Will Gibson’s emails to his lover surface before election?

April 23, 2014
Bruce Gibson

Bruce Gibson

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

For more than 17 months, San Luis Obispo County officials have claimed they are attempting to comply with the California Public Records Act, yet they have failed to provide emails that could tarnish the reputation of a supervisor currently running for reelection, as required by law.

The California Public Records Act is a powerful tool used by reporters and the public to uncover governmental shortcomings and illegal activities. The act was enacted more than 40 years ago after it was determined that timely public access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right.

Nevertheless, nearly a year and a half has passed since San Luis Obispo County received a public records request for emails exchanged between Supervisor Bruce Gibson and his romantically entangled legislative assistant Cherie McKee, who previously went by the name of Cherie Aispuro. The county promised Los Osos resident Julie Tacker, the maker of the request, six years of Gibson-McKee emails but has only delivered two and a half years of messages, Tacker stated in a grand jury complaint she filed Monday.

In November 2012, Gibson revealed that he had been engaged in a long term affair with McKee. The second-term supervisor announced that McKee had won his heart and that he was planning on divorcing his wife of multiple decades.

Three days after learning of the affair, County Counsel Rita Neal and County Administrator Dan Buckshi cleared Gibson of any wrongdoing. Neal and Buckshi said they reviewed approximately 6,000 emails between Gibson and McKee and determined the pair had not used any county resources  and had not violated any county policies during the course of their affair.

On November 29, 2012, Tacker submitted a request under the California Public Records Act for the emails Neal had already reviewed, as well as other documents she examined, such as travel reimbursements. Neal responded saying it would require considerable time to review and redact the emails, but that she estimated it would take less than a month to deliver them.

Neal has since sent Tacker several batches of emails but has not released any since November 2013. The majority of the emails remain outstanding, Tacker said.

Gibson, who is nearing the end of his second term, is currently running for reelection. The primary election, which will likely determine whether or not he keeps his seat, takes place on June 3, and absentee voters will receive ballots in two weeks.

“The evidence, if provided at this time, would be detrimental to the supervisor’s bid for reelection,” Tacker wrote in her complaint to the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury. “The delay and over-redacting surrounding this particular request is not because it is voluminous as much as it is because it reveals that indeed county resources were used in the supervisor’s affair.”

Gibson said in his Tribune announcement of the affair that he and McKee always gave 110 percent to the job. But, one string of messages released by Neal brought into question whether Gibson and McKee were always hard at work.

On April 12, 2012, Gibson and McKee agreed by email to postpone a conversation with a constituent until the next day.

“OK, I don’t have the energy to deal with this today anyway,” Gibson wrote in an afternoon email.

McKee responded to him that day at 4:01 p.m.

“I just woke up,” she wrote. “You wiped me out.”

“Sorry to be so demanding! :)” Gibson replied.

This year, Tacker has given Neal three reminders of the outstanding record request, none of which received responses, Tacker wrote in her complaint.

In a prior reply to Tacker, Neal said she managed to review the thousands of documents in just a matter of a few days because, as the county attorney, she could view parts of documents exempt from public disclosure. She later said during a board meeting that complying with the request was taking hundreds of hours of staff time and costing the county thousands of dollars.

Neal did not respond to a CalCoastNews email asking why she has not released the emails and whether or not it has anything to do with the upcoming election.

Tacker copied the grand jury complaint to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office and would like for a member of the agency to instruct Neal to comply with the public records act, she said.

It is unlikely the grand jury would take any action on the matter prior to the June 3 election. Still, if the body chooses to investigate the matter, there exists the possibility of the grand jury finding wrongdoing beyond failure to comply with the records act.

If the grand jury were to find criminal conduct on the part of Gibson or other county officials, it could call for prosecution.

“Who knows what’s in there?” Tacker said. “There could be criminal implications on more than just the public record act.”


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pasodowny

Say what you want, Gibson lovers (hah!), but this is just another example of Bruce trying to control all. As a result he’s made another political blunder–not unlike the many times he’s tried to cover for SLO’s biggest joke, Adam Hill.


Gibson could have been over and done with this more than a year ago after his lackey Rita Neal “reviewed” the emails. At that time he could have released them and taken his lumps. Now the fool has to face it all over again during the campaign. Say what you will about how the election should be about the issues, but hey, newsflash, sex sells. Don’t blame those who want a peek (ewww, I know, but some like to watch).


