San Luis Obispo County supervisor accused of threatening state

December 26, 2012

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

EDITORS NOTE: See Adam Hill’s email calling a state parks official contemptuous, misleading and dishonest at the bottom of this story.


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill’s “scathing emails” have now caught the attention of California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.

After reviewing what she called a scathing and threatening email, Harris produced a motion asking the court to include Hill’s correspondence in the court record as part of an action her office filed against the county air district in which Hill is on the board.

Generally, attorneys tell clients involved in lawsuits not to correspond with litigants.

In mid-October, Harris filed the more than 1,800-page claim against San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) over its contentious Oceano Dunes dust rule, focusing on the alleged scientific flaws in the APCD’s study.

Earlier this year, both Friends of the Dunes and Kevin Rice filed lawsuits charging the APCD with failing to follow California laws when it passed a rule requiring state parks to reduce particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, or face fines of $1,000 per day.

In his Nov. 16 email, Hill threatens to fence off part of the Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, a state-run park. Hill goes on to say officials with state parks have treated San Luis Obispo County with “contempt,” have acted “dishonestly,” and that they are “better suited to work for the Koch brothers or ExxonMobil.”

Hill’s aggressive email undermined an APCD Board action that he participated in. Just days after the Attorney General filed its action against the APCD, its board  voted to go around state parks and seek help from the Governor’s Cabinet in implementing its dust rule.

On Nov. 14, the board agreed to have the group’s chair, John Hamon, send a letter detailing its concerns.

Nevertheless, just two days later, Hill sent his alleged threatening email to APCD head Larry Allen with copies going to state parks, Secretary for Natural Resource John Laird, Senator Bill Monning, the governor’s chief of staff and a several local elected officials. Hamon, however, failed to send the agreed-on letter.

Hill’s contentious email to the state is one of several he has sent to those who question his or his girlfriend’s actions or views.

On Dec. 18, Hill lashed out at local business owner Bill Thoma for posing questions about a proposed homeless facility and seeking more detailed information from the facility’s planners. Hill’s girlfriend, Dee Torres, heads a local non-profit homeless services division, the group behind the proposed homeless center.

A few days later, Hill apologized for his attack on Thoma, promising to be more civil in the future in his dealings with the public.

Earlier this year, Hill began bullying CalCoastNews’ advertisers. Along with his requests that local advertisers not work with CCN, he falsely claimed the FBI was investigating CCN reporters for fraud, something federal officials have rebutted.

Hill’s campaign against CCN began after he heard its reporters were looking into allegations of financial misdeeds committed against homeless persons by local homeless services employees.

At this time, it is unknown what impacts Hill’s erratic communications will have on the lawsuit against the local APCD or the implementation of the dust rule.

All three lawsuits requesting that the dust rule be overturned are scheduled to be heard in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Jan. 24.


Adam Hill’s email:

From: []

Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:50 AM


Cc: Jenkins, Phil; Robertson, Aaron; Beland, Janelle; Larry Allen (;;; Jan Marx; Raymond A.Biering;

Subject: Re: Regarding letter dated Oct. 23, 2012

I would like to make some salient points, and I have also included Secretary Laird, Senator-elect Monning, and the Governor’s Chief of Staff in this email (they are Bcc’ed as I only have their personal email addresses):

1. The current position of the OHV division of State Parks, which now includes suing our county’s Air District, is embarrassing and wholly undermines the Brown administration’s work on air pollution and other important environmental issues. It is my contention that OHV Chief [REDACTED] has treated SLO County with contempt, and has spoken and acted in utterly misleading and dishonest ways.

2. This position will have the effect of forcing SLO County’s hand. All along we have tried to balance the interests of the OHV recreation area with the health concerns of our residents. We believed we could mitigate the dust and keep the recreation area open. But now we will likely be advised by our counsel that State Parks’ actions have left us entirely vulnerable to a slew of legitimate lawsuits from our citizens. This will inevitably necessitate SLO County having to fence off and patrol the Le Grande tract, thereby significantly reducing the recreation area.

3. The embrace of scientific denialism by State parks is incredibly disconcerting in that it only worsens already bad relations between state agencies and local governments and because it is redolent of the worst kind of special interest politics. Perhaps [REDACTED] would be better suited working for the Koch Brothers or ExxonMobil.

In closing, I am hoping that we can arrange a meeting as soon as possible before this escalates further.

Please circulate this to General Jackson as well.



District Three Supervisor

San Luis Obispo County

1055 Monterery, Rm D430

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408


(805)781-1350 Fax

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“Hill is a right-winger’s delight. Thanks Adam for being a good example.”

Last time I checked, Hill was a green democrat. Hill is the embodiment of academic smugness. In other words, he’s one of yours.

He is what he is because he routinely makes an ass of himself, that’s why the right is delighted with him.

