Hill casts deciding vote for CAPSLO contract

September 17, 2013

adam hill newBy JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill cast the deciding vote last week to approve a contract of more than $360,000 for the organization that employs his fiancée.

Hill often abstains or recuses himself when the Board of Supervisors votes on contracts for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, which employs his fiancée Dee Torres as its homeless services director. But, at the September 10 board meeting, he voted for a $361,347 mental health services contract for CAPSLO, that otherwise would not have passed.

Hill’s vote capped a recent pattern of the supervisor choosing not to distance himself from the approval process of CAPSLO contracts.

The Board of Supervisors currently has only four members due to the June death of Supervisor Paul Teixeira. At last week’s meeting, Supervisor Debbie Arnold recused herself from the vote on the CAPSLO contract, bringing the remaining number of eligible voters to three.

Arnold sits on the board of directors for CAPSLO, as well as on the Homeless Services Oversight Council, which approves funding for the nonprofit. County Counsel Rita Neal suggested that Arnold recuse herself from voting on CAPSLO contracts last week as she investigated whether or not the supervisor had a conflict of interest in approving funding for an organization that she represents.

Had Hill also recused himself on the September 10 CAPSLO vote, there would not have been a board majority needed to conduct a vote on the measure, and the approval of the contract would have stalled.

Prior to voting on the contract, Hill asked Neal whether supervisors possess conflicts of interest when they vote on contracts for other boards on which they sit. Hill did not, however, mention that he often does not vote on CAPSLO contracts due to his perceived conflict of interest.

The Board of Supervisors approves several million dollars annually in funding for CAPSLO, much of which goes to homeless services in the form of federal grants.

Neal responded to Hill prior to last week’s vote by saying she was still investigating the matter. Arnold told CalCoastNews Monday that Neal concluded her investigation and determined that Arnold does not have a conflict of interest in approving funding for CAPSLO because she reaps no personal financial benefit from the matter.

Neither Neal, nor Hill responded to CalCoastNews email requests for an explanation of why Hill recuses himself on some CAPSLO votes but not on others.

An examination of Hill’s voting pattern over the last two years on matters pertaining to CAPSLO contracts shows the supervisor has become increasingly lax in his efforts to avoid creating a conflict of interest.

Prior to a March 20, 2012 Board of Supervisors hearing on the distribution of annual U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant money, Hill announced that he would recuse himself.

“Mr. Chairman, with an abundance of precaution, I’m going to recuse myself on this item,” Hill said.

He then left the dais and did not return to the meeting until the completion of the item.

Two weeks later, the board approved a $301,995 contract, funded by state prison realignment money, for CAPSLO case management services. Hill again recused himself, but he neither provided a reason nor left the dais.

On December 11, 2012, the board held a hearing to discuss preliminary distribution of 2013 HUD grant funding. No vote occurred, but the board heard funding requests from several CAPSLO employees and then discussed a proposal for distributing nonprofit grant money that involved concentrating more of the funds with CAPSLO.

Hill neither recused himself, nor stated that he had a conflict of interest. Instead, he recommended that, in 2013, the board distribute the grant money to fewer nonprofit recipients.

“If we’re trying to get our administrative costs down, having less grants to administer is just one of the obvious ways to do so,” Hill said. “But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

On January 29, Hill returned to recusing himself when two CAPSLO related items appeared on the consent agenda. One item increased the prison realignment case management contract by $58,034. The other was a vote to approve appointments to the Homeless Services Oversight Council. Torres was one of the individuals recommended for appointment. Hill recused himself from both votes.

In March, the board voted on the distribution of the 2013 HUD money. Hill again remained at the dais and participated in the discussion. He argued that money allocated for an Oceano drainage project should instead go to homeless services in the county. The board then voted to reallocate some of the money, but Hill abstained from the vote.

“I’m going to abstain from the final vote, so there is no appearance of conflict in regards to CAPSLO’s funding,” Hill said.

