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.

don the beachcomber

Well, if there is a relationship between Carpenter and Gary Grossman ( as has been alluded to by some others on this blog ), then what is it? The public should know. If Dan is Grossman’s back-up choice, then that is bad news!


Those are some pretty big IF’S Don.

Are you looking for answers or making leading statements?


Hello Andy R (Debbie’s consultant) is that you????

don the beachcomber

I don’t think a Tea Party candidate like Dan Carpenter can win in the 3rd District. To beat Hill, you need a moderate conservative like Debbie Peterson with a clear record of taking on the sacred cows.


When Ms. Peterson, as Mayor of Grover Beach, wanted to ax the community garden in favor of development and protecting the sacred government redevelopment money, just what or who was she fighting for, it certainly was not the people? Not that I have a vote in District 3 but Ms. Peterson would not be my first choice.

debbie peterson

kayaknut – All of your statements are incorrect.

I became mayor in December 2012. I was not the mayor when 920 Brighton sold.

Under Mayor Shoals discussion of selling city property to find revenue to balance the budget began in February 2010 and ended in June 2012 following a unanimous vote by the Planning Commission and a 4-1 vote by the Council to sell the property.

The garden was not axed. No redevelopment took place. The buyer bought it to maintain as a community garden. It is more beautiful than ever under the excellent care of private citizens.

Verify at


Sorry to correct you Ms. Peterson, but I asked you directly at the Grover Beach Stone Soup festival if you were in favor of selling the community garden if elected and you said “YES”.

just the facts

Hey Don…Then why did your candidate, Debbie Peterson, attend a recent meeting of the Tea Party seeking support for Third District Supervisor. Looks as if she is playing both sides…the ACLU and the Tea Party!!!


I am just wondering why a candidate would not want to introduce his/herself to all sides of the aisle. I mean, all political parties need to be able to learn to play nice, to work together in spite of personal and political beliefs. I think “getting out there” is an important part of the job as a Board member. It keeps them informed as to what issues are important, and where people stand on issues.

Mike Byrd

I don’t know anything about Debbie attending a “Tea Party” event. However, your example citing the Tea Party and the ACLU is a good one in my estimation. A county supervisor should be inclusive which is the exact opposite of the incumbent.

When I ran last year I had that same belief (not that it did me all that much good). When I opted to attend a COLAB function I lost a good friend and supporter yet I would do the same again. To borrow from a past president, elected officeholders should be uniters. Sadly, there are too few of those in today’s political climate.



I would suggest that if you lost a friend because you attended a COLAB event, it was not a “good” friend, perhaps not really a friend at all.

IMO it is a good thing when events are attended by as many community leaders (or potential) as possible. We should find a way to work together, regardless of party affiliation.

Bringing people together for a good meal is time for us to see that we may have more in common than we realize. It’s a healthy and worthwhile use of our time and energy.

Hope the COLAB bunch was more accepting and gracious than your former “friend”.

don the beachcomber

One concern I have with Dan Carpenter is why is he going after Adam’s developer donors for cash. Why does he want tainted money for his campaign?

what the

From what I gather, Mr. beachcomber, Mr. Carpenter was invited to an event at a local development. As a supervisor, he had better know the developers and developments in his county. The idea is that he does not take payoffs from developers like Hill. Hill is the only one that said anything about Carpenter getting close to his developer $, and Hill’s concern was that Carpenter was going to start getting his cut.

Kaiser Bill

One can know the local developers without going to a showpiece of a new development hosted by the developer.

Don raised a valid question. Why was Carpenter at Grossman’s event?


Community ribbon-cutting event. Lots of dignitaries were there due to the nature of the ribbon cutting and how it impacts housing in the community.

Kaiser Bill

The report here on CCN said Carpenter was meeting individually with Grossman at the event.

What was Carpenter discussing with Grossman?

what the

Mr. Bill, The article clearly states that Grossman was giving Carpenter a tour of one of the residential units. They were likely discussing the project.


As Carpenter and Grossman left the building, Hill arrived, gave Grossman a hug and quickly led him away, Carpenter said.

Hill later approached Carpenter who was standing in the parking lot near an open field.

“You keep contacting my donors, and I am going to take you out in the field and kick your ass,” Hill is reported to have said as he pointed to a field in front of several witnesses.

Kaiser Bill

“They were likely discussing the project.”

There is no way of knowing this. The only person who can shed light on the situation is Dan Carpenter.

Dan Carp

The discussion was only regarding the affordable housing unit he was giving me a tour of as I was there representing the SLO City Council. No mention of candidacy or donation.

Speculation of otherwise was conceived by your current paranoid supervisor thus leading to the confrontation.


Mr. Carpenter is a politician and there was media there, and pictures taken, in this case he is like all politicians, looking for the limelight.


don your question leads voters in the wrong direction with untruths. Is that why you asked that question like

“Did you beat your wife today?” You set the false narrative.

Dan just happens to be a city councilman and is doing what he always does and that is being out there with the voters. He wants to hear from them, each and everyone of them.

If you have these concerns call Dan up and ask him. His personal phone number is on his website 805-704-8567 and so is his email

So don the beachcomber if Dan were elected and Adam Hill went bye bye and Debbie Peterson regained her Mayorship in Grover Beach would you be happy?

Debbie was a great Mayor and is doing good things for shining a light on fraud in south county. Let her finish that work and come back strong in Grover Beach.

Happy New Year all and OH! HILL NO!!!! No No No No No No No No No No No

don the beachcomber

Debbie Peterson fights for open government and the rights of the public trampled on by Adam Hill. She would be the strongest candidate against Hill because of her leadership role on a host of high-profile issues from the dust rule to the Sanitation District. That’s why Hill went after her so big in the mayor’s race. He would much rather go up against Carpenter who is a low-profile Silent Sam

Kaiser Bill

This is a good point.

