from the Tribune favorable to his campaign? Do you think Mr. Cuddy in objective in his reporting? Thanks for you thoughts.


How do we know it was Adam Hill personally? He has a board aide and staff not to mention IT personnel who have access to email accounts. It’s one thing to point blank state Adam Hill illegally used government resources but until there is rock solid proof the man himself personally sat down and sent an email from his office is another.

I enjoy CCN and post from time-to-time, but this sort of article makes me uncomfortable. Publishing an article that specifically claims point blank that Adam Hill, an elected official, violated law without one scintilla of evidence simply doesn’t sit well with me. Now if it were re-worded to couch it differently I would feel differently, but to throw out an unambiguous acccusation as fact makes me uncomfortable.


If it came from his office, he is responsible. ESPECIALLY if it came from his e-mail account.

Still, the odds of anyone in Government having the brains or drive to look into anything that won’t result in fees or fines from the taxpayer is pretty far out there.


How is hiding the recipients an attempt to hide his action? His (the sending) address would still be there. I do agree that using his government account is really bad form.


There is nothing wrong with it when you’re doing a mass e-mailing to private recipients. I have to assume that Karen reviewed the e-mail and she probably reviewed more than one. It is extremely rare to receive an email that doesn’t reflect your/an e-mail address or your/a name or afford any indication that it went to anybody. So, I guess she added that fact to the news brief. That would be my best guess.


I want to see the video of Adam Hill physically doing this. Without it I think it best to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

FWIW I don’t live in his district and have no involvement with any supervisorial campaigns.


Give it a rest.

The email government-associated email accounts of elected politicians are to be used for official use only. This is because anyone who reads an email coming from should be able to assume it pertains to official county business somehow related to government issues and the district represented by Mr. Hill.

The elected politician has the responsibility for what occurs with his/her government email account.

If Hill is stupid enough to allow others to send out emails of any kind, especially campaign reelection emails, then he should not be on the County Board of Supervisors. Indeed, he should be on Meals-on-Wheels program, because if he is that stupid he should not be trusted to handle butter knives or microwaves needed to prepare meals for himself.


For any elected official to have a headline that he used public resources illegally is serious business. Saying you received an email with his name on it is different. The difference between the two is huge. Without an investigation or anything more than an unsubstantiated claim, I’m not willing to skewer this politician and get out the tar and feathers. Just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t make it true.

If you don’t like the man and are comfortable claiming he has violated law because you read it here or in tea leaves, that’s your right just as its my right to say I’m not comfortable with making the leap from reading a story on the Internet to claiming the man has violated law. Seen too many innocent people hurt with those tactics.


If Karen printed it then she saw the e-mail, saw Adam Hills official county e-mail address and no doubt, compared the IP address. What the heck are you even doing on this site if you don’t trust a word that they write? Adam Hill is responsible for the use of his e-mail account but heck, he hasn’t taken responsibility in the past for his inappropriate behaviors and there’s no reason to start now. As long as he votes to your way of liking, what the hell.

Travis from SLO

It appears to be from the county and I am personally filing a complaint with the FPPC because I received an unsolicited political commentary from Mr. Hill’s official email at county expense and with the using his official authority to try and get re-elected. I know that those of you that support Mr. Hill with feel that same way if the shoe was on the other foot and a politician you did not like did the same thing to you.


The government email account Hill has is to be used by him for county business only.

The county is not in the business of funding and supporting its elected officials’ reelection campaigns. In fact, that would be considered a huge conflict of interest.

I don’t want my taxes going to support ANY politician running for office…certainly not an unethical loser like Adam Hill.



“While no criminal penalty exists for violating government code 54964, Government Code 1222 makes a willful violation of any of the provisions by a government official a misdemeanor.”

No State of California §18730 (conflict-of-interest) violations?


I spent 30+ years in fear of and respect for the Hatch Act. I was mute while George Bush lied his way into and burned his way through the US presidency. Karl Rove turned the federal government into a GOP campaign arm. Enough with the imagined, petty smears. Enough with sniffing underpants. Build something up instead of tearing someone down.