Hill did not recuse himself, though. Meeting minutes likewise stated that he abstained, as opposed to recusing himself. Commonly, a recusal indicates a board member’s acknowledgement of a conflict of interest on an item, whereas an abstention does not.

Since his March 5 abstention, Hill has voted to give CAPSLO contracts for childcare, family services, parental education and teen parenting case management, in addition to the mental health services contract issued last week. The childcare contract, which Hill voted in favor of on June 18 totaled more than $1.5 million. On July 9, he voted for a family services and parental education contract totaling more than $407,098.



FPPC. Brown Act. I can’t do anything since I don’t live there anymore.

For god’s sake, SOMEbody take the bull by the horns. Join in the fray. DO something about this arrogant clown.


Adam Hill and his type of politician are gaining in numbers. He is an F you if you don’t agree with me type of politician. Their leader in the white house set the stage with his my way or the highway type of governance.


has nothing to do with White house or party affiliation you wingnut.


Ok If you say so…


It is so. Fools Rush.




Oh yes it does. “Non-partisan” local office has become fiction at the County level. You can put a capital “D” or “R” next to each supervisor and 3 of either letter is the working majority. Debbie Arnold does not represent any constituent who is not a member of her party and neither does Adam Hill.


A politician can be partisan and it STILL doesn’t mean that his actions represent, or are tied to, other politicians in his/her party.

An attempt to smear an entire political party based on the actions of one politician who happens to belong to that party is just plain wrong.

There is no political-party requirement for a politician to be a self-serving nincompoop, something that Debbie Arnold and Adam Hill have clearly demonstrated.


Mary, If you left out the LAST paragraph, I would have agreed with you. You always always take it back to Hill. I suppose this article is about Hill, so I will give you a pass.


good point, this website did not fantasize this story into existence, it is coming together as we follow along, Mr Hill seems to have stepped on his own dick a lot lately perhaps he can turn this around by being more like the guy the voters were expecting I like Mr Adam Hill he has done good work some of the behaviors exposed need some work as well. he is a public servant, I believe we will be judged by how well we treat those who serve us. :-)


So, if you really mean what you say, are you still supporting good ole’ boy Hill after his and Gibson’s remarks and behavior at the Board’s meeting on Tuesday? These guys are losers and a disgrace to this County and the people THEY SERVE not the people serving them!


Being an arrogant clown IS a non-partisan endeavor and has nothing to do with

the White or any other color house. This concept only exists in the minds of

those who swim in that murky soup.


I agree with your thought pattern about his type of politician are gaining in numbers! What you are missing is their leader is your leader as well, like it or not. They are all bought and paid for by the real “F you if you don’t agree with me”! Big money is calling all the shots at this point and growing exponentially! We leave the door open with our passiveness allowing whatever it is……or we would do it different!


They only get embolden when they sense the end is near. Be careful of this lowlife in the next few month, I doubt we’ve seen the end of his desperate actions.


The arrogance of this man is unbelievable….


I think the timing of this lawsuit, right after Torres’ bogus lawsuit against Brennler was drop-kicked by the courts, is no coincidence.


Um, what lawsuit?


Hill does have a conflict of interest. He is connected to someone who will definitely benefit from the contract, especially if they are living together. He benefits. He should have recused himself.


Actually, he should be recalled and possibly prosecuted. This is beyond technicality.


It’s not clear how you determine that “Hill does have a conflict of interest” that would require him to recuse himself from discussing or voting on Capslo business.

The law establishes statutory conflicts, and he clearly doesn’t have one; he has nothing to gain or lose from his votes for or against Capslo. The fact his girlfriend works there is irrelevant for this type of conflict.

There’s another type of conflict, non-statutory, generally referred to as a mother-in-law conflict, meaning a vote places one in an awkward position, as in voting against something one’s mother-in-law wants. Legally, these are gray areas. A careful politician should be sensitive to them, and stay out of situations that don’t look right. This probably applies to Hill’s situation, but it’s not illegal for him to ignore these either and go ahead and vote.


Now on the menu at BOS, conflict of interest. Recall anyone?


