Morro Bay pays city attorney to walk away

November 14, 2013
Rob Schultz

Rob Schultz

The city of Morro Bay will pay City Attorney Rob Schultz $163,235 to resign from his position.

Mayor Jamie Irons had been pushing to fire Schultz since September, but Tuesday the city council agreed to a severance package for Schultz that allows him to resign. The council is currently pursuing a severance agreement with City Manager Andrea Lueker, as well.

Schultz will receive a lump sum of $115,956, which is the equivalent of nine months of severance pay. He will also receive a total of $47,279.10 in accrued holiday pay, sick leave and vacation hours.

Neither Irons, nor members of the council stated publicly why they were seeking the termination or resignation of Schultz.

Schultz told CalCoastNews Wednesday that Irons never informed him as to why he was trying to fire him.

Schultz has been the city attorney since 1997. His final day will be Friday.



Is there anyway to see this video? A link or report for it? I think it would be important for those against the recall to see it.


Please do not post large blocks of text, a link and a excerpt are customary.

Also thread hijack.

? or !


Another case of a public employee racking up runaway vacation, sick and holiday days. This is normally not allowed in the private sector, a small amount of vacation days are sometimes allowed to be carried over, 1 to 2 weeks tops, the rest are paid out that year, sick days are use it or lose it, holiday pay is done in the pay period it happened. This should be stopped, he likely did not earn all that vacation at his current pay rate but he likely was paid out at it, again the taxpayers get screwed. Don’t even get started on 9 months severance, that is totally out of line, and you wonder why taxpayers have such a low opinion of public employees.


And don’t forget his lifetime pension with full benefits.


Besides the defamation or character BS complete lies from Irons and joke off a system they ran through this process. You should be thankful that’s all he got. If he really wanted it would be 1.2 million in defamation of character etc. he was once again taking the high rode accepting the settlement.


I have to ask, since many people here are saying they just want to hear why the mayor wanted to fire him and have heard nothing, just how what did the mayor say then that was defamatory or against his character??? Most people are saying the mayor has said nothing so far, and that is the point they are trying to make.


Stretching this out for a month and saying that there, “was cause,” but he couldn’t mention it when there actually was 0 cause and just personal issues between them working together. That is defamation of character.


By this Cal Coast photo of Rob Schultz he looks happy all puffed up, with a

smile on his creme puffed up face. Yep, he is a happy man all puffed up.


You should hold off on posting until you can come up with some sort of intelligent discourse……


coco, I don’t know what you’re on, but I want some.


…and don’t forget the many work days that start at 8AM and go until 12:30AM (city council meeting, anyone?). And don’t forget the constant ridicule they have to take from people like you who are great at complaining, but when it comes to actually getting out there and helping to make a difference….not so much activity in that respect. You couldn’t pay me enough to undertake a high-profile city job. These two earned their money.

Niles Q

Rob Schultz and Andrea Lueker BOTH took pay cuts in 2011 and then convinced the department heads to forgoe 4% raises they were due under the labor conracts. They did this so the budget could be balanced and no one would be laid off.

This doesn’t sound too greedy to me and this is why their severances were increased to nine months, because they sacrificed for the good of the town and convinced the other well-paid department heads to make a sacrifice too. And because the Irons-Smukler-C-Johnson cabal had made it plainly clear that they intended to fire both of them before they even took office.

As for vacation pay, that acrues in accordance with the employment contract and the employment policies the city has for its employees. And how dare you imply that they didn’t earn this vacation time.

Schultz and Lueker were on salary, so these never-ending meetings that last past midnight don’t mean OT pay for them, nor do they get extra money to attend the ceaseless ridilculous special closed session meetings that have been called specifically to discuss firing these two employees. Talk aboiut cruel.

Irons loves a show and has no hesitaiton about putting people up for public ridicule, just as he did with Deana nd Bertha Tyler of the Aquarium.

They had no intentions of approving the Tyler’s proposal. They’d even met with teh Central Coast Aquarium in Avila long before the meeting on the a

Niles Q

Sorry, I hit the wrong button and this post above got sent before I could finish or proof read.

To continue…

Irons, C-Johnson and possibly Smukler too met with the CCA people weeks before they put the aquarium site on the agenda. They had prior meetings with a potential competitor of theTylers for thei business and lease site, which I think could be a violation of the law, certainly it was a violation of the Tyler’s right to a fair and impartial hearing.

Yes, they did announce that they had met with the CCA people, but so what, did they assure the Tylers that they would have an open mind?

They never intended to accept the proposal the Tylers put out and yet insead of sending them a letter politely telling them that they were not going to accep that proposal and would put it out for bids, which is the prudent and decent thing to do, they subjected those two dear sweet people, both in their 90s, to public ridicule and scorn by a bunch of out-of-town animal rights activists.

