SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon resigns, denies connection to FBI case

August 27, 2021

Mayor Heidi Harmon, photo by Richard Bastian

By KAREN VELIE

Amid allegations she took gifts from a marijuana businessman, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon announced Thursday she is stepping down to battle climate change.

First elected mayor in 2016, Harmon said she plans to continue living in SLO while she works as a senior public affairs director for the Romero Institute’s Let’s Green CA initiative, a nonprofit affiliated with electric provider Central Coast Community Energy. During Harmon’s tenure, the SLO City Council voted to contract with Central Coast Community Energy to provide electricity to residents.

Harmon suggested she has to choose between having a job or serving as mayor, even though the vast majority of mayors in SLO County have full time jobs.

Photo by Richard Bastian

When asked if an FBI investigation into corruption and the arrest Wednesday of marijuana kingpin Helios Dayspring had influenced her decision to step down, Harmon said she is not under investigation and that she properly reported Dayspring’s donations.

In 2018, Dayspring and his marijuana brand Natural Healing Center hosted a fundraiser for eight politicians including Harmon. While Harmon accepted multiple donations from people affiliated with the marijuana industry during the event, she listed those donors as retired or under a non-marijuana related occupation on her financial report.

Harmon also failed to disclose Dayspring’s non-monetary donation until after CalCoastNews reported on the issue.

Shortly before Harmon voted for a resolution establishing criteria for city staff to rank marijuana shop applicants, Dayspring allegedly ordered his staff to give Harmon two bags containing approximately $1,000 worth of complimentary marijuana products, according to one of Dayspring’s former business partners. Harmon did not respond to email questions about the alleged gift.

Following Harmon’s Sept. 26 resignation, the SLO City Council will have 30 days to appoint a new mayor or to call for a special election. In the interim, Vice Mayor Erica Stewart will serve as mayor.


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Jon Tatro

im pretty sure they won’t let you wear pretty flowers in your hair in prison, just saying.


kayaknut

Because the FBI tells everyone they are investigating that they are doing so or wouldn’t tell someone, “na we aren’t investigating you, just go ahead about your things normally”, does Heidi actually believe that?


Gramelin

Exactly SLo-to-load! She should have never run! Leaving now is not only highly suspicious, but lacks integrity. She is literally bailing on SLO. I was blown away that she was re-elected. (As though no one paid attention to what has been happening in SLO over the past few years.) And yes it is better for SLO she is stepping aside. Just Her resigning as such eludes her disregard for SLO! Her choices have been self serving as evident here and her other attempts to control. Is her choice to forbid the use of gas, and her new position with the Electric Company a Blatant conflict of interest??


Buchon

Yup, and if she was going to work for a credible organization, they would have said “sit tight, serve your constituents and let’s start talking again 90 days before the end of your current term.”


She’s trying to sell feces as chocolate. No sale, HH!


varian08

I am sad to see Heidi leaving. She did a good job for Slo. She is the perfect example of somebody who stand up for her ideas. Slo understood that and will not forget.I am also happy for her, she is finnaly going to be paid enough to make a living. i am happy for her because climate change is The big issue and she is good at it.

I wish Ms Moreno, Atascadero Mayor will resign. She is part of a extreme right politicians, Jerry clay, Ms Fonzi, Tom omalley etc, that kept atascadero in the dark for decades.


Buchon

In all sincerity are you being sarcastic or do you honestly believe what you posted?


She didn’t do her job. She did her best to bring systemic racism to SLO. She was just horrible.


aye-caramba

Varian, I truly believe that everyone has the right to express an opinion, even unpopular ones, and should not be shamed for it. Harmon was really not a good leader and although most initially gave her a chance, I believe she would not be elected again today. She lacks the ability to listen to others, hates people unlike herself openly and freely (ALL who do not share her narrow worldview) and is not psychologically able to withstand questioning or criticism. She has horrid judgement and has lost the support of public safety and city leaders. Her own partisan council is weary of her. She has cuddled up to the openly corrupt pot industry and lacks empathy for homeowners, businesses, Caucasian people, men, people who build things, drive cars, eat meat or even have generations of accomplishment. She is stuck in the rebellious stage of human development, enjoying and playing the “victim” role at every turn. She sees the world as a dark, environmentally dying place, where no one “cares” as much as she does. Its a sad place to live emotionally. I wish her peace and hope she finds meaning for her existence.


