Arroyo Grande tryst a group affair

August 19, 2014
Steve Adams

Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

A late night rendezvous at Arroyo Grande City Hall involving two city officials ended abruptly when emergency workers, responding to a 911 call about a missing spouse, discovered a partially dressed couple in the darkened building.

But the sex scandal apparently goes far beyond staff using a City Hall office for late night liaisons, and includes the cost to taxpayers for the emergency response and for the pair traveling together to out of town events. Several staffers said city officials appear to have conspired to minimize the incident.

On July 3, Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish attended the grand opening of Robert’s Restaurant, across the street from City Hall.

At about 10 p.m., McClish called her husband to say she was on her way home from work and that her cell phone was dying, according to city documents.

Teresa McClish

Community Development Director Teresa McClish

Shortly after 11 p.m., McClish’s husband called 911 to report that his wife had not arrived home. Though it had only been about an hour since McClish had called her husband, he said he was worried because she has a heart condition and he asked officers to find out if she was still at City Hall, according to city records and sources.

Police dispatchers responded by sending a car to City Hall and another to check out Ralph and Duane’s, a neighborhood bar. Officers did not find McClish at Ralph and Duanes, according to police documents.

At City Hall, police discovered McClish’s green Ford Focus parked in the front lot, with her purse and cell phone inside. The lights at City Hall appeared to be off and no one answered knocks on the door or calls to inside phone lines, police documents say.

Considering McClish’s heart condition, officers called firefighters for assistance, according to city records and sources.

At 11:36 p.m., during their search of the building, officers discovered Adams and McClish in an intimate situation, several sources said. After dressing, McClish informed her husband that she had been found.

In the past, Adams has been adamant about prohibiting romantic relationships with subordinate employees. Several years ago, he insisted on the termination of a female police officer who had a personal relationship with a lower-ranking member of the force.

Following the Adams-McClish incident, city staff said they have concerns about the handling of an investigation because of the close relationships between Mayor Tony Ferrara, city attorney Timothy Carmel, and Adams. In April, Carmel wrote a memorandum recommending the Arroyo Grande City Council approve a 10.5 percent increase in Adams’ salary — to begin on July 4.

Nevertheless, Ferrara selected Carmel to lead the investigation into Adams’ alleged affair with McClish, city sources said.

On August 12, Adams sent a memorandum to the city council asking them to approve a 3 percent increase to the $250,000 the city paid Carmel for legal services in fiscal year 2013-2014.

Calls to Adams, McClish and Ferrara were not returned. A woman who answered the phone at Carmel’s office first said, “Just a minute please…” and then returned to the phone to say Carmel would “be out of the office until September.”

When asked why the city was having Carmel investigate Adams’ alleged affair with a subordinate, Councilwoman Kristen Barneich said she would have to speak with Carmel and Adams before she could respond to the question.

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234 Comments

  1. MossyBuddha says:

    this is what happens when the policy makers (council) and the manager become all buddy buddy. sprinkle some additional powers on this mess and you have a wonderful brew of corrupiton. check out what happened in King City after they managed to grab more power through a charter…

    http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/salinas/warrant-king-city-city-manager-bugged-employees-phones/27437358#!bIkHY2

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
  2. udontknow says:

    I would be willing to say the Tribune article was sugar coated. So where is the infamous video? And her cell phone battery was “DYING” hmmmm. Curios to why she did not make a phone call to her husband from city hall saying she will be late?

    (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
    • agag1 says:

      Sugar coated is putting it mildly, this is typical Trib fluff. We all know how they cover for the elected officials they favor.

      (23) 29 Total Votes - 26 up - 3 down
  3. dogeatdog says:

    Okay I had to re read the article again, and I did find Steve’s statement odd.

    When it came to the disheveled look, he states he ” had changed into casual clothes before going out” Yeah so what, why is your shirt untucked or partially untucked and you are looking disheveled hours later?

    You got caught with your hands in the cookie jar, OWN it Steve, step down, you are making this worse by trying to cover it up. Your lies don’t make sense.And all Teresa can do is parrot what you said. You are a pair to draw to.

    (20) 30 Total Votes - 25 up - 5 down
    • agag1 says:

      I’m not convinced Steve is the only one trying to cover this up. My guess is this is coming from the top down, and Mayor Ferrara is the top! Steve is given his marching orders, as are most of the other members on the council. It’s time to clean house!

      (20) 26 Total Votes - 23 up - 3 down
      • dogeatdog says:

        but why is a mayor giving orders to the manager?

        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          Usually, the mayor and council members decide what policies and decisions will be enacted, and the manager draws up the staff notes, specialists evaluations, etc. Then the whole mess is presented to the mayor and council members who then decide what version of the policy or regulation they want to adopt. Then the mayor and council members vote on the final version of the decision. If there are enough votes, the policy is passed and the policy or decision is enacted.

