Arroyo Grande Council recognizes officer harassment injuries

July 13, 2013
Steve Annibali

Steve Annibali

The Arroyo Grande City Council agreed on July 9 to recognize that police officer Michelle Cota suffered psychological injuries while on the job. [NewTimes]

As a result of the council vote, Cota will be able to retire and collect bi-weekly payments of $1,580 under the state Public Employees’ Retirement System.

In a suit filed in late 2011, Cota accused Chief Steven Annibali and former Commander John Hough of retaliating against her and two other women who complained that former Sergeant Barry Bridge sexually harassed them.

While the city council voted to approve the resolution recognizing the injuries Cota suffered on the job, City Manager Steve Adams told the News Times that the disability determination was connected to a settlement agreement and that it is not an admission of wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, the city settled an harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed in 2010 by officer Kimberly Martin for $162,500.




  1. InTheKnowing says:

    For those of you believing you have the solution to the problems in this article, or to some of the statements rendered… you don’t.
    For those of you who have not worked in the real world… sometimes the problems are with the employees themselves and not the person at the top.
    If you have an axe to grind – work toward a resolution/understanding as a citizen, instead of taking the easy route of complaining.
    If you are just an unhappy person who only sees the negative, you are on your own, and please do us a favor – don’t push you angst on those trying to prevent future problems that are the domain of human frailties, because you have them too.

    (-12) 18 Total Votes - 3 up - 15 down
  2. Paso_citizen says:

    Must be the water (or lack thereof) in this county!! Seems like each city is trying to outdo the others as to the messes thay can have (and get away with). Come on Templeton, you need to get something goin – you are beinig left behind!

    But back to reality – I would agree that it is highly likely that Mr. Annibali will retire? soon with a very substantial lifetime salary and benefits. Much better than Cota’s (hers is only a little over $40K/year; although that doesn’t include other benefits.

    And I wonder if Cota will join the many 100’s ot others who ‘retire’ from public service job; then go work elsewhere. If anyone on SS tried that, you would be penalized.

    Back to Annibali – it is my understanding that there is a currently un-employed ex-chief that may be looking for a job; since her $250K ‘pay-to-shut-up’ gift is probably running low. Wouldn”t even need to pay for relocation – she is with ~30 min minute drive from AG. Possibly a ‘teensy-tiny” issue with her proclivity of grabbing her officers genitals or rubbing their faces in her breasts, but this has proven to be no big deal. Comes with high praise and kudos from her previous employer. AG, you ought to check this ouot.

    (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
  3. justwow says:

    At what point are we going to stop complaining about the dog and go after the Master. How many times does a dog have to bite before we hold the owner “accountable”.. Its time for Steve Adams and the Mayor to be told their services are no longer beneficial to the citizens of Arroyo Grande and are in fact costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Enough is enough.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • changes says:

      Well stated justwow. The citizens of Arroyo Grande should seriously questioned as to why City Manager, Steve Adams, continues to support Annibali as a paid city employee? I know there are similarities of the Annibali and Solomon cases and it seemed to take a “Village” to finally get Solomon to resign. As best as I can recall no lawsuits were settled in Solomon case (just filed) before she finally resigned.

      Now two lawsuits and a stolen gun incident and Annibali is still police chief with support of Adams.. It seriously gets a bit old when some people become catty towards these officers about their retirement, etc when the real issue is Steve Annibali. Four lawsuit of harassment and discrimination (2 in Breckenridge, 2 in AG) against Annibali (and his buddy John Hough who already left the department). I think we need to quit looking at the officers and maybe, just maybe think there is merit to their allegations against this Annibali.

      So we sit and wait, and wait, and wait for the city of Arroyo Grande to put their spin as to why Annibali is still employed. And the lawsuits continue on with settlements and the gun, badge and ID circulate somewhere among fine upstanding citizens.

      (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
  4. justchuck says:

    It is time for Annibal to get on his elephant and leave town.

    (17) 21 Total Votes - 19 up - 2 down
  5. changes says:

    Second lawsuit against Annibali settled with a third one still pending. Stolen gun, badge and ID from his vehicle as well as violating his agency’s policy. Prior harassment and discrimination lawsuits at another agency. Seriously do we have to wait until someone gets hurt with the stolen gun before the city gets rid of Annibali?

    (26) 32 Total Votes - 29 up - 3 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Eerily similar to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang debacle.

    (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
  7. r0y says:

    I thought I read somewhere a while back that an excessively high number of LEO’s (maybe it was just a sheriff statistic) retire on a medical disability. It was some ungodly figure like 95%… I’ll have to dig that up again…

    (9) 27 Total Votes - 18 up - 9 down
  8. Mr. Holly says:

    Not what are they going to do? Lost gun and badge. Sexual harassment? Unfortunately as in most cases they can’t promote him so what now? I’ll say he will go out on high blood pressure and get a retirement package similar to Cota. Christmas comes early in Arroyo Grande.

    (29) 37 Total Votes - 33 up - 4 down

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