Steve Adams threatens to sue Arroyo Grande
January 18, 2015
BY KAREN VELIE
Former Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams filed a claim against the city last week threatening a lawsuit if the council does not extend his paid administrative leave for six months. The city will meet in closed session on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. to discuss the threat of litigation.
Following a Sept. 17 Arroyo Grande Police Officers’ Association vote of no confidence, on Oct. 1 Adams announced his resignation.
“My resignation will become effective once my replacement has been hired and starts work,” Adams says in his letter. “My primary motivation is to serve the best interests of the community I cherish so much.”
Last week, the city hired interim City Manager Robert McFall. Though the city accepted Adams resignation in September, he was able draw full pay until last week when McFall was hired.
Nevertheless, Adams is claiming that his resignation was to take place after a permanent and not an interim city manager was hired. He is demanding six months paid administrative leave along with retirement benefits.
Adams is currently 54-years-old and will turn 55 in late 2015. If the council agrees to extend his paid administrative leave and he utilizes his accrued vacation and sick leave, he could greatly increase his monthly retirement package from the city.
In his resignation letter, Adams also praised former Mayor Tony Ferrara and City Attorney Tim Carmel and chastised those who said there was a cover-up.
On Nov. 19, after reviewing the investigation into the alleged sex scandal., the Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously to place Adams on paid administrative leave where he remained until last week.
During the November meeting, Councilman Tim Brown admitted that Carmel had informed him of a previous inappropriate incident involving Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish, a subordinate employee. Brown’s statement came on the heels of repeated claims by city officials that there was no evidence that Adams and McClish were involved in a romantic relationship, nor was there any proof of a cover-up by Ferrara and the council.
Nevertheless, because the previous council voted to give Adams a verbal reprimand as punishment his late night rendezvous with McClish’s July City Hall, the newly seated council cannot terminate him for cause related to that event.
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