Arroyo Grande council calls special meeting to hire investigator
October 7, 2014
The Arroyo Grande City Council will convene for a special meeting Wednesday morning in order to hire a new investigator to delve into an affair involving the city manager and a department head.
Arroyo Grande council members Tim Brown and Jim Guthrie are recommending that the council hire Ventura-based Sintra Group Investigations to probe the events surrounding a late night city hall encounter between City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish. The council agreed last month to bring in an outside investigator after an internal investigation led to public outcry and accusations of a cover-up.
Initially, Arroyo Grande’s assistant legal counsel investigated the matter and reported that police officers did not find Adams and McClish in a sexual situation in City Hall on the night of July 3. But, Arroyo Grande officers say McMahon misrepresented their statements, and public speakers at council meetings implored the council the hire and independent investigator.
A council subcommittee consisting of Brown and Guthrie is responsible for selecting the investigator, pending council approval.
Sintra Group, the firm Brown and Guthrie chose, is owned by Steve Bowman, the former assistant police chief of Ventura. The Sintra investigators will have a budget of $25,000 to work with.
Wednesday’s meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at City Hall. Critics of the Arroyo Grande council are already suggesting that the time of the meeting was chosen in order to stifle public participation.
Recent Arroyo Grande council meetings have drawn large crowds in opposition to city management, as well as the current council.
Last week, Adams responded to the public outcry by stating that he plans to resign. It remains unclear, though, if and when that will occur.