Seal Guantanamo? really?

Treated worse than peopole in prison? Really? ever been in jail lady?

The aquarium was akin to slavery in the deep South?

Decent people would spare the Tylers all of that. It wasn’t hard to see coming. But Irons, Smukler and C-Johnson are mean, vindictive and cruel and they are not the kind of people I want running my town.

Recall Irons NOW.


kayaknut: You are absolutely right on this, the taxpayers got screwed!

Seems to me that former Morro Bay city attorney Rob Schultz is a happy man laughing all

the way to the bank.


The taxpayers got screwed basically because Irons decided to spend all this money to get rid of two employees for no reason (that would be “without cause” if you’re keeping score). A high price to pay just because you can’t handle a difference of opinion.


I agree that the benefits packages for public servants are way beyond the private sector but Rob in no way should have been penalized as it is part of the package that was agreed upon. In addition, a 9 months severance is not out of line at all to remove all legal liability for the city. It is pretty typical in both the private and public sector with senior level employees. The packages typically prevent the dismissed employee from filing lawsuits and also prevents disclosure of things that could be harmful to the employer. In Rob’s case, I am guessing Attorney Client Privlege would apply though.


I wish someone would reduce my benefits package or cut my pay – oh wait, they can’t because I’m homeless and I make 8 dollars an hour in beautiful Morro Bay.


Yes, but it was way cheaper to get rid of him this way than it would have been to fire him and incur the huge costs of dragged-out litigation, even though the City would have won in the end. By the way, the signed separation agreement says he can never work for the City again, so at least this was a one-time expense.


That is part of the point that I was trying to make, however, the best solution was to allow him to continue to do a good job like he had for 16 years. And no, I doubt the City would have prevailed with legal costs probably exceeding the settlement. By the way, how do you posses all of this “inside” information about Rob and Andrea’s performance?


It’s not inside information. It is available to anyone who does research


How can you seriously think that there was any cause?

Irons has been lying this entire time oh theres “cause” there isn’t “cause”

I see 17 years of satisfactory reviews, community service, deals with Dynegy and PG & E and Chevron. Several past mayors that support him, several past city council members. Who doesn’t is the real question? Besides Irons, Smukler, and Christine.

If you want to keep trusting them in blind faith when they have already made 3 huge mistakes in less then a year so be it. But I believe he should be recalled.

Human Reason

The clause that Shultz can’t come back is completely unenforceable. A new council can just amend the contract and delete that clause. Irons trying to put it in to try and tie the hands of a future council is another reason why he should be recalled.


Some things that I will never understand about Morro Bay. 1. Why do businesses and residents that don’t have businesses on the Embarcadero have such negative feelings about those business owners? The waterfront drives the tourism in an beach community. Morro Bay is no different. Being that the Embarcadero drives the most traffic in town, of course they will receive more city services. Those tourists spend money at hotels and other businesses off the water. If your business suffers, perhaps some new strategy to leverage the tourists better as well as becoming more effective to reach the locals is in order. 2. Why do the environmental lobbies with such strong support from the outside seem to have such an influence on our town? Has anyone bothered to look at the supporters of the Aquairum boycott? Many national groups with few in town ties, yet our City Council yielded to their demands. I have been told that the owners of the Aquarium prepared a lackluster proposal for the site. After 50 years, have they not earned a friendly conversation to “go back to the drawing board” and obtain some professional help before putting the site out to bid? 3. Why is there such disdain for our long established business community? Most communities look at these types of people as statesmen within the town that provide jobs, civic support and can mentor younger professionals and business owners. Our established owners most often are happy to do all of those things. It is time for Morro Bay to leverage our resources, embrace the talent that we have, and stop the class and geographic warfare that goes on here in a regular basis.


The aquarium is an ugly stain on Morro Bay.


We will just have to disagree. If the activists that were protesting really believed that they would have found a way to work with the acquarium to help provide better care for the animals and also raise funds to improve conditions. This was about taking over the site, nothing more. If they were concerned about the animals they would not have forced a reduction in revenues at the location by assaulting potential visitors, driving them away. The loss in revenue could only possibly lead to reduced care and a worsening of conditions.


“Better care”? You’re killing me.

And make sure they had adequate business, “for the animals”?

Yes. Let’s agree to disagree.


What don’t you understand? If the care is not up to standards, reducing the cash flow will not allow proper care including vets when the animals are sick. Where do you think the cash comes from to feed, care for the animals and maintain the facilities. The staff must be paid and the owners need to be compensated. How much revenue do you think is generated by selling the trinkets there? Again, the protest was about taking control of the property, nothing else.


I think this sentiment alone shows the difference in viewpoints between the “old guard”, and the new, as far as demographics in Morro Bay, go.

So, you’re saying the abhorrent conditions the animals live in at the aquarium would be remedied if the aquarium just made more money? The aquarium would not be the embarrassing stain on our town that it is, if more people would go there and support it?

