A.G. won’t pursue investigation of Adams
September 10, 2014
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
Two top Arroyo Grande officials escaped further sanctions late Tuesday after council members veered from promises to probe deeper into the pair’s late-night rendezvous in City Hall.
The July 3 incident involving City Manager Steve Adams and subordinate Teresa McClish, community development director, was kept submerged from public view following a brief inquiry into the matter by the city attorney’s office. Deputy City Attorney Michael McMahon elected to believe Adams and McClish’s accounts over police officer official reports.
The council went into closed session Tuesday at the end of their regular meeting to discuss Adam’s job performance. After an hour, they emerged to report they had taken no action, meaning the matter is now officially closed.
Police responding to an emergency call from McClish’s husband led them to a darkened City Hall, where they discovered the pair in a back office with clothing askew.
According to Adams, the pair had been “drinking tea” to sober up after attending a restaurant opening.
Grainy video provided by the city shows Adams running across the street toward City Hall to join McClish in the parking lot following the event. He then turns and runs after several people leave Roberts Restaurant and returns several minutes later after McClish flashes her car lights.
Tuesday’s meeting drew a slightly smaller crowd than two weeks ago, when three members of the council expressed their desire to schedule a discussion of the matter on the regular meeting agenda. Instead, the item was placed at the very end of the agenda and conducted in secret as required by law, according to City Attorney Timothy Carmel.
Resident Otis Page told the council, “You lied to us. You promised an agenda item to discuss this openly yet you did not agendize it. This issue has legs and it is not going away. Dishonesty has costs.” Vanessa Andrews said she is “one of those people who is upset. If you support Adams and McClish in this you are creating a hostile work environment. Do the right thing for once.”
Heather Jensen said she was “disappointed” by the lack of an agenda discussion.
“We citizens need to know what happened,” she said. “We need a Grand Jury probe.”
Connie Avila noted police department personnel were “gagged” by city officials, and Beatrice Spencer said city officials were accepting Adams’ version of events over the interpretation of four police officers.
Bob Hatch, who said he is a 40-year resident of the city, asked the council to stop the investigation.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who don’t want this to go on,” he said.
Adams and McClish sat together for a brief period while McClish outlined a city program for the council.