Sex, lies, video, and a city cover-up

September 5, 2014

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

Arroyo Grande police officer reports and city video tapes support allegations of a late night romantic rendezvous at City Hall between City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate.

On July 3, shortly after Community Development Director Teresa McClish’s husband called 911 to report that his wife had not arrived home and he worried because she has a heart condition, police, after knocking repeatedly, entered and began searching the darkened building. As officers yelled McClish’s name, Adams walked from his office initially lying to officers, saying McClish was not in the building, according to police reports.

After officers noticed a partially-dressed McClish holding her clothes in front of her chest, Adams became angry with officers, according to officer reports.

“McClish was hiding behind the door as I reached the entry way of the office,” Senior Police Officer S. Day wrote. “She peeked her head from behind the door and appeared to be holding a shirt to her chest….she appeared to have been sleeping due to her hair being messed up and her eyes being droopy.”

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.

However, in this case, city officials claim that police reports are incorrect, and that McClish and Adams were fully dressed and drinking tea when officers arrived. Several city officials claim police have manipulated the facts because of ongoing salary negotiations.

These claims led the daily paper to misreport officer statements until the memos were released Thursday in support of the coverup, police sources said.

Nevertheless, surveillance videos installed in 2012 support officer statements that McClish and Adams were having a secret rendezvous.

From the city’s video:

At 8:27 p.m., Adams and McClish leave the grand opening of Roberts Restaurant, which is across the street from City Hall, and walk to Rooster Creek for another glass of wine.

At 9:39, McClish walks across Mason Street and gets into her car parked at City Hall.

At 9:46, Adams crosses Mason Street about two car lengths from the brightly lit crosswalk. As he nears McClish’s car, several people leave Roberts Restaurant. Adams then turns and runs back across the street.

At 9:51, the people who departed Roberts Restaurant drive away, McClish flashes her car lights and Adams dashes back across the street towards McClish’s car.

Following the incident, the city attorney performed a four-hour investigation and determined that the officer reports were incorrect.

Deputy City Attorney Michael McMahon spoke at a city council meeting Aug. 26 and repeated McClish and Adams’ claims that they were fully dressed and drinking tea when officers arrived.

Arroyo Grande has paid out more than a million dollars in settlements and workers compensation because of sexual harassment claims against the city. In one case, former city councilman Ed Arnold was arrested for assaulting a city staffer with whom he and his wife were allegedly having a sexual relationship.

Arnold was then replaced by now San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Caren Ray. After being appointed to the Arroyo Grande City Council, Ray dropped out of an adult club where people drink alcohol, and run to a private location where some then disrobe. Ray called it normal adult behavior and noted that another city official was part of the same club.

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adams

Steve Adams and Teresa McClish leave Robert’s Restaurant on July 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arroyo Grande Memorandum 7-5-2014 by CalCoastNews


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OnTheOtherHand

Let’s see if I have this straight.


AG City Manager Steve Adams apparently had (or was about to have) a sexual encounter with Community Development Director McClish. The encounter appears to be mutually agreed upon based upon their behavior just prior to the incident. This is important because while it is at least unethical and against City policies for someone to engage in sexual affairs with a subordinate, it makes the situation unlikely to involve sexual harassment which would also involve legal liability for the City.


The affair took (or was about to take) place in a city building after hours but apparently Mr. Adams was authorized to have access to the building. We don’t know whether he was specifically prohibited from using it for personal purposes. The witnesses (City police officers) interrupted said encounter either just after or just before the action. They didn’t see what happened but just observed the state of clothing and appearance of the parties involved.


To me, it appears that it is possible that nothing illegal took place. So what exactly is the basis for calling the subsequent reaction by the Mayor and City Council “a Coverup.” Adams & McClish probably violated at least a couple of City policies but that is the kind of thing that should be handled with reprimands or even stronger personnel actions. It is not required to reveal such actions to the public and may even be a violation of City policies to do so.


I suspect that this thing is being blown out of proportion by CCN and others. I don’t have much respect for either of the parties involved. I have even less respect for Mayor Ferrara but that is due to his role in the South County Sanitary District mess and a few other past actions. In this case, I don’t see anything convincing that shows anything more than an error in judgment.


While I don’t have a problem with the revelation of the behaviors involved here, they form the basis for a personal moral judgment on these people not a major legal/political scandal. CCN’s crusade to make it so reminds me of Nancy Grace, The Daily Mail or the TMZ website.


udontknow

It sounds like you do not pay attention very well. The city apparently has rules against sex with h subordinates it has the potential to become a hostile work environment. And lying is also another issue even though they were not caught the leader of a city can not be trusted if he is a liar. Ya it is his own business but he can not have sex or relationship with a subordinate, can not use city property for his personal use and he can not lie during an investigation.