Well, there you go; I disagree.


Have you ever run a business, or even managed a household budget? You can’t pay for things without revenues. If a family loses an income, they can’t keep up the home as well, fix things that are broken or pay for medical needs as well as many other things. If the opposition was so concerned about the animals, they would have volunteered to help clean and improve conditions. You can’t overcome that argument, period.


And I did not make it a point at all about saying that more people need to support the aquarium. It is the owner’s responsibility to make the business attractive enough and to do a good enough job marketing it to draw the support. What I did say was that the protesters kept people away by blocking the sidewalks that were already limited from the construction next door. I also said that if the protesters were really interested in the animals that they would have fould a way to volunteer or partner with the owners to insure that the conditions improved and that the animals got the care that they need. My exact point is that the protesters did not care about the animals, By the way, do some reading about PETA and the SPCA and see how they care for animals underr their care. These were 2 of the larger groups involved in the protests.


BTW, enough red herring to feed the otters for days and days

hey everyone look!! SPCA PETA protest the Guantanamo Aquarium in our town !!! YAY !!!!


Oh, here we go.


” I also said that if the protesters were really interested in the animals that they would have fould a way to volunteer or partner with the owners to insure that the conditions improved and that the animals got the care that they need.”

…or close run that embarrassment out of town.


Yeah we agree on a let of things Probiz but this is not the case for the Morro Bay aquarium. The aquarium pays the price for there like 1950’s lease which is ridiculously cheap. I remember during the meeting they slipped what they pay in taxes trying to prove how much they help the city. However that amount of taxes also correlated to about 200-300k in revenue. They are definetley choosing to not better the aquarium because they just don’t care. Not because they don’t have enough money.


$200-300K in revenue doesnt go a long way in managing a business that is open 7 days a week. Having 1 person working an 8 hours a day shift at minimun wage cost $16K per year. You have more than 1 person obviously as well as care givers for the animals, rent, utilities, building maintenance and more as well as owners pay. I don’t know about you, but, I never leave a vet’s office without a $200 bill. I wonder what the cost is for them to come to the aquarium and what the cost is for the expertise that those animals require vs. dogs or cats? I am actually suprised that the reveunues are that low and that they can stay in business.


Now you’re asking good questions though I think some of the premises are off. While I think there are some jealousies over business location, I think the resentment has more to do with instances of being “bullied” time and time again – not by the whole waterfront but by key individuals who have thrown their weight around over the years. I don’t think it’s environmental lobbies pushing the change in our town – it’s a change in demographics and a new, greener, more sustainable way of looking at Morro Bay, especially its future. And finally, it’s just the age-old power struggle between Left and Right. I know people don’t like to hear it on this site, but I don’t see how you keep them separate. The Left never used to play this rough but they’ve got an opponent now that appears to care more about winning and keeping power than doing the best thing and on the national level has even come out and announced that their primary goal is the failure of the other side – number one goal, behind any of the other pressing problems facing us. In the past, where governing bodies took their time and worked things out, I think more and more you are going to see them cutting Gordian Knots with swift swords.


Please tell me what these repeated references are to bullys. Iknow that is the new buzz word but who are they and what did they do to get that label. As far as the new greener, more sustainable Morro Bay, please qualify and quantify that. Just more buzz words. If you look at the aquaium alone, most of the protest was from groups from outside the area. I did the research when it was going on. It was not a local outcry.




With $160K in his pocket, Rob can afford to take Lueker’s case on contingency.


It has been a privilege and an honor to have served the City of Morro Bay these past 16 years. I believe public service is the highest and most noble calling, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Morro Bay community. Serving as City Attorney for Morro Bay has allowed me to be part of many historic achievements for the City.

As I reflect on the past 16 years, I am grateful for having earned the respect and appreciation of my colleagues and community. I am confident my record and many contributions to the City of Morro Bay will be the prevailing memory of my many years of service.

As I say goodbye I wish to thank the staff of the City of Morro Bay; it has been an incredible experience to work side-by-side with you for so many years. You are great public servants, doing an often thankless job, serving with dignity and professionalism. I am fortunate to have worked with such an outstanding group of individuals. I will miss you all.

Thank you,

Rob Schultz



Thank you for your dedication and service to Morro Bay. Best wishes in your future endeavors.


And, in turn, to you Rob, from all of us across SLO County who have had the honor and pleasure of knowing you or working with you, we all extend to you our thanks a thousand-fold and best wishes for continued success.

You are a glowing example of the dignity of public service that we all should expect from our elected and appointed public servants.

Your dedicated, honest and forthright commitment to doing what’s right will serve you well in any future pursuit of your choosing. Whoever next receives the benefit of your service will be eminently better off, and hopefully exceedingly grateful for your work.