Gibson, via his private actions and his overly controlling ways, is the one who ultimately prevents a substantive conversation on the issues from occurring. Gibson embarrasses our community. He should go.


Myself

This may be the only time I think Tacker may have stuck her nose where it belongs,the county should have given up those e-mails a long time ago as they were asked to do,she should take the whole works to court.

Gibson is no better than his buddy Hill, they are both self centered egomainics,both need to go away.


shelworth

Obviously the disclosure law needs a time limit added to it. The “we’re getting around to it” excuse rings a bit hollow after this long of a time.


hijinks

What a silly “news story.” The issuance of a complaint to the grand jury isn’t usually news, unless the complainant issues a press release about it, which is probably the only way the press would ever catch wind of it. The grand jury doesn’t issue criminal indictments — that’s not the California way. It’s people who sit around and chew the cud over this ‘n’ that, with the prospect they may someday issue a somewhat informed report on something or other. As for Tacker, Tacky is more like it. This publicity hound knows she’s barking up a barkless tree with this, just to make some noise. But, really, does she have the following to unseat Gibson? Pretty much got kicked out of Los Osos, now operating in south county, it seems, till they kick her out too.


Lynette_Tornatzky

Wow! I’m late to the hatchet job here!


This is rich, Julie Tacker, who dumped her husband AND underage kids to live with Jeff Edwards while holding the office of CSD Director, is playing moral arbiter here! It sure didn’t matter to her when the shoe was on the other foot did it!!


Anyway, tempest in an election year teapot. Only CalCoastNews, Tea Partiers and the sewer haters of Los Osos are on board with dissing Gibson. Gibson has done an excellent job in office, his LA is even respected by the haters as she is evenly kind to everyone, both friend and foe.


Human Reason

Your not even comparing apples to oranges. You are comparing apples to eggplant. Julie’s situation did not involve a subordinate employee on taxpayers dime. Can you not even see the difference. Neal didn’t so I guess you don’t either.


Pelican1

Adultery is adultery, any way you spin it. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Look up the work HYPOCRITE and you will see her picture.


Julie

While I should leave this comment alone, I no longer can. I did not have an affair with Mr. Edwards. My marriage amicably broke up in the summer of 2006.


Consequently, I needed another job (I was already working two part time jobs). I approached Jeff and asked if he would hire me as an independent contractor. He did (and still work with him). Not that it’s anyone’s business, several months later our personal relationship began. A year later we had a baby. We are still together, enjoying our blended family and each other.


The differences between my relationship with Jeff and Bruce and Cherie’s are many, the biggest difference is that ours was out in the open as soon as it began. (Ironically, ours began only a few months prior to theirs). I was an LOCSD director at the time, but no matters that presented conflicts arose during that time. Lynette will tell you different; but if she wasn’t in the bedroom she couldn’t know — now could she?


The issue at hand is the California Public Records Act. The County is breaking the law. The reason for the delay is obviously political timing. Ladies and Gentlemen we live in San Gibson Obispo, don’t fool yourself into thinking anything else. The emails I have received shine a pretty embarrassing light into who both Bruce and Cherie really are. They are disrespectful, unprofessional and heartless.


Gibson’s stance on issues is what I will be voting on, Mr. Gibson still supports seismic testing — the Environmental Assessment identified blasting of over 30,000 sea mammals and millions of fish and larva, but Gibson was OK with it. Promoted it. Encouraged a bigger boat to do it.


Gibson has run the LOWWP over budget by $10M so far, and there are still at least more years of construction to go. He has sole sourced countless contracts. Done nothing positive for the water basin here in Los Osos, letting contractors dump 100,000 million gallons of construction water into the bay. Allowing them to steal potable water, use potable water for dust control, he’s sold recycled water for $100 AFY to dryland farmers who don’t use basin water, doing nothing to mitigate for seawater intrusion. He failed to use the construction water to recharge the basin — which was in the initial construction plans. Hired the mega firms, leaving only crumbs for local jobs.


While he meddles in the Paso Basin, ours goes to hell.


WTH, the Cayucos Pier went south right under his nose and now the County has its hand out to the people who have been fundraising for help.


I could go on and on. Gibson lost my vote a long time ago, here’s nothing he could do to get it back.


