Ferrera defends couple’s City Hall caper

August 22, 2014
Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara

Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara


Two top Arroyo Grande officials discovered by emergency workers near midnight last month in a darkened City Hall were said Wednesday by Mayor Tony Ferrera to have been cleared of inappropriate behavior by an internal city investigation.

City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish were located in the city building July 3 by police and firefighters after a 911 call from McClish’s husband, who said he was worried his wife might be in distress because of health issues. Officers then discovered a disheveled Adams walking from his office where McClish was scrambling to get dressed, police sources said.

On Wednesday, at an Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach Chambers of Commerce luncheon, Ferrera took the microphone following the club’s featured speaker to volunteer that “the incident was looked at and followed up by the city council” which then determined no further investigation was warranted, according to several attendees of the event. Ferrera described the July 3 incident as “a personnel matter” about which he could provide no details, but added the two parties involved “have a high level of integrity.”

Telephone calls and emails to Ferrera asking for verification of his comments were not returned.

“The incident” to which Ferrera referred was the subject of a special closed session meeting by the council four days after Adams and McClish were found in what a police officer later described as “an uncomfortable situation.” Adams was described by officers as appearing “disheveled.”

After ducking two days of CalCoastNews requests for comment, Ferrara, Adams, McClish, and an assistant city attorney fed their version of events to the local daily newspaper. Attorney Michael McMahon told the newspaper he had conducted an internal probe costing $1,254, and concluded that “there was nothing that indicated a need for formal investigation” and that the officers found nothing improper.

Nevertheless, city officials told the Tribune that officers said the situation was “uncomfortable.”

Adams penned a statement published in the daily newspaper in which he acknowledged the incident “resulted in an appearance that could be easily misinterpreted.” He contends McClish and he were just biding time to allow their blood alcohol levels to diminish before they drove to their homes, because they had consumed several glasses of wine during the evening.


QUOTING ARTICLE: Adams penned a statement published in the daily newspaper in which he acknowledged the incident “resulted in an appearance that could be easily misinterpreted.”

No, not really.

Having gone through several previous incidents of public officials and their suboridnates waving their legs in the air on company time and using company resources, I believe here at CCN we are becoming experts on the matter.


Mary, do you work at CNN?


Is so, would explain a lot!


How would it explain anything?


Nope. I do not work at CNN.

But nice try at an implied ad hominem.

Jorge Estrada

I beleive that their choice to not drink and drive sets a good example. Their unverified sobering methodology is questionalbe. I would have buffed the floors to work off the alcohol, no critisim from dusty me.


There are these unusual things called TAXIS. When you’ve had too much to drink, you call and they come and pick you up and deliver you at your home. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. Even after the most obvious effects of alcohol have decreased you are still under the influence. Your judgement is impaired and your reaction times are slowed and your coordination and attention span are reduced. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.


Public taxis usually bear at least one witness to backseat leg-waving-of-legs activities.


Well, the last thing they would want to do, if their true goal was to decrease their blood alcohol level, would be to expend any bodily fluids because doing so would increase the blood alcohol concentration, raising the blood alcohol level.


Of course he does. And he wants more power through a charter. Just what the city needs.


Mr. Mayor,

Please address the following…

1. Should employees have access to city hall during non working hours (when city hall is closed) for non work related issues?

2. Should employees who have been drinking have access to city hall during non business hours for non work related issues?

3. Will you be counseling the employees in question as to their behavior?

4. Will ALL employees be warned about such behavior?

5. Considering that “nothing” happened, will you encourage other employees to act in the same manner?

6. Who will pay for cost of the 911 response by the police and fire?

7. Who will pay the cost of the “internal” investigation?

8 Please explain how you can define what happened as a “personal matter” when in fact these two city employees were found in a government office during non working hours.

Doesn’t that make it a PUBLIC matter?

9 Finally Mr. Mayor, please provide all of us, your definition of INTEGRITY.

Mr. Holly

Mute point. Remember, nothing happened.




He’s right it’s a Mute point, if you talk about it you might get passed over for a raise or promotion.


Excellent questions that should be answered.


Did we expect Tony to do anything other than push it under the rug?

I say we need an outside investigation.

Does any one remember the Ed Arnold incident, Tony tried to push that under the rug also, and then enough pressure was applied the truth came out and Ed was convicted.

Tony and crew are going to do everything in their power to keep a lid on this until the elecvtion is over. He is so power hungry he wants this city to become a chartered city so he has more power. And he is able to control Steve, he may not be able to control a new city manager, or it will take time.

City Council meeting Tuesday will be fun, bring some popcorn and a soda. Tony is going to try his best to keep people from speaking on this matter you just wait and see. He is probably on the phone with Gibson right now getting some tips on how to get around letting the public speak their minds.


