Is Adam Hill crying wolf?

December 24, 2015

One of the photos Adam Hill included in his emails as evidence he is under a protection order.


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill says he’s getting death threats and as a result is being protected by the sheriff’s department. Hill has sent multiple emails describing the threats and posting photos of sheriff’s department vehicles parked on a street.

But, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Commander Stuart MacDonald said that the department does not have a protective order for Hill. Persons who live in the neighborhood say they have not seen any sheriff’s department vehicles in the area. And, the department is not conducting any investigation into Hill’s claims that his life and family are being threatened, MacDonald said.

Hill did not respond to multiple emails asking him to substantiate his claims about death threats or of sheriff’s department protection.

Hill sent the emails following critical media coverage and commentary about his conduct on the board of supervisors. K-Jewel (KKJL) News Director Dick Mason reported on Hill walking out on a board of supervisors 50th anniversary presentation for CAPSLO, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo.

Dee Torres-Hill

Dee Torres-Hill

Hill’s wife Dee Torres was the director of CAPSLO’s homeless services. In 2013, CalCoastNews published a series of stories in which current and former CAPSLO employees said she routinely took gift cards intended for the needy and homeless and made personal use of them. CAPSLO administrators denied most of the allegations, but they admitted to questioning Torres-Hill about selling items donated to the homeless and not accounting for them.

In March 2014, CAPSLO demoted Torres-Hill and cut her pay. CAPSLO announced the move as a “restructuring” because of financial concerns. Torres sued CAPSLO alleging wrongful termination, retaliatory firing for being a whistleblower and workplace disability discrimination. That lawsuit was settled on undisclosed terms in October 2015.

Mason also questioned money that developer Gary Grossman gave to a nonprofit that Dee Torres-Hill started.

Before she left CAPSLO, Torres-Hill started the SLO Housing Connection, a nonprofit that provides homeless services that appear to duplicate many CAPSLO services, including case management, shelter and employment services. In fall 2014, Grossman made a $50,000 donation to the SLO Housing Connection as Hill aggressively attempted to persuade members of the San Luis Obispo City Council to vote in favor of a land use change that Grossman needed to develop large parcels near the airport,

Hill responded by contacting KKJL’s station manager with threats of a possible lawsuit, Mason said.

Supervisor Adam Hill

Supervisor Adam Hill

“Adam Hill contacting our station management to complain about my reporting is his prerogative, however, he’s attacking the messenger,” Mason said. “I’m only reporting the facts. His absence during CAPSLO’s 50th anniversary presentation, his threats against San Luis City Councilman Dan Carpenter, his involvement with PB Properties and his relationship with developer Gary Grossman are all newsworthy.”

Hill also sent emails to Mason directly accusing him of lying and being responsible for threats to himself and his family.

“ ‘Oh, and Dick, if you were thinking your spreading of hateful lies has no effect?’ Hill wrote. ‘Here’s the current protection outside my house, where I live with my wife and three girls.’ ”

Hills emails also blamed CalCoastNews, Dave Congalton, host of a talk show on KVEC and comments broadcast by radio station KRPL.

“You see I got another death threat stemming from lies told by the good folks at CalCoast, Congalton, and KPRL,” Hill wrote. “There are consequences to your lies. There are people out there who are stirred up and want to hurt me and my family because of the toxic garbage you all put out there. May you and your family never experience this. Shame on you.”

Mason was not present during the call that Hill made to KKJL, he said.

“For his sake, I hope his tone with my supervisor is more diplomatic and professional than the profane diatribes he emails me.”

Dick Mason

Dick Mason

Shortly after Hill called the station’s manager, a second call came in, Mason said. A person claiming to be Maggie Cox, president and CEO of the Barnett and Cox & Associates marketing and PR firm, called. The caller said she was calling on behalf of Grossman and then repeated many of Hill’s complaints, Mason said.

Cox has since said that the call did not come from her or the firm.

“No one from Barnett and Cox contacted the station,” Cox said. “It is a lie.”

Hill also accused Mason of being the voice over on a “Fire Adam Hill” video that says Hill belittles people who cross him. Mason, who said he was unaware of the video before Hill pointed it out, said the voice is not his. A search of turned up four “Fire Adam Hill” videos. Two of the videos appear to be criticisms of other “Fire Adam Hill” videos.

At the same time, others, including public officials, have also received calls and emails from Hill and several of his supporters claiming that the media is endangering Hill’s life and should limit its reporting to softer topics.

San Luis Obispo City Mayor Jan Marx spoke with a manager at KVEC asking that the station direct Congalton to stick with non controversial topics, Congalton said.

Dave Congalton

Dave Congalton

In another email to a local resident who does not support Hill’s reelection, Hill claims Congalton has given his address out on the air and again includes photos of sheriff vehicles he claims are there as part of a protection detail.

