Hill goes to battle with CAPSLO

March 22, 2014
Adam Hill

Adam Hill


Editor’s note: Read a letter from Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo to the board of supervisors that includes a statement by Supervisor Adam Hill at the bottom of this article.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill publicly chastised and threatened his fiancée’s employer this week, prompting the organization to notify the board of supervisors that Hill is running a misinformation campaign geared toward influencing public officials.

Last week, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo CEO Biz Steinberg demoted Hill’s fiancée Dee Torres from her position as director of homeless services to a newly created role of homeless services manager. The demotion came with a more than 20 percent reduction in pay and followed multiple allegations of mismanagement of a program that is currently operating under a deficit.

Dee Torres

Dee Torres

On March 18, Hill sent his legislative assistant Hannah Miller to a homeless advisory committee meeting held at the CAPSLO offices. Miller read a statement chastising CAPSLO for demoting and humiliating Torres shortly after she voiced concerns about the safety of volunteers and homeless services employees.

In addition, Hill’s statement called CAPSLO’s leadership trio of Steinberg, Jim Famalette and Grace McIntosh “obnoxious and counterproductive.” He accused Steinberg of spending thousands of dollars on travel while neglecting the underprivileged whom the nonprofit is supposed to support.

At the end of the statement, Hill warned that the controversy created by the “egos” of Steinberg, Famalette and McIntosh would continue to be an issue with elected officials, the media and donors.

Twenty-two people attended the homeless advisory committee meeting Tuesday.

On Friday, CAPSLO fired back in a letter to San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bruce Gibson, a close political ally of Hill’s. The letter authored by CAPSLO Board President Frances Coughlin noted the nonprofit’s “serious concerns and disappointment” with the actions taken by Hill.

In the letter to Gibson, Coughlin commended Steinberg as an inspiration in the battle to end poverty. She chastised Hill for his actions regarding Torres’ demotion.

“The tone and tenor of this letter, the insulting commentary on our CEO Ms. Steinberg and her management team, and the implied threatening nature are unacceptable and we take exception to his statements,” Coughlin’s wrote. “We also call on Mr. Hill to discontinue his campaign of misinformation to influence other elected officials in an effort to discredit CAPSLO’s reorganization of its homeless division.

“We believe his recent comments, emails, and texts reflect a personal conflict of interest inappropriate for an elected official of our county.”

Letter to Bruce Gibson by CalCoastNews


Hilarious. Hill and Torres are starting to recognize that the people they’ve been celebrating all these years are even more despicable than they are, and that they will stop at nothing to keep their flow of government money coming. Torres created a threat to them with her actions, and they are throwing her under the bus. Maybe Hill and Torres will realize that in their effort to swim with the sharks, they are about to be come shark food.


Or it could be just the opposite. CAPSLO may have recently come to the realization that accommodating Hill’s demands for the political/financial benefits was not worth the price and are trying to get out of a “deal with the devil.”


“commended Steinberg as an inspiration in the battle to end poverty” — as well she might be, aside from her $160K salary package. Shouldn’t they be embarrassed to pay her so much to end poverty?


Why is paying someone in charge of an agency with ~1000 employees $160K that outrageous? SLO City taxpayers pay far more for a City Manager in charge of only half that number of employees. Even though SLO’s budget is at least 50% greater than CAPSLO, the pay differential is greater.


Guess Adam must have run out of the gold medallions he hands out with the offering of “I’ll look out for you” or he forgot to give some to CAPSLO (probably ran out of them having to take care of so many folks). So, obviously Carpenter must have been one of the 22 in attendance at the CAPSLO meeting and then followed through with his trying to convince the City of SLO to change course and show his devotion to the poor homeless with his rant and wave. Well, at least we know where he now stands. These people at CAPSLO who covered each others a$$ and who turned their back on evidence, employee and client complaints, and the good old truth now are promoting their need to reform, reorganization and promote better organization and management to the homeless following “a thorough investigation”. After putting Karen and her family through hell, convincing Ian Parkinson to intimidate KVEC with his power and threats, using Social Services Protective Services and being in total denial of the truth regarding this whole mess now starting turning and eating their own. They are all deceitful, despicable and immoral characters and deserve each other from CAPSLO, Carpenter, Hill, Gibson and all the other infected government officials. This County’s government network is the scum of the earth, looking out for their own best interests, manipulating the truth certainly, and certainly not serving the people of this County, just their own comrades! May you all get what you rightly deserve which is each other…


