Steve Adams threatens to sue Arroyo Grande

January 18, 2015
City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish

City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish


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.

Get breaking news first, like CalCoastNews on Facebook.


This whole deal just turns my stomach.

The very thought of Steve Adams, (not to mention those who follow suit) receiving even ONE SINGLE penny more from the City of AG, or our insurance carrier (ultimately leading to higher rates) only adds insult to injury IMO.

We can only hope, that whatever the end result:

Steve oes not qualify for the magic 55 pension boost he’s so desperately grabbing for.

He finally does leave, once and for all. (Can’t imagine it will be easy for him to look people in the eye after this)

Mr. Carmel is finally revealed for the inept, overpaid Attorney many have complained about for a long time.

Mr Carmel is also relieved of his duties here in AG.

The employees at City Hall can finally return to business without this POS and his primary motivation of the last chance $$$ grab dragging us all down even further

We’ve learned an invaluable lesson, there’s probably good reasons why City managers only stay in one place 4-7 years.


All fall, all the indecision and lame comments by our ousted mayor Tony Ferrara to save Mr. Adams to what avail?

This is the beginning. There will be Mrs. McClish lawsuit and then the workers comp suits and stress leaves at City Hall.

The three leftovers on the Council and their tool attorney Carmel must go next election cycle.

They cannot do anything right..tell me one decision in the last year that the AG City Council did that was timely and correct.

Should have terminated Steve Adams on July 8th instead of honoring him with a 10.5% raise!



Would also very much like an update from SadInsider to let us know how things are going.


1): These pigs at the trough will stop at nothing to gain taxpayer dollars. Bravo the poster below who pointed out that such Adams money will BOOST his eventual CalPers pension.

2): It bears repeating that suits by government employees are vicious. We can all expect another suit once Cherie Aspero “has it out” with her bed-partner superior employer, Supervisor Gibson. REMEMBER, their vaunted “no sue release” which was foolishly accepted by county counsel Rita will surely be tossed on her first plaintiff day in court, since it (the no sue release) would obviously be stricken as an “agreement in violation of public policy”. Courts commonly toss worthless paper releases like that onto the trash pile; Rita should know that.

Bottom line: We pay, they take. Gold plated pay. Bennies. Every day off since Lincoln sneezed (holidays). Then bloated unfunded pensions. Disgusting. Adams has no shame, no class, no character.


And this is exactly why he should have been fired to begin with. If our elected officials just did the right thing instead of trying to figure out the political end game, it would save us taxpayers a lot of money.


Don’t forget, the original game plan was to sweep this all under the rug, get through the election, and then maybe? let Steve go.

By that point, hiring a new City Manager would not possibly occur until AFTER Steve’s 55th birthday.

It was all supposed to go so smoothly for Mr He’s Such a Nice Guy Adams…

Only one problem with the plan,

Write-in Jim Hill for AG Mayor


Fire him for cause.


Does it bother anyone else that interim Robert McFall worked with Steve Adams for the Clity fo Glendale, is on the search committee for a permanent CM, and they are even facebook friends?

If there is truth to this staying on payroll until is 55th birthday, how convenient for Mr. McFall to prolong finding a permanent replacement until after that date?

Seems to be a bit of a conflict of interest, no?


In my opinion, Mr.McFall IS legally recognized as Steve’s replacement. McFall has been given access to all things Arroyo Grande City. Adams is splitting hairs. He will lose in a court of law.


If we will have to pay him for the next 6 months anyway, then I want to see him picking up litter on Grand Ave., washing City trucks, picking weeds and painting hydrants from 9 to 5.

He can work for his money like the rest of us!


Heck, I’d offer to go stuff him in the trash bag!


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. Dear city council, why are Carmel and mcClish still employed? The longer you wait the more $$$ you will cost the city. Obviously, as we see happening, waiting just adds a cash bonanza for immoral cheating self serving entitled city servants who have figured out that government is to be taken advantage of. Political inaction and zero ownership from our spineless “leaders” make government fleecing standard practice in what should be a disgraced discharge from service and not a bonus. Adams buddy Carmel is probably advising Adams on how to continue to milk the system until his limo arrives for his departure. After you get your rewards from us taxpayers Steve, I hope your wife does the same to you. Steve Adams, You’re a pig.


I say let him sue, broadcast the entire proceeding on pay-per-view, make sure all the sordid details are graphically explained. Even if he wins they would probably make enough to cover it.