“This is current protection needed because of another threat against me, based on lies from CalCoast and Congalton and their accomplices,” Hill wrote. “Come by and tell them about why you spread these lies … your pal  the radio host knows the address as he broadcasts it all the time.”

Congalton has regularly questioned how Hill, on a supervisor’s salary, affords a home at the country club. However, Congalton said he has never mentioned Hill’s address on the air.

“I don’t know his address,” Congalton said.

Earlier this year, a  self-described volunteer for Hill’s reelection campaign warned KVEC management that Hill’s campaign would file a complaint with the FCC and turn advertisers away from KVEC and Dave Congalton’s talk show. The “volunteer” claimed that Congalton had made personal attacks against Hill.

In November, CalCoastNews wrote a series of stories about Hill’s moonlighting for a prominent developer. Hill refused to answer questions regarding his consulting business, his ties to developers or inconsistencies in his government filings.

Instead of answering the questions, Hill posted a statement on Facebook claiming he is being targeted by CalCoastNews on behalf of his political opponents. Hill is currently running for reelection for the District 3 seat.

Get links to local political news, like CCN on Facebook.



  1. what the says:

    Two comments away from the all new record of 200 comments Adam! You are a baller, Adam. A real shot caller. I’m proud of you, you ol’ dogg you! Wow…

    (6) 22 Total Votes - 14 up - 8 down
    • kettle says:

      Record? Not even on the list.

      Also stop adding more comments just to comment about more comments, because it’s annoying to those who read the comments.

      (-9) 23 Total Votes - 7 up - 16 down
      • what the says:

        What the…? kettle, stop trying to tell people not to comment about more comments. Who are you to tell anybody anything? Your self important attitude is annoying. Maybe you can apply for the moderator job? In the meantime, just stop it. This is not about you, it’s about Adam Hill hitting this threshold. Congratulations Adam! Don’t pay any attention to kettle, it’s just another display of jealousy.

        (10) 26 Total Votes - 18 up - 8 down
        • what the says:

          Unfortunately, Adam, kettle is absolutely correct. I have been educated. You have a long way to go buddy. But I support you, Adam. I know someday soon, everyone in the county will know about you.

          (1) 19 Total Votes - 10 up - 9 down
  2. mej says:

    I’m late to this, but I am start putting it together. In the open, Adam Hill has disclosed some gifts that PGE has given to him. Is there a suspicion of much larger money transfers from PGE to Hill?

    Also, I’m wondering what Wagstaffe’s relation to Adam Hill and Tenborg regarding the PGE hazardous waste cover up?

    Finally, why is PGE giving Adam Hill anything?

    (22) 26 Total Votes - 24 up - 2 down
    • Jim Anderson says:

      This is what I have been able to gather. Tenborg was dumping PG&E hazardous waste illegally at Cold Canyon Landfill. CCN reported it and called PG&E front man and Team Adam Hill member Tom Jones to ask if he knew Tenborg was mishandling Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s hazardous waste. Tom Jones made a call. Next, Adam Hill was called and then James Wagstaffe. Wagstaffe has already worked for Adam Hill and his internet troll pro bono in the past. Wagstaffe is very dear friends and work mates with local SLO lawyer and admitted Team Adam Hill member Steve Adamski. James Wagstaffe and Kerr Wagstaffe are representing Charles Tenborg pro bono. Political corruption and cronyism, and the most blatant display at that.

      (21) 27 Total Votes - 24 up - 3 down
  3. Tracy says:

    Tenborg and ECO Solutions Caught Dumping PG&E Hazardous Waste. James Wagstaffe, why would you protect Charles Tenborg? Oh yeah, Team Adam Hill.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • mej says:

      Is enhanced video able to get that truck number? Also, was the whistleblower able to get the soil samples tested?

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
      • Jim Anderson says:

        Yes, soil samples have been tested. Positive for hazardous materials. Motor oil, and it is not the first time PG&E got in trouble for this. PG&E will pay for this. The neighboring residents of Cold Canyon Landfill will be very interested in this case as it unfolds.

        (14) 20 Total Votes - 17 up - 3 down
  4. what the says:

    The infamous Adam Hill has reached 185 comments! If you hit 200 we will have a county wide celebration for your achievement, Adam.

    (8) 18 Total Votes - 13 up - 5 down
  5. don the beachcomber says:

    Kayaknut, If you have evidence that Debbie Peterson is soliciting Adam’s developer buddies like Gary Grossman, please provide it. Otherwise, I would like to know how different Dan Carpenter would vote on development issues if he’s kowtowing to the same folks who fund Adam Hill?