SLOBIRD

Lynette is Gibson’s biggest cheerleader. Not ONE negative comment has crossed her fingers or lips in anything Gibson has done or said since in office. Totally devoted to her man!


Julie is not an elected official, is not receiving a dime of taxpayers money and Edwards is not being paid by the taxpayers while on the clock exhausted from the day’s activities like Gibson and Cherie Aispuro McKee in their personal activities.


Gibson has been playing at the County for years.


Gibson is a disgusting politician, husband, father, and human being.


givemeabreak

hmmmmmmmm maybe Gibson is playing with her as well?


DemandTransparency

Lynette, do you have a Lo-Jack on Julie Tacker’s keyboard? Maybe it’s a Google Alert notification setting then?


You sure seem to run around chasing all of Tacker’s quotes, comments and crumbs like an attention-starved sycophant. It’s amazing how dedicated you are in the pursuit of Tacker instead of to the pursuit of facts.


Lynette_Tornatzky

I’m dedicated to punching holes in lies put out for public consumption as truth.


MaryMalone

Oh, puke.


MBwaiter

Rita Neal won’t produce the emails becuase if she does she is afraid Gibson will seek support to fire her. She is spineless and won’t stand up to Gibson even though she knows the emails are public record.


One of the reasons why MB City Attorney was fire was because he made public Mayor Iron’s emails after a public records request. Mator Irons demanded that he be allowed to go through the emails and decide which emails to make public. The MB City Attorney refused to allow Mayor iron’s violate the law. Its one of many times that Mayor Iron’s tried to violate the law but the MB Attorney wouldnt let him. Irons decided to gain support to fire him.Neal and Gibson know this and Gibson has probably threaten Rita.


racket

Or, perhaps slightly less-nefariously, Gibson tacitly accepts Neal’s shortcomings and therefore Neal has some obligation to keep what’s hidden hid.


Or, perhaps much less nefariously, she recognizes the body of information she must release is going to open a drum of worms, not just about Gibson/Aispuro, but about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-NG.


It’s all just guesswork, until she releases to the public these documents that the law says she must release.


racket

I appreciate the poke at Irons. He failed that City when he couldn’t put aside his personal vendetta. He needs to go.


kkeene88

Hopefully the residents of Morro Bay are paying attention to the some of the alarming things that have occurred during the last few months including staff leaving at an alarming rate, budget hearings postponed until after the election (when they typically have been held in early May), little progress and zero transparency on the hiring of a new city manager, appointment of a planning commissioner that has belittled staff repeatedly, use of emergency reserve fund and irons, smuckler and c. johnson’s undying support of Gibson.


Human Reason

Did you see that they appointed Richard Sadowski to the Planning Commission. WOW !


mbactivist1

Yes – a major, major improvement over Grantham, whose sole purpose seemed to be approving everything the old boys and girls and their cronies wanted to build, no matter how bad it was for the City.


Richard is a totally honest, ethical guy who knows a lot about building (former contractor) and will be an asset to the Commission.


MBwaiter

Hahha..Richard is honest and ethical…..you really have no history or knowledge time will tell how wrong you are.


mbactivist1

No surprise that some of the staff are leaving. They don’t have their buddies in high places to protect them anymore, and the new City Manager actually expects people to work. What a concept.


MBwaiter

Staff are leaving because of the people you elected. Time will show this Mayor will go down as the worst in the history of Morro Bay.


Pelican1

He’s already proven he’s the worst!


MaryMalone

I think the reason the staff are leaving is more of a “sinking-ship” deal…


fishing village

Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill and if we are lucky, Caren Ray on our BOS and we can continue with the progress that has been made in the past 8 years!! There is a lot at stake here!


givemeabreak

Hot debate? Fishing Village as usual gets most of the thumbs down.


fishing village

So who does Julie think she is…..? She has something to say about everything,


Pelican1

She’s simply attempting to build a foundation for her future political ambitions once all the dust settles regarding her disastrous involvement in Los Osos.


givemeabreak

fishing village…..a least she uses her real name. And you? You seem to have a lot to say about everything.


slo Fact Finder

WOH ! Who exactly is the judge of when a public official’s conduct crosses that thin line of appropriate conduct, or not? Clearly it should not be that public official or others dependent on that public official’s best judgement of a desired vote of any kind what-so-ever……………..