Hill essentially raised proxy war and kneecapped Peterson when PG&E Lobbyist John Shoals returned to the Mayor’s seat in Grover Beach and defeated Debbie Peterson. Yes, Grover Beach has a PG&E lobbyist as Mayor, but that is no conflict of interest.

I would not call Carpenter a Silent Sam. He has had some dust ups with the kd lang lookalike, SLO City Manager Katie Lichtig, and some of his fellow Councilmembers. Notably, he voted against an exception to the flight path rule that Grossman’s Gunga Din, Ashbaugh, was screaming for.

just the facts

Agree that Dan Carpenter is not a Silent Sam. He should be known as 4 to 1 Dan due to his taking strong stands in opposition to Licthtig and fellow SLO City Council members.on many occasions. Dan is always well prepared re the issues at hand, listens and then states his positions clearly. It is important to note, as a council member from the City of SLO, he already represents one-third of the 3rd district. It is important to also note that Dan was a top vote getter in the last city council election! Dan Carpenter can and will defeat Adam Hill, the bully, on June 7, 2016!


I concur, when I see a 4-to-1 vote on yet another stupid san luis “rule” (law), I can usually bet that it’s Dan Carpenter’s lone voice of intelligence that is the “1” there.


Debbie Peterson lost the fight when she was Mayor with Adam Hill. This showed that her ability to win (with the average voter) has been tainted.

Don you may know more but you are not the average voter out there.

Adam Hill believes he has already beaten Debbie P from the past. Then John Soals ran for Mayor against Debbie P and she lost again.

Debbie P is doing a good job fighting the theft in South County Sanitation District but that is not the ticket to winning Supervisor in June.

The bad boys have dragged this out for far too long. The CABAL that runs this county are her counterpart Democrats. The Democrat Central Committee is not backing Debbie Peterson, they are backing Adam Hill.

Debbie P has an “up HILL” battle.

Anyone that visits and tours the Sand Dunes will come up with the FACTS that it is NATURE not MAN disturbing the sand. Anyone as Supervisor on the APCD that is NOT a LEFTY will vote correctly on the Dust Rule and remove it, Debbie P is not the only one that understands the injustice the Dust Rule brings. We just need more people that are not a part of the CABAL.

DAN CARPENTER is the man to win.

Debbie P, time to throw your support to Dan and show that beating HILL is paramount. San Luis Obispo City will be a tough nut to crack for Debbie P.

Kaiser Bill

Hill lived in Grover and beat Lenthall in 2008. Lenthall had been a longtime SLO policeman known by everyone in SLO. So you don’t need someone from SLO to win a 3rd district race.

Kaiser Bill

“Adam Hill believes he has already beaten Debbie P from the past. Then John Soals ran for Mayor against Debbie P and she lost again.”

As I stated, it was by design that Hill kneecapped Peterson when she lost to Shoals. Shoals had been a 10 year mayor in Grover and is a LOBBYIST for PG&E. Shoals had the support of all the powers that be and it is little surprise that Shoals defeated Peterson.


Forty-four percent of Grover Voters voted for Debbie Peterson in the 2014 election – a good showing – and significantly more than voted for Adam Hill in the same election. Debbie was never defeated in an election by Adam Hill.

what the

150 comments! Adam, this may be the single most amazing accomplishment that you have ever achieved! I would like to be the first to congratulate you. Keep up the great work with your transparency!

Thomas A

Fire Adam Hill in 2016 for SLO County Supervisor District 3.


What I can’t figure out is why Hills buddy Gibson can’t get him to shut up,its not like hill has only stepped on himself once,its all the time and half the time he drags the bos into it with him,this isn’t going to bode well for gibson when hill goes out the door,if Debbie or Dan get in gibson will be standing on the out side looking in,he’ll have nothing except looking forward to when he goes down the road and for him that won’t be soon enough either.

Kaiser Bill

Gibson doesn’t care about Hill’s antics.

For Gibson, it is all about trying to create a liberal bloc on the BOS.

Hill has not proven to be a proponent of slow growth and smart development.

Hill does the bidding of developers who contribute to his campaign.

All Hill and Gibson have done is pass pointless regulations like a plastic ban bag.

So what exactly do residents get out of having Adam Hill as their Supervisor?

Hill does not want to slow growth and thus improve quality of life.

Hill does want to increase the number of onerous regulations placed on residents and business.

We might as well just have a conservative Supervisor in District 3 like Debbie Arnold that does not lie to the voters about where she stands on land use and development, the biggest issues facing a County Supervisor. At least one knows where Arnold stands, whether you agree with her or nor.

In contrast, Hill lies and misleads the public. He tries to appear as an environmentalist by showing up in Avila and opposing Wild Cherry Canyon, all the while he is greasing the skids for his donor Gary Grossman to line the county with his awful Orange County-style tracts.

Jim Anderson

Hill will be crying when he is called to the stand for the Tenborg vs CCN lawsuit. James Wagstaffe is a bonafide bonehead for doing this favor probono for Team Adam Hill.

what the

Charles Tenborg and ECO Solutions Caught Dumping PG&E Hazardous Waste at Cold Canyon Landfill


Maybe someone should dump a bunch of hazardous waste on Adam Hill’s, James Wagstaffe’s, Tom Jones’, and Charles Tenborg’s front doorsteps? This will be a class action lawsuit against PG&E for the people around Cold Canyon Landfill.


Short Version of Tenborg and ECO Solutions Caught Dumping PG&E’s Hazardous Waste at Cold Canyon Landfill.


He’s not crying “wolf”, he’s just crying.