    (-12) 28 Total Votes - 8 up - 20 down
    • kayaknut says:

      The equal question would be how would Ms. Peterson would vote when as mayor she was all for keeping the Redevelopment Agency money pit going. At least at that time she was all for development, especially when it was at taxpayer expense. So one has to ask “Has she really changed her position, or is she like many political people where it just depends on which hat fits right each day?”, i.e. Who they are talking to, and where is the money.

      (8) 18 Total Votes - 13 up - 5 down
      • Mike Byrd says:

        You’re comparing apples with oranges. Grover is a landlocked city with no opportunity for significant development. The redevelopment area was primarily in the south and encompassed the industrial area. The plan was to develop that area with firms that would enhance the tax base of what may be the poorest city in the county and create sustenance level jobs for local citizens.

        That’s a much different thing than McMansions sprouting up on the mesa, in Price Canyon, in Wild Cherry Canyon, etc. And it is infinitely different than lobbying for development projects within cities, both privately and publicly.

        (-1) 21 Total Votes - 10 up - 11 down
        • kayaknut says:

          Since Ms. Peterson was mayor, her action as such are indicators of her though patterns and of how she might vote as a supervisor, your apple and oranges comparison really does not apply. To refresh your memory the community garden is not in the south, it is north of Grand Ave, and poorest cities, have you been to Oceano?, yeah I know not a true “city” but that is splitting hairs, and we all know how political type love to split hairs.

          Lobbing for development is not necessarily a problem, but when it comes at the expense of the current residents of a town it often is, just look at Arroyo Grande, they are opening their doors to development and at the same time punishing the current residents, unfairly.

          (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
          • Mike Byrd says:

            Splitting hairs? The differences between an incorporated city and an unincorporated town are significant. I appreciate and respect your views until you say something like that.

            (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
            • kayaknut says:

              I’m sure the residents of Oceano really appreciate you reminding them they are not a “real” city.

              (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
              • marcusaurelius says:

                Michael Byrd just wants to sell a couple of properties a year so he can vacation every other week.

                (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
              • MaryMalone says:

                QUOTING KAYAKNUT: “I’m sure the residents of Oceano really appreciate you reminding them they are not a “real” city.”


                The truth is the truth. Oceano is not a city, just like Nipomo is not a city.

                Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on a person’s own mindset.

                (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • TeeItUp says:

      Don you should focus on the following not Dan Carpenter

      Ask Adam:

          These are some of the important questions posed to Adam Hill during his supervisor  tenure — all of which remain unanswered. Should you have the opportunity, ask Adam:

          (1) Explain your relationship with developer Gary Grossman, and elaborate on the $50,000 “donation” Grossman made to your wife Dee Torres-Hill for her “charity organization” in exchange for your documented lobbying on behalf of Grossman’s proposed airport-area development.

          (2) Why have you attempted to camouflage your business partnership with developers PB Companies and hide that fact from county residents and government agencies?

          (3) How much money has been gifted to you by PB Companies since your initial election, both in the form of campaign contributions, “consulting fees,” and under the table payments?

          (4) Why do you lobby before public agencies on behalf of favored developers without disclosing your financial interest in those projects?

          (5) Why did you not speak out when your business partner at PB Companies was criminally charged with beating his girlfriend into unconsciousness?

          (6) Explain your private, documented comment that “I wasn’t an an environmentalist before I was elected and I’m not an environmentalist now.”

          (7) Explain your odd emotional outbursts that often are aimed at constituents.

          (8) Explain why you use inflammatory surrogates to broadcast your poison messages.

          (9) Comment on your numerous statements assailing individuals’ right to speak at public meetings.

        (10) What is your financial stake in the successful authorization of a Paso Robles water basin district?

        (11) When did you last use any mood-altering substances?

      (27) 35 Total Votes - 31 up - 4 down
      • phoenix.rising says:


        I see at the bottom of your post that those questions are from

        FireAdamHill Website thanks for posting them here so that all can read them without having to go to the website and the website is worth it for more info…

        For so many years Adam Hill has been a CLASSIC • TEXTBOOK • B U L L Y

        Because Adam Hill got re-elected last time ALL of us need to help get him out!!!

        Can Debbie P win? Ask yourself that question

        Can Dan Carpenter win? Ask yourself that question

        If you want Adam Hill out you must evaluate these two people and decide who can and will win in June.

        One of these two must get out of the race ASAP

        If the race even has a chance of going to November it will cost Dan and Debbie TWICE the $$$$ to continue.

        Adam has developer’s and those that he has intimidated to pay pay pay pay pay for him. We all are harming our chances to get rid of Adam if there are 3 in the race.

        Debbie P you are a democrat and was very happy in democrat territory Grover Beach City Council. Create a new victory there with your base and step out now.

