Sanitation district deletes recordings from the Wallace years

April 9, 2017

Gerhardt Hubner

By KAREN VELIE

During a contentious South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District board meeting on Wednesday evening, members of the public condemned the current administrator for eliminating recordings of tapes that documented former administrator John Wallace’s leadership.

In January 2016, the sanitation district board voted unanimously to take reports of malfeasance by Wallace to District Attorney Dan Dow, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Attorney General Kamala Harris. In April, the board hired Gerhardt Hubner as plant administrator.

In October, during a criminal investigation into Wallace’s administration, Hubner upgraded the sanitation district’s website. During the upgrade, all of the audio tapes of meetings going back to 2010 were deleted.

Hubner, who has admitted to knowing Wallace prior to his hiring, said his staffers failed to migrate the tapes over to the new site.

Earlier this year, after conducting a 10-month investigation into allegations that Wallace was funneling money from the sanitation district to his private engineering company, The Wallace Group, the district attorney filed two felony counts against the former administrator. Wallace is accused of having a financial interest in a contract that he made in his official capacity.

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill

Wallace is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of using his government position to influence a decision in which he has a financial interest.

In response to a request Wednesday from sanitation district board member and Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill to hire an independent tech to recover the audio tapes, Hubner said he will get a letter from the webmaster noting that the tapes cannot be recovered.

Approximately 50 people attended Wednesday’s sanitation district board meeting. Of those, about 20 people spoke out against Hubner’s leadership while three came to his defense.

Hubner’s critics questioned why he placed two primary employees on paid administrative leave, the rising legal bills and plant expenditures, and why he selects only letters commending him for board packets.

“I think the problem is very clearly the district administrator, Gerhardt Hubner,” Ron Arnoldsen said during public comment. “Hubner is not a good fit for the job or the district. I urge the board of directors to seek new leadership.”







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27 Comments

  1. Niles Q says:

    AGP Video, SLO-Span, will hve these meetings on video (and audio), and can burn them onto DVDs or CDs. The meetings are not lost.

    As for Hubner’s qualifications, I would think that the manager of the CSD just needs to be a good administrator, not a wastewater/civil engineer, like Wallace was. Does the SCSD have contract engineers?

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. pensatore says:

    This is the same man who worked with Roger Briggs and Michael Thomas at the Regional Water Control Board. No surprises here.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  3. horse_soldier says:

    Hubner is a sneaky SOB.
    Shoals, Austin (Lucey and Guerrero before her) play right along with him.
    When do the ratepayers get a break from these good for nothin’s?

    (19) 33 Total Votes - 26 up - 7 down
  4. Otis says:

    Something rancid really stinks here, and it is not the affluent! Fraud abounds.Will Dow respond?

    (16) 26 Total Votes - 21 up - 5 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Don’t count on DA Dow, he is more interested in letting teachers who are damaging children escape with little consequences just so he can put a win on his scorecard. DA Dow has been a big disappointment since the election, time for someone who real respects the law.

      (10) 22 Total Votes - 16 up - 6 down
      • Rich in MB says:

        The voters should have been able to sniff him out with his Soft on Prostitution Position. Dan Dow has gotta go

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  5. copperhead says:

    Will hubner be indicted for destroying evidence?

    Just curious, Did he wipe the tapes clean with a cloth?

    (19) 29 Total Votes - 24 up - 5 down
  6. JordanJ says:

    It is difficult to know if Mary Lucey is uniformed or just spreading fake news. At the meeting, she claimed Hubner had 20 years experience working for the Ventura sewer plant. He never worked at ant sewer plant. I wonder how she was ever elected. Is the pool of possible candidates from Oceano that bad.

    (30) 36 Total Votes - 33 up - 3 down
    • Julie says:

      Oceano seems to have hopped the hurdle with Lucey off their board. The current board is respectable, let’s see if their SSLOCSD rep can step away from Lucey’s junkyard dog influence.

      Lucey served from 2008-2016 on the Oceano board, wasting millions of dollars over the course of her schizophrenic tenure. The woman is a walking contradiction. The ripples from the wake of collateral damage have penetrated the San Board…hell, she approved Hubner’s contract having never read his resume.

      Shame on Hubner for not correcting her (and Welsh) each time the reference to his having run a sewer plant was made. A man of integrity would have clarified that immediately, oh but then he’d be admitting he doesn’t know doo-doo.

      (23) 43 Total Votes - 33 up - 10 down
  7. Julie says:

    You know what’s really interesting? Both Mary Lucey and Patty Welsh HAMMERED the board about changing the benefit package prior to Hubner’s hire. They wanted the board to avoid committing to a new administrators lifetime expense — as we all did.

    Now Lucey and Welsh are so entrenched in support for Hubner they are 180 degrees away from where they were a year and half ago.

    Both these women supported investigating Wallace too, but now by supporting Hubner they are supporting his obstruction of justice.

    Hypocrites — the both of them.

    (29) 45 Total Votes - 37 up - 8 down
  8. r0y says:

    The solution to all these ill-gotten gains through malfeasance, corruption, collusion and other criminal activities would be greatly curtailed (almost eliminated) if we just did away with the lifetime, tax-payer-funded, public employee retirement system. Our legal system is so easily manipulated by unions and public “officials” that things will take YEARS, usually by which, most corrupt people have retired fat on the public hog for not doing squat except screwing things up. At best, their screw ups “weren’t as bad as the last guy/gal” – yet, they personally profit during and after, for the rest of their lives. How messed up is that?

    We were supposed to attract the best and brightest, instead, we got government employees.

    (21) 39 Total Votes - 30 up - 9 down
  9. 1965buick says:

    Can the citizens being ‘served’ serve them with a lawsuit, if they could gather necessary funding?
    Waiting for the DA seems to be false hope.

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
    • Rich in MB says:

      What DA…..Mr Establishment is worthless at protecting Tax Payers from the hounds of corruption in City Hall.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down

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