Arroyo Grande council calls special meeting to hire investigator

October 7, 2014

arroyo grandeThe 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.


Why spend the $25K at all? Hasn’t the City Manager resigned? And who cares at this point whether there was some hanky-panky going on? He’s gone, she still has her job, (I presumee) ,haven’t seen anything about sexual harassment. Fuggedaboudit!


OMG…go back to sleep Bette, we’ll wake you up when we get there.


Cheer up Arroyo Grande, your city government just thinks you all fell off a turnip truck. Here in Atascadero they know we did because they fell off at the same time. You are way ahead.


Is Steve Bowman the guy who Tony brought in to “investigate” the South County Sanitation District?


Julie, Kevin! Get on this you investigating team!


No rich Thomas investigated Wallace and sec scandal….he is so objective


Sex scandal…..stupid autocorrect.


No, Please read the first post on page #3.


I am hereby calling for an official City Proclamation that states the following:

“Where as the City of Arroyo Grande does willingly recognize the need to pay $25,000.00 for services necessary to determine the truth of our paid and elected city officials.

Where as this investigation shall be named and referred to as Arroyogate.

Where as Arroyogate will establish motive, identify any “dirty tricks”, ‘deep throats”:-) or any other malfeasance.

Proclaimed this day October 7th 1014..




How can that be when they said…. on August 26th City Council Meeting

Item 13. Council Communications- Councilmember Brown seeks to have an independent investigator and recommending “agenizing a public process that included the scope of the process”. (2:44:19) Costello agrees for “issue of public trust and transparency is significant”; to be discussed at next meeting. Guthrie did not want to wait 2 weeks and looked for an expedited process. Councilmember Barneich “was in favor of an outside investigation and favor of doing as soon as possible”.

(2:48:44) Mayor Ferrara stated “we didn’t let this go, we didn’t.” “You could call it a very significant reprimand” ( 2:51: 04)… “ I’m fine with the rest of the council. I think we do need to sit down and discuss this and figure out where we go from here.” (2:53:45) if it is in fact it means bringing in another investigator, “if that’s what it takes for this gray cloud to kind of wander away and dissipate that perhaps that is what we need to do. “We need to thoroughly examine this. We can’t do it if it is not on the agenda.

Ferrara said : “We need to bring it back and put on the agenda” .

” We will try our level best to be as transparent as the law will allow us to be in this particular situation. (2: 54:22)

As far as the timing of it…We are gonna have to look at all of our calendars and decide when we can find a spot. We might be able to accelerate it. “We will try to make it more than 24 hoursso we can make sure that you all know that this is coming. and resolve this sooner than later “ not have it continue to linger” We will do whatever it takes to get us there.

It will be placed on a subsequent agenda. (2:55:55) more details to follow as soon as we can coordinate calendars.

SO 6 WEEKS LATER WAS THE SOONEST MR PRESIDENT COULD LOOK ATTHIS. not so for on the September 9th meeting they all reneged and decided not to agendize this.


Write-In Jim Hill for AG Mayor

Fill in the bubble, write JIM HILL—2 step process

Vote for change in Arroyo Grande leadership!


The staff report was posted earlier today. The Scope of Work is woefully inadequate!!!!!


Client and Sintra Group investigations agree that the following services shall be provided:

Reinvestigate the July 3, 2014 incident, review the internal investigation by McMahon, review the information the Council used to make the initial decision on July 8, 2014 and the procedures and policies used to make the decision. Review the information the Council used for the decision not to do an additional investigation, investigate the concerns identified by the POA in their letter of September 17, 2014 and the information relied upon to reopen the investigation. Prepare a public report.


I appreciate your professional approach in calling the City of AG’s leadership’s “scope of work'” in its now-second attempt at an investigation of Adam’s involvement in his Nookiegate scandal and its cover up.

I would call it something like “designing another scam ‘investigation’ in an attempt to advance an ongoing cover up in an attempt to run down the clock before the upcoming election.”

But then that that’s just me……


There goes $25k more of your tax dollars to investigate.

“Mr. Adams were you engaged in sexual conduct with Mrs. McLish on the evening of July 3rd.”


Case closed. That will be $25k please.


I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman!!!! Now does that remind you of anything!!!!


I don’t mind a price tag of $25K for a real, uncompromised investigation.

What I do object to is spending one more penny on one of Adams’ and Ferrara’s biased, conflict-of-interest-guided, scam of an investigation designed to clean up the mess of the previous investigation and cover up. Concocting yet another scam investigation is really just the next installment of the previous scam investigation.

Our city’s leadership is just trying to run out the time on the clock which is counting down to the upcoming election.

Enough of the stalling. If the city leadership, including the city council members, really wants to put this scandal and cover up behind us, they need to admit they were wrong in their approach to dealing with Nookiegate and get rid of Adams tomorrow, without any bonus-round golden parachutes.


I have complete confidence that MAYOR ( at all costs) TONY will do whatever it takes for this to go his way.

The DA must be involved in this.

Who are they kidding?

Who is on the list to be interviewed? the MAYOR? the people at the July 7th executive team meeting?



I have complete confidence in the citizens of Arroyo Grande to see through this and to stand up and tell them, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. Does the Mayor and Council really think that the people are that unaware of what is really going on? Please stop insulting our intelligence.

See you at the polls on Nov.4th, check out our intelligence then…



His name does not appear on the ballot just a blank line and empty bubble, You MUST write in his name and darken the circle…



WE MUST CREATE THIS BUST…of Tony and his cronies


To spend $25k for this seems really a waste of the residents of AG’s money. If people believe there was wrong doing then they don’t vote.

I can’t believe all this time and money has been spent on this. It is really wonderful that the citizens are so perfect and have such high morals and have never had any wrong doings in their lives. I never realized Arroyo Grande had so many righteous and good people who feel compelled to punish those who may have done something wrong.


Your opinion is illogical.

First of all, the two groups of people you attempt to compare are different in very significant ways.

The city manager, mayor, city council and other participants in the cover up of this ever-widening scandal are employed by the residents of AG. As such, there are policies and procedures they must follow. If they do not follow these policies and procedures, they can be fired or their contracts cancelled.

The AG residents trying to hold accountable some members of the employee group for not adhering to those policies and procedures are not employed/contracted by AG and, therefore, don’t have to adhere to the same work requirements.

This is not about the sexual relationship between the city manager and the head of community involvement EXCEPT as it relates to the policies and procedures they failed to follow and the subsequent abuse of power in trying to cover up their illicit actions, including by constructing scam investigations designed to produce only one conclusion: Adams and McClish were innocent of breaking the terms of their employment or contract.


OMG…go back to sleep Cathy, we’ll wake you up when we get there.


The Mayor and City Council have no regard for the citizens of AG, they proved this when they blew us off. It wasn’t until the POA sent their letter that they gave it further consideration. As for this new investigation, once it’s complete and favoring the previous investigation the citizens will have no further recourse. Tony and crew will chalk up our continued outcry as just citizens who will never be satisfied.

Until the citizens, of not just AG but the entire county, use their voting power to voice their opposition to the corrupt politicians we will all live in the shadow of sleaze. Most of us work, go to school, have children and lives so it is hard to keep up with the political scene however, it is our responsibility to do so. These politicians are counting on our apathy.

Whoswho is right, we really need to blow them off at the polls.