Former SLO County administrator says he was not fired, he resigned

November 18, 2023

SLO County Board of Supervisors


Former San Luis Obispo County Administrator John Nilon claims he was not fired, he resigned. Nilon called the SLO County Board of Supervisor’s announcement that they fired him for cause, “a political stunt.”

County Counsel Rita Neal announced Friday that the board had voted unanimously to fire Nilon. Before his termination for harassment, Nilon was warned not to touch female employees, according to county sources.

John Nilon

“First, it is ridiculous to terminate someone who has already resigned,” Nilon wrote in an email to CalCoastNews. “Second, and most important, this is purely a political stunt, trying to curry favor with those unhappy with the speed at which I have led change.”

Nilon submitted his resignation on Nov. 15. However, his contract required he continue working for the county for 30 days following a resignation, which apparently led to his termination.

He argues the allegations against him are fabricated.

“I have never been presented with any written allegations of misconduct by anyone in the county, and as such, any comments by the board or their representatives are entirely fabricated and have no basis in truth,” Nilon wrote. “Two CAO’s and one homeless division director have resigned within the last six months, perhaps the focus should not be on those who resigned but instead on the board who caused those resignations.

“I have done what I set out to accomplish and look forward to going back to where I came from, retirement.”


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In my years there have been enough allegations over sexual misconduct in our local governments that we taxpayers need to be separated from that liability. Language needs to be in all agreements for all type of employees so that these sexual misconduct allegation liability fall solely on the accused and never a liability to the taxpayers. Taking the deep pockets out of the mix may halt the issue at the first wink or half naked sunny day Friday.

from someone who has been around…

Nobody gets appointed CAO because they gave $250. There are many people who give much more to all candidates, and they are not CAO.

If there were “several” complaints by women, why was Nilon’s contract extended after 3 months on a 5-0 vote? (County Counsel/HR would have informed the Board that they were receiving complaints even if an investigation wasn’t yet underway).

The county is very careful not to say Nilon’s behavior was “sexual.” Instead, the County created a new category “improper conduct toward women.” The county specifically chose the term improper and not inappropriate. That term is not defined or even mentioned in the county’s policy.

So we are told that in the last month, Nilon suddenly was egregiously improper towards women where several verbal complaints arose? 

We are also told to believe that this Board with its own very ugly history of being improper to women unexpectedly got morality and now is pure in its deliberations?

The Board chose not to accept Nilon’s resignation and instead, in a very public way, fired him. 

I don’t know all the details but this sure reads like a political hit job. 

The BOS should have kept Wade Horton. Instead the dismiss him and hire this clown who apparently channeling David Edge, the former CAO who had a few “kinks”.

If there is no other evidence of corruption in County Government, this is it. Gibson contributor appointed to CEO who then descends upon women in County Government is nothing less than stunning. There needs to be a real a real investigation about’s what’s going on in the halls of our County…

Excuse me, but I don’t think any court in the country would concur with you about this being “evidence“ of corruption. But if you have the evidence, you need to step forward and bring it into court or at least present it to our district attorney.