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

Got it, I’ll rethink my post. In fact I do look to the levity, but it’s difficult when it comes with such a high price tag.

Oh….and District 3, you absolutely, positively deserve this guy. He matches perfectly the general toffee-nosed arrogance of those he represents.

I live in district three and agree with you

Note to Hill: While it is common to write stuff like this after a bottle of wine, one should never hit “send” until one has had a sober revisit the next day. If, however, that’s what you actually did, may I suggest an editor?

Now if it was both written and sent when sober, it can only be explained as inflated hubris and an appalling lack of understanding of diplomacy, tact and negotiating skills.

How about a general lack of intelligence?

It’s funny to even think that someone would challenge, much less succeed against the moto-dune contingency that has always ruled that giant stretch of beach. I wonder how different it would be if all the other beach goers were allowed a chance to enjoy it unafraid. My friend got run-over while playing catch by a 12-year old on an ATV. I will never visit nor have I ever. It would be one thing if the RV/ATV users REALLY stimulated the local economy, but they mostly buy gas and ice, and bring everything else they need from home. How nice would the giant beach be with walking and biking trails, nature reserves and just beach for beachgoers? Could it be a globally-popular tourist destination in a form similar? This is the multimillion dollar question that will never be answered while the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” philosophy prevails. Go to Avila, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon and Big Sur. Folks there care enough about a precious natural resource enough not to “burnout” upon every living thing that sticks its head up to breath or sunbathe, and they’ll happily accept your tourist dollars. And, by the way, the North County coastline IS a globally-popular tourist destination thanks to the conservation by all parties involved, public and private.

By all means, Randy Sheila–please DO go to Avila, Morro Bay, Cayucos, etc. and leave the local and tourist families alone who choose to enjoy riding quads at Oceano.

NO. The quad oinkers REALLY don’t own every piece of our environment they befoul.

Correct. A paltry 0.3% of a 1,000 mile coastline, and only 7% of a 20,000 acre dune complex. Even so, it remains the number one camping destination of all state parks. So, to those who own the other 99.7% of coast, I’d ask you to kindly share 0.3% of your lot without casting denigrating terms upon California families who enjoy a tiny portion of our coast.

This article isn’t challenging Hill about his “challenge of the moto-dune contingency”, it’s speaking to a rogue county supervisor with no apparent control of his anger or concern for due process. I guess the Feds will be next on his hit list.

I sure hope your friend is OK after being run over. By the way, what was your friend doing playing catch on the dunes anyway. Maybe in the future he/she could avoid such an incident by engaging in a more passive activity. You know, maybe like paying attention or something like that. Hard for me to imagine a quad sneaking up on someone.

Randy – I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, we seem to be in the minority and there are so many moneyed interests that thrive on the dune economy. I’m torn between those that would be severely hurt by closing the dunes and those that could look to that huge expanse of beautiful dunes as a recreational heaven. I have hiked all around the OHV area and it’s so beautiful but the adjacent OHV noise really dampens the experience of being immersed in nature; a feeling you might find in the Sierras. I guess we’re fortunate to be so close to pristine coastal dunes but not so fortunate to be excluded from enjoying them. There are other dune areas on the central coast, but none that compare to the Oceano-Nipomo-Guadalupe tract.

So the state of California is for sale? When so many people are funded by a patch of sand, the fight is fierce. The greenie weenies want to cripple the state economy with our stupid CARB. They want to put the hammer down on our economic engine with junk science from Mary Nichols and Hien Tran. So when a local study is done with some questionable data about sand dust, the State cries foul! Don’t mess with a state cash cow. What a pathetic bunch of hypocrites. Adam – I can’t stand you, but as I walk through our beautiful sand dunes with the sun setting over the ocean, you’re making me smile.

Russ, you are so right. CARB is unregulated and able to cripple the economy of this state. Those that give you a negative comment just don’t know and are too lazy to research it.

Just a side note, the apcd here in San Luis County is not public, they are going after the state for the 1000.00 $ a day fine for their own wages, thats all its about, how can any rational person think that the state can control dust on the dunes, don’t give the story about atv’s breaking the crust, if that is the case ban birds,animals and people from walking on them also.

Also carb in Sac and mary nickle are not public officals either they also run amuck with half baked rules and regs that are killing the economy in this state, and they are in it for the fines also to pay their bloated wages.

I knew you were talking about Hill, but the other points need to be put before the people now and again, as was posted before he has the little man complex.

This was exactly my point. CARB is appointed, and it’s O.K. for them to extort money from industry with their junk science, but not O.K. for SLO county to extort money from the State with theirs.

Does he really sign his name in all caps? I wouldn’t doubt it.

For clarification, Hill (in the above letter) advocates fencing off the LeGrande Tract, which is not a part of the State Park’s OHV area (in contrast to a claim in the article), but a county-owned parcel which currently is the only access by vehicles to the OHV area. Many others have advocated for this, and the Sierra Club sued the County when the Local Coastal Plan’s final version included a map which erroneously showed the LeGrande Tract as part of the OHV area.

I seriously doubt the County will approve closure of the LeGrande Tract before an alternate access is developed by State Parks.

The 594-acre La Grande Tract *is* part of the vehicle riding and camping area and is leased to the state.

Yes, thanks for that bit. Hill wants to revoke the lease by blocking access through the tract, which would effectively shut down the park for 90% of the users.

FWIW, I have no dog in this fight, I was just pointing out what I felt was an oversight in the article.

So, the county supervisor sends his alter ego or other personna an email. I think there is significant proof that this person does not have the electorates best interest at heart. It appears he needs professional help and care and should be relieved of his duties immediately. Thank you Karen.

As I have mentioned before is 2013 the year that Adam Hill will go postal.

It would be interesting to see the pay and benefit package that Adam Hill’s girlfriend, Dee Torres, gets from the “non-profit” organization that she heads. I would venture to say that the organization is very profitable to a few.