A.G. won’t pursue investigation of Adams

September 10, 2014


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.

City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish

City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish/Photo by Daniel Blackburn

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.


AG should adopt this song as their OFFICIAL city song.



MRS McClish just out of pure decency for her family should resign from her position.

Reality Check

Wait a minute! Mrs McClish is the subordinate in this scandal. My personal opinion since first learning of this scandal is that Steve Adams should resign. City Managers are in high demand. Aside from his poor judgment about appropriate behavior with a subordinate staff member, He’s been a good City Manager.

He has no credibility now in AG, but he can go to another City “as a Virgin” and carry on with the humility of lessons learned from pass errors. His wife and kids deserve a chance to be somewhere without the stigma of this scandal hanging over their heads.

Mr. Adams, grow up and do the right thing!


Reality Check…. You are right. It is their families that are suffering from this atrocious, and scandalous behavior.

As the world turns

Is this what the A.G. Council believes? Police officers and medical officials conspired to created a story? The missing video tapes’ segments of the time the two were together “magically” disappeared? A.G. citizens do not deserve an outside investigation?

Mike Byrd

Unfortunately, they’ve made it look like a cover up even if it isn’t. Which council members promised an investigation at the last meeting and went back on their word last night? Public requests for a full Grand Jury investigation need to be made now. This is not the way open government is supposed to operate.


Mike, you suggest this on almost every post. Will you do it?

Mike Byrd

Yes, I already have the form filled out. I was hoping the city council would do the right thing but I guess they have other ideas about what’s best for our city. Hopefully many citizens will request an investigation to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation the the grand jury.


I would give you 100 thumbs up if that were possible!


Mike Byrd

Mayor Tony basically gave the Grand Jury the ‘finger’ when negative allegations were leveled at the South Sanitation District. I doubt the outcome would be any different here.

On the other hand…


You probably already have signs that could be used with slight modification, you have recently run a campaign courting a much larger voter base and you have name recognition!


I voted for Mike for Supervisor and would do so for Mayor as well — if he is both an AG City resident and interested in doing so. However, I know the costs of running a campaign — even as a write-in — are high and running as a write-in is rarely successful. Given the high number of uninformed citizens, the only way to succeed would be to buy votes with heavy advertising and I wouldn’t blame Mike for not taking on that burden. Is there anyone of sufficient means and caring to act as a super-donor for the cause?


Agreed that money is vital to any campaign, but don’t underestimate the power of those determined to get the word out.

Will it be time consuming and require a lot of hard work? Of course.

But I want to believe there are enough of us who would volunteer to pound the pavement and do everything we could to help bring change to Arroyo Grande.


Look at the last campaign when someone ran against Tony and did not put out a single sign, he got a fair about of votes, and then there were those who just did not vote for Crony Tony.

I think if Bird ran, he might win because a lot of people are sick and tired of the BS no matter what the council tried to tell us.

I think word of mouth, inter net and Cal Coast news could get the word and a fire going against Tony.

It is worth a try


This decision, in and of itself, should trigger a grand jury investigation into how the city handles issues of waste fraud and abuse. The use of public property for ones own personal gain, compromising building security, and erroneous use of emergency response resources, costing taxpayers funds while potentially diverting responders from ACTUAL emergencies.


And this city council wants us to vote them more power, to become a Charter City, two chances of that, slim and none and after Mayor Ferrara’s comment following the closed session slim just left.

Mike Byrd

I’ll be voting against it.


Well, if you talk to the strangers Kristen meets in the grocery store and the gym, they may have a chance to pass the Charter City.

95% of the people in AG have NO clue what’s going on, hopefully they don’t vote.

The 5% who pay attention, and therefore don’t believe or trust our city officials, need to get organized in order to bring change.


everything is “anecdotal” to Kristen Fellows Barneich. She could never cite a fact or figure to support anything she supports. It’s always an “emotive” position. LIBTARD is a disease.


AG citizens looks like the politicians gave you a “tea party” as well.

Mr. Holly

Unbelievable! This is a complete lack of confidence of the Arroyo Grande Police Department by the City Council. Adams initially lied to the officers which was reported.

The citizens of Arroyo Grande should be outraged by this coverup. I’m not a resident of Arroyo Grande although I find it disgusting that this type of corrupt government is allowed to get away with this. Arroyo Grande is not the only place in the county where this goes on and they keep getting away with it.

I hope that when Dan Dow takes over the DA’s office that he will aggressively pursue these individuals who have abused their political positions for personal gains and allow these coverups to continue.


Yes, once we get a new DA things may start happening!


Now, now, Mr. Holly, these are NICE people!

Apparently we need to overlook the fact that Adams lies.

No word yet from McClish, but her expression in the above photo is priceless.


She looks like she could use some “tea”.


Corruption is allowed and starts at the head of the snake. Chop off the head of the snake = TONY FERRARA = and only then can Arroyo Grande be changed. Until then, corruption, favoritism and deceit will continue to rule.

They are sending a signal to all: This is over, done, finished! Go home now and watch Boardwalk Empire and you will see we are not so bad…


Wow, I realize it’s only a photo of Adams and McClish, but THAT looks uncomfortable…

Good for them!

1 2 3 7