Oh, come on. Conflict of interest occurs when there is personal monetary gain based on your vote. So Adam as no conflict.

I think Debbie Arnold should un-recuse herself and vote NO on the funding. Then CCN could lambast her for taking money away from homeless services…REAL money.


Dee Torres’ job depends on her ability to deliver…a lot of things, including funding for CAPSLO. Without the County funds, especially with Torres’ numerous financial and ethical scandals and accusations swirling around her, her ability to bring in the huge salary she currently receives, is at risk. Hill is engaged to be married with Torres. Therefore, Hill’s financial future is at risk, as well.


Well, maybe you should file a complaint with the Grand Jury. They would laugh you out of the room.


Adam Adam Adam,

Wake up…the grand jury would certainly investigate this. You have a clear conflict of interest and I can’t imagine why the citizens of this community don’t see it. Its your live in fiancée and soon to be wife we guess….No conflict ….give me a break….Your like Clinton saying “I never had sex with that woman” and then trying to redefine sex…


Did it occur to you that Clinton is probably one of Hill’s heroes?


LOL. Desperation time sets in.


“Under the Political Reform Act of 1974, public officials are disqualified from participating in government decisions in which they have a financial interest.” http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/publications/coi.pdf? If Hill and Torres are a couple, he has a blatant conflict of interest.


You are incorrect legally. Hill voted for a mental health services budget augmentation. Torres is in homeless services. The two are entirely different things. His vote in no way affects Torres’ pay. Furthermore, even if the vote had some influence on her pay, it would be really hard to make a legal conflict case out of this. Basically, a vote can affect one’s own interests if that effect is the same as the effect on others with similar interests — in other words, unless Torres alone was getting a huge pay increase, the vote would not be a conflict. I know everybody here wants to send Hill packing, but you really need to understand what you’re talking about if you claim he’s violated the law.


Your post might make sense if the folks involved in this mess were actually ethical and didn’t shuttle funds around to suit their needs.

CAPSLO allowed Torres to steal gift cards from homeless clients at Christmas! CAPSLO turns a blind eye to violations of its own conflict-of-interest guidelines. What in the world makes you think they won’t shift funds around as they see fit?

Really, to be so gullible in this day and age is negligent.


No one has proved Dee stole gift cards. The only thing that you can fault her for is not having a staff write down every signal number on every single gift certificates and then handing them out at Christmas, and then having each recipient sign for them. At Christmas, they give out a lot of things. It is very delightful. Apparently from now on, they will have to sign for the gift certificates they receive when the get their Christmas stocking. Dee tried to make Christmas for the homeless like Christmas for every one else, but with your accusations, they won’t have Christmas as usual. They will be signing off, like every other day, business as usual. Too bad. Of corse, I think some of the people in this blog DON’T want to help the homeless and hope to get rid of CAPSLO because CAPSLO helps the homeless and poor.


TruthFairy says:”Apparently from now on, they will have to sign for the gift certificates they receive when the get their Christmas stocking. ”

“but with your accusations, they won’t have Christmas as usual. They will be signing off, like every other day”

Right because accounting for the end use of tax deductible donations, managed by a legal nonprofit is so wrong.

Also I did not know that the capslo shelter celebrated festivus by suspending the need for signatures and proper accounting.

So a disadvantaged person has to sign for a free holiday gift? With a pen??

Christmas is ruined!!!



Geez, 17 likes is a lot more than most in here.

Jorge Estrada

It certainly appears that Adam’s previous ethical behavior was not good enough, so now he served a dish of what is legal. This move is usually done after the dish has cooled.


Mr. Hill knows what is legal? Now that’s funny….


QUOTING ESTRADA: “…so now he served a dish of what is legal.”


Once, again: TA-DAAAA!!! Super-Doofus runs to Dee’s rescue.

I wonder what other chickens are about to come home to roost….


MaryMalone says: “I wonder what other chickens are about to come home to roost….”

No no no peacocks and kangaroo rat’s.

“Super-Doofus” We need some tee shirts.


Good idea.

We can use one of his current, “fat Elvis” photos for the image.