        Dan has the best chance of beating Adam Hill and it is time to ask your supporters to help Dan win against Adam other wise you are adding to Adams win.

        Without your gracious exit your voters will not help Dan and that helps Adam.

        Time to show that you do care enough by putting your ego in your pocket and show south county that you are for and with the people who are fighting the bad guys not turning into one.

        With Love to both you don the beachcomber and Debbie P

        (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
        • Mike Byrd says:

          The best thing that could happen for Adam would be to face just a single challenger in June. Two candidates competing against him have a much better chance of preventing his garnering 50%+ in the primary because each has their particular strengths and constituencies. Assuming the loser in June strongly supports and assists the remaining challenger going into the general election, holding together the majority who voted against Adam in the primary, there would be an excellent chance for us to seat a new third district supervisor in January.

          Considering the voter makeup of the third district, I believe Debbie might have a slight edge over Dan as the general election candidate. I support Debbie because of her intelligence, her grit and her exceptionally high ethical standards. But if she’s not the sole challenger going forward, Dan, who I also hold in high esteem, will have the strongest support I can muster. Either would make an excellent county supervisor.

          (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
          • phoenix.rising says:


            Interesting comments.

            Let’s examine Lynn Compton’s campaign Mike you spoiled Lynn’s complete victory in June. You were the reason she had to raise $400,000!

            You should have gotten out but you did not. Caren was thrilled you stayed in because you were easy to beat in June, you TOOK VOTES away from Lynn!!!!!!!!

            Experience teaches better than theory!

            (10) 20 Total Votes - 15 up - 5 down
            • JTKirk says:

              TO: phoenix.rising:

              I must disagree strongly. The second best thing to happen in the 4th District (expelling Caren Ray was first), was Mike Byrd’s participation in the election. Let me explain my position to you:

              (1) Mike is an ethical, honest, educated man who would be an excellent elected representative. Particular preferences on issues don’t override my desire for honesty, transparency, and ethics, which Mike possesses.

              That said,

              (2) You purport Mike “TOOK VOTES” away from Lynn in June. First, no one took any votes from anyone. Each candidate was legitimate. Second, let’s suppose Lynn whooped Caren Ray in June instead of November. At the time, Caren Ray, was bending like a pretzel to posture as a moderate. You didn’t believe that, and neither did I.

              In 2014, neither Gibson nor Hill was up for re-election. Right? Okay, so can you now imagine Caren Ray being defeated in June and becoming a six-month term lame duck alongside a like-minded board majority? What could have been accomplished by such a trio in six months time?

              I say, THANK GOODNESS Mike Byrd participated in 2014. Yes, it caused additional heartache and work for Compton and her campaign supporters. But we were saved from Caren Ray being relieved of her centrist moderate charade and becoming a powerful majority having six months to damage and pillage our county.

              What say you?

              (-6) 16 Total Votes - 5 up - 11 down
              • phoenix.rising says:

                Wow! JTKirk

                Lynn would have won in June, she beat Caren by 5% points!

                With Caren on the board they screwed this county with the urgency ordinance and that was prior to the election in JUNE. Bruce and/or Adam contacted the Governor and said appoint Caren now so we can vote 4-1 and get the Urgency Water Ordinance voted in even though the bases for it was unproven.

                Caren could not have damaged this county any more than she did with her voting with Adam and Bruce. Were you paying attention it happened before June and after June?

                I would have loved to see you JTKirk to be saddled with the bill for BIG $$$$$$$$$$$ it took to play until November.

                I guess you are for big government, big spending and since you did not have to fundraise for Lynn’s campaign.

                Being a nice guy doesn’t mean you were not a tool for Caren!

                (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
                • MaryMalone says:

                  Re: Votes being “taken away” from a candidate, etc.

                  Lynn Compton didn’t win because SHE did not attract enough votes.

                  The “$$$$$” you complain about are the costs of that specific election.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • mej says:

            It’s hard to choose between Dan or Debbie. Both of them would make outstanding supervisors. I hope their supporters will stop the negative conversation about either of these two and just be willing to support whichever one runs against Hill.

            Who knows maybe the libs will wise up and decide not to vote for a borderline personality and the race will be between Dan and Debbie. Wouldn’t that be great.

            (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
            • phoenix.rising says:

              have you ever worked really worked on a campaign?

              If you ever had you would know better.

              One person and only one person can run against Adam Hill and remove him.

              Dan and Debbie need to decide between them which one leaves.

              Having two doubles the work and increases the opportunity for the supporters for one will not turn and support the other if too much time goes on.

              If this goes to June with all 3 then in November Adam will win because who ever is out that candidate cannot insure that their supporters won’t just sit the November election out.

              At this point the ACLU is a deal breaker!!!!

              Your put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig!

              (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down

Leave a Comment