How are the employees supposed to follow the rules when the leader of the city can’t follow the rules.


So now that it has been broken down to you I hope you can understand the major issues here. And if you can’t then your just ignorant.


roberttorrance

you sound like a city council member in disguise….if so you are doing a horrible job…


changes

This reported incident gets more disheartening and disgusting each week

as the facts unfold. Thank you Cal Coast News and KVEC for continuing to

follow through with this investigation. I can only hope the Arroyo Grande citizens

band together to stop this ongoing embarrassment and lies with their city

government and employees.


I will stay tuned to see what kind of “Spin Excuse” the city manager Adams gives

in his exclusive interview with KSBY. He already used a family photo and a box

of tea. Maybe it will be his shirt as he demonstrates how it becomes tuck, 1/2

un-tucked, disheveled, or untucked. .


Does anyone know when the Mayor speaks next in a public forum. I want to

hear him spontaneously speak on behalf of the city council when he attempts to

shove this under that big carpet of cover ups in Arroyo Grande.


agag1

Your wish may very well come true on Tuesday!


ToHellinaHandBasket

I have two questions and one comment.


1. How can these two continue to serve their community “faithfully” in their daily duties as public officials?


2. How can they show up to work each day and face their fellow officials/employees?


Morality has been thrown by the wayside. It no longer matters to many. Those of us who still believe in morality get castigated often as if we live in the dark ages. We are told, “it’s none of your business” what two people do behind closed doors.


It is when it happens behind closed doors in a public office and by public officials.


The Clinton/Lewinsky scandal is brought to mind.


I have empathy for the families of Adams and McClish.


As the world turns

Did they go to the opening as public officials representing the City? Were these two drinking alcohol while on the job?


kettle

Excellent question. Also did they pay or was it complementary for public officials?


As the world turns

Where is Otis Page? He needs to get involved and testify at hearing.


indigo1955

I just feel incredibly sorry for Teresa’s husband. It is painful enough to survive and affair without it being splashed all over the news for everyone to know about. And to think…he was concerned about her health. You’d have to be incredibly cold for that one…


r0y

That’s almost like John Edwards cold! What an upstanding public servant we’re all paying for and will likely continue paying for long after she’s gone.


May I be the first to say: Good riddance to the both of them!


MaryMalone

More like Newt Gingrich cold.


MaryMalone

What makes it worse is that appears Adams had been cuckolding Mr. McClish for years.


gangsta1

As a former lifelong resident of arroyo grande California, I would like to state the following:

You residents need to demand you voices be heard. If nothing regarding this matter is on agenda for council meeting than “You are being dismissed”. Your opinions are vital assets to maintaining the core of values of any community. Really, do not pass on a chance to

make certain all aspects of representation of YOU the citizens is being handled in a fair and just fashion. The people are being paid by you.


whatdouno

Maybe hubby got tired of her affair and decided to call in the “concerned” alert to expose the entire sordid situation. Just saying; revenge is best served cold


MaryMalone

I hope so, too. Adams has been cuckolding him for years now.


achillesheal

Just some pre 4th of July fireworks. How appropriate it happened so close to Independence Day – she’ll soon be independent of her marriage and hopefully both independent of their jobs.


agag1

Hoping for a spectacular fireworks show at the council meeting on Tues, 9/16.

Make sure to invite your friends and neighbors!


Julie

The AG City Council agenda for Tuesday has been posted.


There is NO item on it that pertains to an independent investigation as was asked for by the public.


There is a Closed Session item (at the end of the meeting) for Performance Review of City Manager, Steve Adams.


Mr. Adams is no longer identified as the negotiator for labor negotiations with the AG Police Officers Association. It looks like they’ve hired a special counsel to take it over.


http://www.lcwlegal.com/shelline-bennett


agag1

Is the city hoping to avoid a vote of no confidence?


agag1

City official states a professional was hired last year as well.


diamond

Does McClish get to evaluate Adams performance? I would guess that McClish the dish might start out giving Adams a strong 8 or 9 in the preliminary approach technique, then have to drop points for the disappointing dismount. Apparently her pacemaker is working just fine now…..Ah, Yes, The magic of Alcohol, After throwing back a few it says the best place to have “alleged sex” is at City hall, what could happen?


agag1

If anything went wrong she would be able to claim they were “working” and then file for worker’s comp since it happened at work. It would be more believable than the tea partry story.


roberttorrance

wow…..the city council has cost us more money, knowing that we have no confidence in our current law provider to negotiated the police contract, now hiring another law firm….get rid of this clown azz council.