As for Morro Bay, it’s their loss.

Niles Q

Thank you Rob for your service to this City. This post shows you are a class act and a gentleman.

I wish I could say the same about this mayor, whom I have come to the conclusion that he is an absolute power-hungry freak.

What he’s done to the people of this city with his actions last January in pushing the Coastal Commission to kill the sewer project shows how his mind works, it’s his way come hell or high water.

You and Andrea had the courage to tell him when his crazy notions came out and warned him about badgering city staff and he made the decisiion to get rid of you both. No reason, just that you stand in the way of his “vision” for the city, something BTW that he has never bothered to define for the residents of this city.

I urge everyone in Morro Bay that when the anti-recallers start bombarding you with telemarketing phone calls and urge you not to sign the recall, to ask them what exactly does the mayor, Noah Smukler and Christine Johnson actually plan to do to this city? Don’t let them dodge the question, make them tell you what the plan is.

Ask how are they big three are going to deliver an affordable sewer, which is what they promised when they ran for election?

Do they really expect these two little tiny communities to pay this exhorbitant price and take on $100 million+ in debt for THEIR vision? Whatever the hell that is?

Ask them why the mayor chose to circumvent the muni codes with regards to hiring lawyers, negotiating contracts and signing up to spend taxpayer money without prior council consent?

Does the mayor really belileve that he can avoid obeying the law simply because the big three approved a resolution that the mayor himself wrote and gives him the authority to spend OUR money even if it’s contradictory to oiur own muni codes?

Changing the muni colde usually takes 4/5ths vote,and if he’d obeyed the law, he couldd never have done what he’s done.

Do they believe that all mayors, even the hated Bill Yates or Janice Peters, should have this same power?

I sure don’t. Had Yates done the things this mayor has and continues to do, i would sign a regall against him too. But Yates and Peters and every mayor for the past 20+ years has recognized the limitations of the office and worked within the system that’s laid out under the law. Plus both of them have more scrupples than Irons and would NEVER have done this anyway.

But this post should be about Rob and the many, many, MANY things he has done for this community. He stood up to Shell over the MTBe spill and even prosecuted the oil giant and forced Shell to clean up their mess and make right our groundwater basin.

He negotiated millions in annual payments from first Duke and then Dynegy for the power plant outfall lease.

Remember, before PG&E sold that plant in the late 1990s, the city got zero from the power plant beyond property taxes. The outfall lease has been held up as a model throughout California and Rob negotiated that deal.

Andrea is next and I can tell you with all certainty that she will not go quietly. She will get what’s due her, and that means her entire severance.

I imagine that she’d love to fight this, file a worker’s comp claim for hostile work environment, but she can’t if she wishes to protect her reputation and work in city government again. She’s in her early 50s and has a lot left to give. Unfortunately, she will give that service to some other city or county.

A final question to ask the anti-recall telemarketers, who’s going to step into Andrea Lueker’s place? Mayor Irons? God help us…


Niles, this is one of the best pieces I’ve read on any of the topics, because it contains FACTS and EXAMPLES, things the Irons Cartel postings severely lack. I believe the dislikes you’ve received from this are from the members of said cartel who got about 1/5 of the way through your post, got bored, hit the dislike button, then their head exploded from all the facts. Nice job!


I didn’t hit the dislike button but was sorely tempted to do so because of the lousy writing style. I can understand the necessity of long posts to make a point but the writer should have the courtesy to break it up into paragraphs to make it easier to read.

Am I a nit-picking “grammar-Nazi?” Not usually, but this is a particularly annoying communication failure. You may not care about reaching me with your message but there are many others too “turned-off” by the “Wall-of-text” style as well. If you have good arguments, you are doing no favors to your point of view by sloppy writing.


OnTheOtherHand, please feel free to hit my dislike buttons any time. They get clicked so much that I sometimes click them myself just for the hell of it. Or click your own if you like – go on, try it, it’s fun.


Your a class act Rob, good luck.


Very nice parting comment, sir.

Stay classy, Rob!


Don’t go too far away Rob…we may need to bring you back when the town comes to their senses…


Sign the recall petition today. More money spent by Mayor Irons and his two stooges on something that shouldn’t have been done. Less money for the streets and emergency services. One more step on the road to bankruptcy.


Hush money.


Schultz looks pretty happy there, he must not be a tax paying resident of Morro Bay.


The only reason he would be happy is that he gets to walk away from the lunacy that is Morro Bay Politics.


But he could of done that anytime he wanted if wanted too, considering all the lunacy for several years, under several different leaderships.


That’s right…he could have, but he didn’t. He carried on in spite of the different political climates. It’s just that this particular bunch of “public servants” (well, 3 of them actually and one in particular) don’t want to hear anything but “Yes, yes, yes” in spite of any legal or financial considerations to the contrary.