          In other words, the manager , after research and documentation, makes a recommendation on how the policy of decision should be constructed, but the mayor and council have to vote in its favor to enact it.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  4. SanSimeonSam says:

    If the Tribune article is correct I believe CCN would have to brace for a major law suit. Some one is lying. It gets curiouser an curiouser all the corruption. I will say that i am beginning to doubt CCN to a certain extent. Nothing has happened to the fix the corruption at CAPSLO. Is there still state or federal investigations. I find it hard to believe that we are so very corrupt that this is allowed to go on. But we do deserve it. We are ignorant people and are happy to be taken advantage of and robbed of our wealth and laughed at by those stealing from us. Thank you sir may i have another.

    (0) 28 Total Votes - 14 up - 14 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    The village called, seems the idiot is missing.

    (9) 23 Total Votes - 16 up - 7 down
  6. fishing village says:

    Now will everyone looking for crap just shut up!!

    (-11) 31 Total Votes - 10 up - 21 down
  7. Dave says:

    The Tribune posted their story online tonight:

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/08/21/3206332/steve-adams-teresa-mcclish.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      I find the Tribune article clearly lacking in substantive credibility. If nothing of interest occurred, why did the city council undertake a special closed session performance evaluation of the city manager on 24 hours notice immediately following the three day holiday weekend?

      The Tribune continuously aids and abets corruption.

      (20) 58 Total Votes - 39 up - 19 down
      • pasodowny says:

        Got that right. That they waited three days on this story tells you how much they kvetched, wondering if it would hurt their dear liberals in any way.

        Actually, I take that back. The Trib doesn’t support liberals. They support nannies–those who the Trib feels will bring SLO society around to a more mannered, less homeless, drug-free, leashed-dog, quieter, less brown society. Those who know what’s best for us.Those who stand on the peak of hypocrisy. Gibson, Hill, Marx, Ray are the first who come to mind.

        (1) 27 Total Votes - 14 up - 13 down
        • Kevin Rice says:

          I’m always in search of more accurate terms… The Tribune has taken the immoral role of protector of the Bourgeoisie. The Tribune strives to create and sustain political, social, and capital stratum, viciously guarding the gate as to who is considered SLO Bourgeoisie and who is not. The Tribune is corrupt. The Tribune lies, and The Tribune hides truth and obfuscate facts on behalf of the SLO Bourgeoisie class. Gibson, Hill, Marx, Ray, et al, do come to mind–even though Hill and Ray came from the Proletariat, they are now dictators of their own.

          (2) 32 Total Votes - 17 up - 15 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        Now, wait a minute! Back up the newspaper delivery truck. They were there in city hall at close to midnight looking a bit disheveled ONLY because they were trying to sober up before getting in a car and driving home. After all, city hall is a rather sobering place. It’s where most people go to wait their drinking out.
        Not calling the husband to let him know was simply an oversight. NOTHING happened.These are people of integrity!
        Hmmm…why wasn’t a coffee shop their first choice?
        Steve and Teresa, try and remember that delusion detests focus, and romance simply provides the veil.

        (19) 29 Total Votes - 24 up - 5 down
      • agag1 says:

        Agreed Kevin! If I’m not mistaken, Mayor Ferrara previously worked in disaster preparedness. This situation gives him the opportunity to put all of his expertise and experience into action. Having his City Manager in this position is an embarrassment to the city. As Mayor, this is Tony’s worst disaster, and no doubt he believed by “getting out in front of it” at the Chamber luncheon the other day he was doing damage control.

        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
    • dogeatdog says:

      The story still does not add up. The police stated “uncomfortable” situation, they know what they saw and why they did not feel comfortable. And when they went in the building they would have announced themselves. That would have given Steve time to dress very quickly.

      Why go to R and D’s, when Bill’s place was the closer bar? Is that their usual hangout?

      And Teresa called her husband an hour earlier and said she was on her way home, city hall has phones. If she thought maybe she should wait a bit before driving, why not call her husband and tell him that?

      It does not take much to realize this story is bull crap, and they are covering their butts. Neither one of them want to lose their jobs, and they are going to lie thru their teeth to keep them.

      When did Teresa have the pace maker put in? I still think her husband knew what was going on and wanted them caught. He went for major embarrassment, and he knew using the heart condition would bring out all resources.

      (22) 30 Total Votes - 26 up - 4 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        The pace maker was actually a GPS unit the husband had installed for obvious reasons.

        (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
  8. StakeHolder says:

    As a resident of Arroyo Grande, I have written my concerns to our Mayor and City Council. I requested a thorough investigation and audit, NOT done by a city employee. We must all write letters to get our voice heard.

    (23) 37 Total Votes - 30 up - 7 down
    • agag1 says:

      A packed to overflowing council chambers on Tuesday (and all the other Tuesdays it will take until Adams and McClish are terminated or resign) is about the only thing this council will pay attention to. It will take a crowd full of faces for them to realize we intend to make sure they hold these two accountable.
      In the private sector, at the very least, these two would have been suspended pending an investigation. More than likely they would have been terminated, the City’s own personnel regulation manual states: “An official or employee of the City shall not engage in conduct that would tend to discredit his/her position with the City.” There’s also a clause for Improper Employee Conduct. If being on City property after hours, (while NOT conducting City business) in the dark, WITH your subordinate employee, AND appearing disheveled when the police arrive doesn’t discredit your position, what does? No responsible employer could allow these two to continue working together without fear of lawsuits galore!

      (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.