I’m disappointed in your response. Look for the levity when in doubt

Oceano Dunes Dust For Sale: Check out the Nipomo sewer farm Dust Mound that is being sold by the truck load. Hundreds, possibly, thousands of years of dust all for the taking to make ready for future growth. Testomony to the simple fact that the dust has always been and will always be. The paper solution can only be for stigma improvement needed to inhance market values (tax dollars). Stop or reduce the dust, I don’t think so without more asphalt, green grass and houses.

It is a cheap shot to pick on the dune go-ers.

As one of the parties suing the APCD I cannot say a lot… however:

This email by Supervisor Adam Hill is particularly odious, and not merely because it joins his repertoire of acerbic and undiplomatic correspondences.

Here, Adam Hill has stepped far beyond personal correspondence and opinion, as he sits on both the APCD board and the Board of Supervisors. While he might try to purport that this is a personal email, the fact that he repetitively uses “we”—and moreover, that the addressee of the email is Larry Allen, head of the APCD—really underscores that he is speaking for the APCD. The email also includes Ray Biering (lead APCD Counsel), and APCD directors Bruce Gibson and Jan Marx, and the county’s lead counsel Rita Neal. All signals indicate his email is an official one.

Hill’s email pollutes the Nov 14 vote of the APCD board to send its own correspondence as Hill beats the board to the finish line by sending his vicious email first. The APCD has since elected not to send its letter—and I don’t blame them as it would then appear the APCD is joining in Hill’s vicious and uncooperative tone.

Yet, at the same time, the APCD has not refuted Hill’s email and it does, in fact, appear they join with Hill’s uncooperative, bellicose demeanor—which is hypocritical, because the APCD is claiming State Parks is being uncooperative, when apparently the APCD is the uncooperative and vicious party.

Adam Hill’s email undermines the APCD Board, which has twelve members, not one. Hill’s unilateral action taken behind the back of the board has now become a real issue affecting the APCD’s litigation stance—an issue on which public money will be spent to defend. This is unacceptable! Hill should not be speaking for the APCD or its Board, yet he recklessly did so and the APCD has done nothing to distance itself and appears to be a part of it.

OK. Just how much more damage is Adam Hill going to be allowed to do before he is censured by the other supervisors?

Atty. General Harris doesn’t need to worry because Supervisor Hill is probably working on a long winded but eloquent apology for his insensitive and thoughtless comments.

You know, something like “So to that end, again I apologize for my many intemperate remarks to all” And, as we’ve seen, once he’s fired off the apology everything is good again. Just like that!

No wonder Susan Devine bailed on this jerk.

Hill is a right-winger’s delight. Thanks Adam for being a good example.

It sure seems to me that Mr. Hill has a bad case of “putting mouth (or typing fingers) in gear before his brain is engaged” syndrome.

He also seems like the kind that you read about that get in trouble for road rage incidents or for plain just being a bully.

So now we all know what is the driving force behind Adam’s tirades. Just another little ‘Nappy” trying to compensate for his short statue by his actions to control everything. My only question about this

“Napoleon complex” is that Adam may very well not have a perceived handicap – his is very real (but probably only Dee would know that).

Granted, these emails concerning the Oceano Dunes dust rule were before Adam’s attack on Mr. Thoma in regards to the homeless issue; but, along with so many others – paint a very clear and vivid picture of exactly who Adam is and will always be. His excuses and so-called apologies have no weight – his true colors will never be changed.

What suprises me more is the what seems to be a lack of action by the other board of supervisor members. Granted some of them have their own “little” issues (cheating on wife, etc.) so it may be

that they choose to allow Adam to run off like has to take focus off of themseleves.

If that is the case, the this county has a very pathetic Board of Superivsors and its citizens are not being served.

Ya gotta love it …. Napolean rides again

“Napoleon complex is an informal term describing an alleged type of psychological phenomenon which is said to exist in persons, usually men, of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subjects’ stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives.”

The sooner this guy is voted out, the better. He truly is the loose cannon on the county ship

TacomaRose ~~ Where were you and the others, who are just now noticing Hill’s incompetency, during the 3rd District Supervisor race that was decided in June 2012?

At that time you had an outstanding choice [Ed Waage] for that Supervisory seat to REPLACE Hill. The entire time HIll has been on the board of supervisors, he has exhibited offensive, inappropriate and derogatory behavior. His challenger continues to be a professional, courteous, polition who actually listens to the voice of the public, makes thoughtful decisions and uses his political power to build rather than distort and demean?

Hill is unlikely to suddenly make the changes that he eloquently promises in his gazillion apology sttements.

Should the county citizens demand a double recall? Hill and Gibson??

Your preaching to the choir RealityCheck. I agree with you and had hoped Wagge would be elected.

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