OK. Let’s continue to indulge in speculation here. Suppose that Torres did many of the things of which she is accused. (I have it on good authority that at least one of the charges is a deceptive half-truth.)

Was the evidence strong enough to survive in a court of law? If not, CAPSLO could not just fire her (or even discipline her) on the basis of hearsay in a new article. They had to have proof that held up in a court of law to protect them legally. Hill’s political support for CAPSLO’s Homeless Programs MAY be a significant secondary consideration.

It could be that they have finally received actual evidence of wrong-doing on Ms. Torres part and have taken the actions they took in an attempt to minimize the future damage to the organization. Legally, they would have to do something if this happened. Politically, there may be a big price attached to that so they are trying to find a “least-damaging” solution.

I know that people want to know everything right away and see immediate actions based upon whatever information they THINK is true, but reality is not only a much slower process but usually far too complex to be quickly and easily handled.

Be patient and see what comes of this. Hill’s volatile personality will probably result in a situation that forces the truth to come out.


I predict a future newspaper headlines will say that the county has decided, following the abandonment of the homeless by CAPSLO, to the creation of the Department of Homeless Services with a staff of 300 social workers and a budget of 60 million per year. To lead the department the BOS has chosen Ms. Dee Torres as director. “As always the cream rises to the top and I am gratified the Board recognized my qualifications and vision to lead this agency” Torres said after being sworn in to her new post.

Get all the elected leaders to drop their support of CAPSLO and they will drop homeless services like a hot rock to save everything else.

Of course if the upcoming BOS election this year results in the incumbants being tossed out then I doubt such a headline would become a reality..


Poor Hannah Miller.

Seems like every time we turn around, a legislative assistant is getting screwed.

I am glad Adam got involved. If there’s anyone in government who can show how fouled up things can get, it’s Adam Hill.


Dream job….Nightmare Supervisor!


Adam is “Going to the mattresses,” Too funny!


QUOTING THE LETTER AGAIN: Community Action Partnership’s responsibility to manage and provide program support to low income individuals can’t be done with the fear of retribution or concern over personal interests. The implied threat of of working with other elected officials and donors against the Agency is clearly a statement that brings into question the potential future consequences which may be influenced by his actions.

What I find appalling is CAPSLO’s absolute lack of complaint when Adam Hill–for years now–maliciously targeted CCN with threats and actions of retribution over CCN simply publishing the truth about Dee Torres.

CAPSLO, because of their lack of previous intervention, has enabled Hill to develop a wide and vicious attack machine which has been allowed to harass CCN and, specifically, Karen Velie.

What CAPSLO is developing is, in part, a monster of its own development.

As Frank Zappa wrote in one of his songs, “Do you love it? Do you hate it? There it is, the way you made it.”

Kevin Rice

+1 for the Zappa reference!


QUOTING THE LETTER FROM CAPSLO TO COUNTY SUPERVISOR GIBSON: ” We believe his recent comments, emails and texts M/b>reflect a personal conflict of interest inappropriate for an elected official of our County.

I must say that this letter is well written and covers the high points of Adam Hill’s nincompoopery.

Emails and texts? When do we get to see those?


QUOTING CCN ARICLE: “In addition, Hill’s statement called CAPSLO’s leadership trio of Steinberg, Jim Famalette and Grace McIntosh ‘obnoxious and counterproductive’ .


Kettle? Party of one? Kettle?