Buchon

I just wanted to say “thank you” for this posting. You took things very deep — I’ve been thinking about your post on and off ever since I read it. Your comments that particularly hit home with me include:


“…hates people unlike herself openly and freely…”


“…lacks empathy for homeowners, businesses, Caucasian people, men…”


“…She is stuck in the rebellious stage of human development, enjoying and playing the “victim” role at every turn…”


“…She sees the world as a dark, environmentally dying place, where no one “cares” as much as she does…”


Thank you again for your insights.


robdadbod

This is so incorrect that I cannot tell if this is sarcasm or a comment remarkably devoid of factual knowledge. Do some digging.


slo-to-load

Where is your evidence that Mayor Moreno is “extreme right”? Harmon was definitely “extreme left”, but Moreno seems fairly moderate and there is no evidence she shares the views of radical right wing crazies. Is it because even moderates seem “extreme right” when compared to Harmon?


Buchon

Does she think she’s actually fooling anyone? Be gone already! Good riddance!


Nightrider

Hazmateer

Let’s see:


– Harmon installs Central Coast Community Energy as the electrical provider for the City of SLO, without the consent of the voters, which generates significant revenue for Central Coast Community Energy.


– Harmon takes a high paying lobbying job with a firm associated with Central Coast Community Energy.


Nothing to see here, Comrades, now move along.


Funny That I said this Yesterday,

Plus with the Potential for a Massive Wind farm off the Coast that would run Through Morro bay and SLO,

Heidi Mighty is as Corrupt as it gets,

She helps Kill Great paying jobs @ DCPP and she Lines her pockets with Cash from her Connections on the BOS, (Bruce, Dawn who also has Connections with Solar Power)

Cozy little bunch of Sleaze Balls when mixed in with the Water power Resnick’s and Pot.

Progressives are Killing Cali!


LeroyMoo

She champions excluding natural gas from SLO city new construction and then goes to work for the local electric CCA that she also championed. 3CE was quick to remove her from their webpage, but they proudly still have a link to the June CalCoastNews article. Just 2 months ago Heidi was targeting the gas industry while still on the 3CE board and SLO Mayor. Seems like SoCal Gas could have a civil lawsuit against her for self-dealing, blocking future gas revenue and giving 3CE (Monterey Bay Community Power) preferential treatment. And, PG&E could have a lawsuit against her for steering SLO electricity customers to 3CE if it has benefited her.


retiredpoliceofficer

Judge Ginger Garret abruptly announced her retirement the day after the FBI announced a plea deal with Dayspring. There were 4 years remaining in her term. She made a ruling favorable to Dayspring validating SLO cannabis point system allowing NHC to advance over other applicants.


The FBI made Dayspring a deal to rat out others corrupt politicians. They would only make a deal to “trade up”e.g, higher level corruption. The question is are they looking at Harmon and Garret?


slo-to-load

If there was a possibility that she would step down after serving less than a third of her term, she never should have run! Holding a political office is not something that should be taken lightly and done on a whim. You need to be dedicated and committed to serve out your entire term and to do anything less is a severe breach of your integrity and the commitment you made when you accepted the office. Harmon should have ZERO say in who succeeds her because of this. A special election seems like the only fair way forward.


tidepool

Dawn Ortiz Legg Blandford Legg gets appointed as Mayor of SLO in 3, 2, 1…


slocorruptionhater

LOL…I could not possibly think of a worse case scenario…actually, I didn’t think we could do worse than HH…but Dawn Legg? that’s a tough one. If you happen to know them personally, it’s amazing how similar their lives are…except, one has a pseudo education