SLO County delays discussion on Adam Hill’s alleged bullying until after election

February 26, 2020

Supervisor Adam Hill


During a contentious public comment period on Tuesday, San Luis Obispo County officials announced plans to wait until after the March 3 election to discuss allegations Supervisor Adam Hill sent harassing and perverse emails to a member of the media. Hill is currently running for reelection for his District 3 supervisor seat.

Three weeks ago, County Council Rita Neal agreed to agendize a discussion into allegations Hill harassed radio host David Congalton. However, after the county failed to place the item on Tuesday’s agenda, government watchdog Mike Brown again asked the county to look into allegations that Hill had threatened and harassed those who question his actions.

Specifically, Brown asked the board to commission an outside investigation into Hill’s alleged bullying, noting the financial liability the county faces if it allows Hill’s conduct to continue unchecked. Brown also questioned how Hill’s behavior impacts county employees who are held to a higher standard.

“Given supervisor Hill’s record of nasty outbursts over the years, its possible that he created and sent them,” Brown said. “It is also highly likely that similar and other harassing emails and interactions which may not have been disclosed have been received by citizens, officials and others who  are too embarrassed or frightened to reveal them.”

Neal responded by warning the public that campaigning is not permitted at the board chambers because of the proximity to a polling place. This statement led several speakers, none of whom discussed the election, to chastise Neal.

After questioning Neal’s warning, District 3 resident Laura Mordaunt also asked the board to agendize a discussion into Hill’s behavior.

“So you try to handcuff us as citizens,” Mordaunt told Neal and the board. “This was brought up three weeks ago and is part of the record. This is a big issue.”

Another District 3 resident, Jeffrey Specht, said the people in our community deserve better, and that county officials should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Hill’s behavior to continue.

“We should not have to live in fear of what we have to say,” Specht said.  “By the way, county council (Neal), shame on you for trying to suppress the voice of the people.”

Hill interrupted, ordering Specht to address the board and not county council.

Supervisor John Peschong then asked county administrators when they planned to agendize the proposed investigation into Hill’s behavior.

“The item that cannot be mentioned, has it been added to the agenda?” Peschong asked.

Neal said she planned to include the Hill issue on the March 10 meeting agenda, a week after the primary election.

On Feb. 2, CalCoastNews exclusively reported that in July 2016, someone created a Facebook account and a false persona, “Sal Krill.” The impersonator then sent a half-dozen messages to Dave Congalton, a KVEC radio icon who has been critical of Hill, mocking Congalton over the suicide of one of his friends, and his divorce.

The emails also made sexual comments about two CalCoastNews reporters and an activist who has also been critical of Hill.

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Under the guise of not being political, the board of supervisors has been political – their refusal to censure Hill is effectively a political endorsement of Hill’s obscene behavior. Shame on the BOS.