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.

As the world turns

According to the Secretary of State’s website, following are the salaries and benefits of Adam and McClish (AS OF 2012):


Salary: $149,145

Benefits: 48,622

TOTAL: $197, 767


Salary: $126,074

Benefits: 43,990

TOTAL: $170,064


Don’t forget, he just got a raise in April, up to $157K I believe, plus bennies.


So.. The Council has Adams back but not the remainder of their employees. In 25 years I have never seen such loss of trust for our village of Arroyo Grande

This sounds more like Pismo Beach all the time

King Tony it’s time to leave with your puppy (pussy) Adams.

Restore the employees faith and get rid of the old guard on Election Day

Someone must be willing to be the write in candidate for Mayor!


Who didn’t love Guthrie last nite? When he said they were going to win back the public’s trust the same way they always have, by doing the right thing (or something close to that) I couldn’t believe it!

Obviously he doesn’t get it, but we already knew that, right?

And after closed session, only remarks from the two not running for re-election.

What are we to make of that? Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Reality Check

09/10/2014 at 12:54 pm

The decision of the Council not to conduct an independent investigation of the suspected misconduct of two senior staff, leaves a taste of scandal and cover up running strong and unrequited.

This lack of appropriate investigation and transparent resolution:

+leaves the employees accused of misconduct under a cloud of suspicion and scandal;

+ casts the Mayor, City council and City Attorney in suspicions of engaging in a cover up;

+ leaves the police officers who arrived on the scene and reported their findings embarrassed by the City Manage and City Council tacitly accusing them of false reporting;

+ leaves the rest of the City staff in morale destroying, hostile work environment of fear, if they speak out and / or question why fraternization is ok for some and not for others;

+ leaves the public disillusioned and distrustful of the City Council, Mayor and Senior City employees..

I can’t help but think of the embarrassment of the families of the two employees embroiled in scandal. This scandal won’t go away, especially now that the City Council and Mayor have failed to use due diligence in carrying out their duty to the public.

The Public has no reason to trust it’s leadership when no proper and independent investigation was sought; 80 minutes of the video tape of City Hall for the date in question has gone missing; and the police officers have their integrity in reporting the incident called into question without the ability to have an investigation; and the two accused of misconduct will have their ability to lead their staff and the community compromised and questioned.

Mayor and City Council —- VERY BADLY handled!!!!


Perhaps this incident will make those in charge think twice before handing out a “Key to the City.” It has taken on a whole new meaning.


For people that say immoral behavior doesn’t matter, consider that both the city manager and his cupcake are now likely beholden to the powers who helped them sweep this under the rug.


tinkartist. question: Why tell them now “if it happens again” the gate is already open. Now they know they can bust through it! a little late for warnings now that this has occurred.

Once is too much! just wait till the next event “it’s a comin”.


Most employees are provided with a handbook, an explanation of the company policies and regulations. In Mr. Adams’s case, he signed a contract.

No where does it state that the first offense results in a reprimand,

the second is cause for termination.

Improper behavior is cause for termination, clearly stated…

unless your name is Steve Adams (clearly implied by Council on 9/9)

As the world turns

Employees should have signed an acknowledgement that they read City policies and regulations, including reading the sexual harassment policy.

Someone should request a copy of the sexual harassment policy along with other city policies regarding internal romantic relationships.

If it is true that Mr. Adams fired someone in the Police Department for dating another in the office, how could he have been unaware of the policy?

Or, does this illustrate an adversarial relationship between Mr. Adams and the Police Department?


Well you are probably right. There must be some form of code of conduct in their contracts.


And not having discussion before the public? Pure cop-out. There is a lack of trust here that needs to be rectified. Personnel issues are closed session. Reviewing facts and stating what is or isn’t City policy that should be handled before the public. There truly is nothing to fear by providing open meetings and airing situations.


Based on the above picture,

I’d say the bloom is off the rose.


Remember this and vote these duplicitous lying sacks of s**** out!!