Gibson admits girlfriend back in his office

January 18, 2013

Bruce GibsonFor the second time in several months, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson has made an announcement about his long-term affair with his administrative assistant on a Friday afternoon leading into a holiday weekend.

A little more than a week after CalCoastNews broke the news that Gibson had brought his mistress back to work in his office as his subordinate, Gibson confirmed the move, though he claimed the transfer had occurred several days after CCN reported the move. The county has posted an agreement between Bruce Gibson and Cherie Aispuro in which they claim they will not sue the county over their affair.

“Statement from Bruce Gibson, District 2 Supervisor

“As of this week, Cherie Aispuro has returned to her duties as the legislative assistant for District 2. I’ve thought very carefully about this decision — it was not made lightly or impulsively. The factors here are these:

“Most importantly, during the past six years Cherie has done outstanding work on behalf of my constituents. That’s why I asked her to return – a 22-year county employee, she is quite simply the best person for this job.

“Cherie has been on temporary assignment for the past two months, working in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. During that time, County legal and administrative staff members have made a careful analysis of the employment issues regarding our personal relationship. They have determined that neither Cherie nor I have broken any county rule or policy, nor did we misuse any county funds or property.

“I understand that personal relationships can have a huge impact in the workplace. Great care needs to be taken to avoid conflicts and favoritism relative to other workers. Personal relationships should never get in the way of doing our jobs well. And here, it did not and will not.

“Each county supervisor has the sole authority to appoint his or her own legislative assistant, who works “at will” to the respective supervisor. This means legislative assistants are political appointees and not subject to civil service rules and requirements.

“County supervisors do not directly manage any other employee, and the legislative assistants don’t manage any subordinates. In this unique situation, the potential for a personal relationship to cause conflicts or favoritism is greatly diminished, if not eliminated altogether.

“Cherie and I have signed a legal agreement that verifies the county staff findings. This agreement includes a waiver and release that protects the County from any liability from claims – past and future.

“With Cherie’s return, we look forward to this office continuing to provide excellent service to the Second District and the County of San Luis Obispo.

“Finally, I want to say that I am sorry. I’m sorry for concealing this relationship and the hurt it’s caused my family. My actions have damaged relationships with many people I know, and many I don’t.

“I know I can’t undo what’s done, and I know I have much trust to rebuild. My plan is to move forward, do my job as best I can, and represent my district as I always have.

“Very truly yours,


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So she’s the best person for the job, period? I wonder how many others he interviewed? (Probably none.)

I find it hard to believe that she is the ONLY person who can do his scheduling, schmoozing and bidding?

So just what kind of job is she simply the best one for?

Gee, does this mean the end of speculation re Gibson+Aispuro? CCN is so very practiced at speculation. Maybe you could take up a collection for a live video feed, to keep the peanut gallery here fully amused.


“So, you (Hodin) think in county government it is ok for supervisors to sleep with their subordinates as long as they are on the left?”

I repeat, I don’t have a problem with it (Left or Right) under these specific conditions:

1) it is consensual

2) it does not distract from the work load or is not done on the County’s dime

3) it does not create generate policy conflicts of interest for Gibson

4) it does not create increased legal exposure for the County

So far, I have not seen significant evidence to support allegations that these conditions have been breached. Not in the reportage; not (credibly) in the comments. OTOH, there’s been no shortage of speculation and accusation (yours included), not only in the reportage but especially in the comments @ CCN, to a level that reminds me of grade school locker room chatter. Enabling and reinforcing that low level of discourse can only reflect poorly on CCN & its small army of anonymous posters. If you think you have some level of credibility as an regular anonymous poster here, or if you think CalCoastNews has been helped in its mission of credible news gathering by the angry & lame comments which constitute the lion’s share here, you’re also swimming in an illusion.

My choice to not comment on this issue in my graphic work, and I’ve stated this elsewhere @ CCN, is that there are other, more critical lapses in Gibson’s leadership which deserve note —because they have real repercussions regarding County policy and affect people’s lives, and that they more clearly demonstrate Gibson’s autocratic style. I understand that one can use the affair as support for criticism of general character flaws, but I don’t see it as an example worthy of political commentary.

It’s a judgment call on my part, but it’s been a conscious decision and I’m not hiding behind a fictitious name. If the conditions I cited above are breached, then it’s another matter entirely. I think that view has been reflected in the County’s efforts to control the issue, instead of just trying to sweep it under the rug like Paso Robles did with their ex-police chief.

As to your insinuation that I protect the so-called “left” politicians, the best I can say is that you haven’t been paying attention. Sure, I have bias—what commentator doesn’t? The difference is that I’m paid to express it, whereas CCN is not supposed to wear it on their sleeves.

Thank you R. Hodin for your rational words and for defining what has been going on here in the comment section. I too believe that the 4 conditions you outline have been met. CCN seems to encourage these locker room commenters by phrasing their articles as they do and also by including unnecessary information meant only to gin up outrage. A big disappointment to me as more news is usually better. Just not in this case at CCN, which seems geared instead toward getting hits.

R.Hodin says: “If you think you have some level of credibility as an regular anonymous poster here, or if you think CalCoastNews has been helped in its mission of credible news gathering by the angry & lame comments which constitute the lion’s share here, you’re also swimming in an illusion.”

So ban anonymous comments or just delete the angry & lame comments? Or no comments like the Nt? You get paid?

Also if she had stayed in the clerks office your conditions would have continued to be breached.

Lame +1

More speculation on your part: “if”

I think a potential test of CCN’s credibility as a local news source might be eliminating the ability to post anonymously. Those with news tips can still email Karen. Those whose glasses are perennially half-empty can suck them dry them at any number of local watering holes. Those who aren’t afraid to walk the streets can use their real names.

IF anonymous posting were temporarily stopped:

Would you stop posting if you had to use your real name?

Would you visit the website less?

Would you spend less time at the site?

Would the journalism improve?

(just a thought . . .)

Would you stop posting if you had to use your real name? no, but more polite.

Would you visit the website less? no

Would you spend less time at the site? Yes because the comments would be fewer.

Would the journalism improve? Who knows, sometimes the whining does prompt a further explanation or a correction.

However sites that “require” real names can’t enforce it without a 3rd party, facebook for example.

KSBY uses facebook comments, the last 2 posts there about Gibsons “assistant” garnered 3 whole comments. Two of those were Aaron or Ed spamming there post on the subject.

Oh Bruce. If David Letterman were to establish a Top Ten for SLO County that included the likes of narcissitic, self-important, misguided souls that included Hill, Solomon, Ovgren, Jenkins, Blank, Edge, Wilcox…You would certainly finish at the top of the list.