Former Grover Beach mayor resigns amid sexual harassment determination

December 5, 2019

John Shoals


A former mayor of Grover Beach sexually harassed women at his job with Santa Barbara County, including one employee he would ask to stand up and turn around so that he could gaze at her body, according to county records. [Cal Coast Times]

In May, a coworker reported John Shoals, a supervising planner who started working for Santa Barbara County on Aug. 13, 2018, for creepy behavior that made her feel uncomfortable. Initially, Shoals had been the complainant’s direct supervisor, but not at the time of the complaint.

Specifically, the woman alleged Shoals regularly asked her out for drinks, would ask her to stand up and turn while he looked her up and down, would make sexually inappropriate comments, and would leer at attractive female staff and customers, according to county investigation records.

Investigators then interviewed the complainant, four witnesses, and Shoals.

“One time Ms. (redacted) wore a more revealing top, Mr. Shoals reacted in a creepy way,” according to investigation notes. “He said she had a cute outfit and asked her to stand up and looked her up and down. He was extra flirty and leered at her.”

On other occasion, Shoals talked about his out-of-town exploits and asked inappropriate questions.

“He has told her inappropriate stories about being out of town drinking and turning down propositions,” according to investigation records. “He asked her if she had tattoos and where they were located.”

Another employee, who was directly supervised by Shoals, confirmed many of the allegations. In addition, the witness voiced additional concerns about Shoals.

“Mr Shoals leers at certain staff and members of the public, and looks them up and down,” the witness told investigators.

Another female witness, who also reported to Shoals, said he ogled the complainant and that his behavior also made the witness feel uncomfortable.

“At a more recent meeting, Mr. Shoals and Ms. (redacted) disagreed on how to handle a project,” according to investigation records. “Ms. (redacted) left early. As she passed by, John touched her and said, ‘You are being a trouble maker today.’ “

Shoals adamantly denied many of the allegations, while admitting to asking the complainant out for drinks.

“He said he would apologize if he caused Ms. (redacted) any distress,” according to investigation records. “Mr. Shoals says he does not believe he harassed Ms. (redacted).”

Even though Shoals argued that many of the sexual harassment claims were false, a July 23 investigation report found that the allegations were credible and that the evidence supported the complainant.

“The Equal Opportunity Office has finished an investigation of the complaint filed by (redacted) with the Santa Barbara County Equal Opportunity Office filed May 23,” according to a letter the county emailed Shoals on July 24. “The material allegations were substantiated.”

Facing termination, on Aug. 1, Shoals resigned his supervisory position with Santa Barbara County.

Shoals was first appointed to the Grover Beach City Council in 2000. In 2008, Shoals was elected mayor. Amid allegations of corruption regarding his and another council member’s votes on marijuana dispensaries, in 2016, Shoals did not run for a council seat.

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There’s a reason this kind of corruption is so common in this county. Go to: and scroll to “Scenes in Brief.”

These accusations seem to validate the rumors of Helios, wining and dining Mr Shoals with Blow and Hookers in Vegas, to get his dispensary approved!!!

Found his soft spot:(

Lowlife living high.

Wasn’t Shoals also one of the goons Grover Beach Mayor Lee used to intimidate the gentleman who started a recall of Mayor Lee after the mayor tried to push his ill-planned Newport street plan?

Hey, isn’t Shoals in the photo of 805 Beach Breaks that just got sued…CCN and article from a few days ago.

FYI, Paso Robles is currently using John Wallace engineering to build city projects fyi, was in Paso Robles News. Atascadero still uses them too. Our constituents vote for folks who support these people, Democrats and Republicans. Wallace is friends with both isles FYI! IE, North County conservative elected officials and Slo county too, both liberal and conservative. Adam Hill is Debbie Arnold. One likes pot, the other likes boose and Opiates. John, Bruce and Lynn like money and property. Edna valley is York mountain. Sheeple louise! Different ideology, all perverted greedy anarchists.

He’s got a huge PG&E pension from his do-nothing job and will still be laughing all the way to the bank with ratepayer dollars.

Still, if you want your development or cannabis license approved, you have to go to Shoals. He is ubiquitous at the counter of cities and the county and is highly spoken of in particular by Grover Beach planning staff.

Gee, another serial misogynist in a position of power. How shocking. Guess he takes his cues from others such as Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, JFK, etc.

So, what else is new?

I will be discussing this and other local issues on the Dave Congalton Show; TONIGHT at 6:00pm.

Tune in, call in.


Julie, can you cohesively and rationally link most of these folks together regardless of politics, I sure as hell can, I can google money trails for state and fed down to addresses for days. Use your voice to unite us common folk against the elite slo county politicians masking as political affiliations. They’re going to frack us, suck us of our water, until hell rises up and the Lord comes down, Revalations!

Yep, as I listened to the Podcast (couldn’t participate – work commitment) I was saddened by the connections – all the parties are Adam Hill/Bruce Gibson cronies.