Encourage other AG residents to attend. It will take consistently large crowds to shame/convince Tony to “do an about face” on this one. Once he makes up his mind, it’s very difficult to convince Costello, Guthrie and now Barneich to do anything but toe the line.


Jim Guthrie has certainly been a disappointment.


Adams “contends McClish and he were just biding time to allow their blood alcohol levels to diminish before they drove to their homes, because they had consumed several glasses of wine during the evening.”

Say what? When you are paid in excess of $150,000/year, you can’t afford a cab home? Please. I don’t really care if you were fooling around. I do care, Mr. Adams, that by appearances, you are stretching the truth. That speaks to your integrity, or lack thereof, and should be considered during your upcoming performance review.

Really, the conniving of SLO public officials is embarrassing, and it’s costing us money.

Mr. Holly

Finally the question has been answered, who is guarding the hen house? This is really difficult to believe, or is it? It’s just business as usual that things like this are accepted. Look at some of our local elected officials and department heads who are involved in these sex scandals. It seems more the norm and that this is accepted. That sad part is that if a low level employee had been caught in the same position , no pun intended, they would more than likely been terminated as they should. There is a time and place for everything. I don’t think that any city hall should be the accepted place for extra curricular activities. Don’t these people already get enough perks at our expense?

Shame on Ferrara and McMahon, It’s a good try.

Do you really think the internal probe cost $1254? If it did then that proves they did nothing.

Attorney fees usually $350 minimum an hour. City Manager around $175 and hour (benefits included) Community Development Director around $150 an hour (benefits included), Unknown hours for police and fire department interviews and finally the time it took to come up with this final conclusion that nothing happened.

Note: hourly rates are estimates but fall in line with other jurisdictions.



Do you really think the internal probe cost $1254?

I think General Manager Adams’ internal probe of McClish will end up costing the taxpayers of the City of Arroyo grande WAY more than $1254.


Mary, you’re on a roll. You’re crackin’ me up here!

Mr. Holly

There is no government agency that can do anything for $1254. My point being is that this is a complete coverup, evidence by this fictitious figure that Ferrara is trying to pass on to us. Show us the time cards. This may be a more serious failure of any confidence for Ferrara because this is not the truth.

CCN should get a copy of the police report and/or a copy of the 911 call. Of course they will say there is no report which will just be another lie.


There is no official police report because there was no “crime”. What’s needed are copies of the police memorandum, I believe this would be where the officers’ statements would provide the details that some at the city DO NOT want revealed. Can anyone confirm that a public records request from the city would require them to turn these over?


They likely will say this “is a personnel matter”.


If memos do exist they needed to be posted so we can read them. Let’s see what the police really saw. Enough of the guessing game lets see the memos! And the so called VIDEO where is it? I just hope who ever is lying realizes if a real investigation takes place you will be caught the truth always comes out.


The cost of this “investigation” will be chump change when compared to the lawsuits that will inevitably follow. Truth of the matter is, the City of Arroyo Grande can no longer afford current leadership. It’s a shame Tony was able to keep this under wraps until AFTER the last day to take out filing papers to run against him.


Anybody know if a write campaign can be still put in place for mayor?


Does anyone know of someone who would want to subject themselves to this?


That is one of the questions that needs to be investigated. How were they able to keep this under wraps when it occurred on July 3rd? Not only is the timing suspicious, it would be interesting to know who knew what and when. Newsflash to those involved, NO ONE BELIEVES YOUR STORY! Like high school kids, really mom and dad, we were just studying at the library. And, Because general opinions of city “staff” or any government official isn’t low enough already, overpaid, underworked, cronyism and corruption is the new norm. So, how are your kids doing? Probably not thinking about the crap your kids will be getting from their peers because of your actions. Probably going to leave a scar… Thank goodness you people are in charge of making good decisions for the rest of us too!


The word stated by officers describing this incident was “uncomfortable”. It was not

“high integrity” in regards to the incident. There are two different definitions to the both.

Someone please buy the mayor a dictionary. Oh yea, tell him to research the phrase



QUOTING GANGSTA1: “The word stated by officers describing this incident was “uncomfortable”.

If the “incident” was “uncomfortable,” perhaps General Manager Adams and Community Developer McClish were using the wrong position.

Perhaps if they changed position or–better yet–forego legs-waving-in-the-air activities on city desks, and instead paid for their own motel room, the “incident” wouldn’t be so “uncomfortable.”


OMG MARY! Sincerely hope you’re planning on attending the council meeting on Tuesday evening!

Rich in MB

Some Pigs are More Equal than Others.

Was it Orwell that said that or Mayor Ferrera?

We will find out at the next Board Meeting!

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