SLO County supervisor calls Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill verbally abusive

July 12, 2022

Former Supervisor Adam Hill and Supervisor Bruce Gibson


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold revealed last week that supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill verbally assaulted her in an elevator shortly after she took office.

Arnold won a strong victory over an incumbent supervisor who was an ally of Gibson and Hill. She disagreed with the two during an early 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting on a subject that she has since forgotten. During that time, Arnold disagreed with Hill and Gibson on planning area updates and backroom negotiations regarding state water, according to meeting minutes.

After the meeting ended, Gibson and Hill followed her into the supervisors’ private elevator and cornered her in the back, she said.

While the men screamed at Arnold, Hill sprayed spittle on her face, Arnold said. Following the incident, Arnold reported the altercation to SLO County Counsel Rita Neal.

“I feel like I was bullied, and, as a matter of fact, I made a formal complaint,” Arnold said.

Neal told her she could not make a complaint, Arnold said.

“I was told that, ‘Hey, if you were an employee of the county you could complain and something might be done, but you are an elected, so get over it and get on with it’ ” Arnold said, quoting Neal.

Gibson and Hill were rude and mean, Arnold said.

“It would remind you of a third grade playground, just trying to intimidate me,” she said. “And I thought, there are other elevators and I do not need to ride in this one again.”

Arnold disclosed the verbal assault on July 6 during the 5 p.m. hour on the Dave Congalton radio show.

After learning of the incident, in 2013 reporters asked Arnold to speak about it on the record. She refused to do that.

“I felt that if I started whining about the way I was treated then everyone would think I couldn’t handle the job, so I just stayed out of the elevator,” Arnold said.

Over the decade that followed, observers of the Board of Supervisors have witnessed Gibson and Hill regularly demean and yell at Arnold during public meetings. The attacks come typically after Arnold has disagreed with the two.

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Assault by spittle is still assault. Was a police complaint filed?

I worked with Debbie on SMAAC some years ago and to think Gibson treated her like this is way out of line. She was always polite and considerate, regardless of the subject.

This is your supervisor district 2, are you proud to have an ass speaking for you?

I hope to meet Gibson in an elevator so we can talk about men who, with the help of their slimy friends, try to intimidate women.

I’m sure the only thing that resulted was a complete loss of respect for Gibson and Hill.

No respect earned No respect deserved.

Sure, Arnold will be polite and considerate as she tries to open a quarry east of Santa Margarita and turn that town into the next Lost Hills so her wealthy donors can make a profit. Ever wonder why she voted to raise the single donation level to $25,000 when the state cap is $4,700? Positive she will out raise her next opponent by a wide margin. She’s the problem, not the solution.

Is Rita Neal one of the employees who is after a 23% raise? Interesting.

A private elevator?! The things our tax$$ go for. These guys sure have a way with women, eh?

You can’t expect the special ones to have to mix with the common folks? Can you imagine all the special additions proposed for city’s new 50+million dollar police station, so the LEO’s won’t have to deal with the common folks.

None of this is surprising. The article uses terms such as “verbally abusive” and “bully”, but avoids the term harassment. It reminds me of the common joke at Cal Poly: you can do about any horrible thing you want to people, and if those actions don’t fall into the narrow definition that Cal Poly uses for harassment, then the action is classified as “unprofessional behavior” (and Cal Poly does nothing because they can only be sued for “harassment”). Additionally, these two supervisors would not have done this to a male colleague or the outcome would have been different.

I’m impressed with Debbie Arnold’s taking the high road and putting here constituents first. She could have spent allot of time and negative energy but chose to do what she was elected to do. We all know how Adam felt about himself R.I.P. and it is troubling to hear that Bruce did not come to Debbie’s defense? Zero tolerance for this behavior includes dismissal by most employers.

So sad indeed this story. But remember, ya’ll get what and who ya’ll vote for.


Yup, “elections have consequences “

Thank you for putting this in print. I was listening to the Dave Congalton radio shown when Debbie Arnold called in and shared this incident and it turned my stomach. I do not understand how harassment is okay and acceptable if you are an elected official (per Neal). The remaining “playground bully” needs to resign his position or be defeated in the upcoming election. Harassment is never okay.

Also Rita Neal needs to go, instead of getting a raise, she clearly is not doing what is best for all the county residents, she is doing what is best for just two.

Neal needs to go!

Just more evidence that the late Adam Hill, and the current “lame duck” Bruce Gibson are not worthy to serve the people of this county. They both have a history of treating women in an abusive and disrespectful manner, while being hateful and intimidating to all that they disagree with.

Justice will prevail come November for the angry and bitter Gibson. He’s no different than Adam Hill. Hill was controlled by drugs and greed for power. Gibson is much worse. He’s just pure evil.

I hope you are correct. I just don’t have that much confidence in the electorate, I mean look how Adam Hill kept getting elected.

I do hope Gibson the adulterer gets put out to pasture.

Gibson an adulterer. How shocking. You mean, like Reagan, Trump, Gingrich, etc.

Don’t forget Bill Clinton (multiple times) Newsome, Cuomo’s (both Andrew and Chris) Chuck Schumer, Eric Swalwell, and countless other Democrats if you’re going there.

Hmm, but unlike those fellows, Gibson, like Clinton, and JFK, messed around while in office and Clinton brought brought his little friend into the Oval Office ( someone his daughters age, ik!) and Bruce brought his to the office. In fact, if memory serves me, I believe he hired her to work in or near his office. Talk about doubling down!