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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What a mess! We do not have all of the info, but a 5-0 vote gives a strong inference.

What a nasty Rita Neal/Adam Hill/Bruce Gibson mess. Is there a company we can contract government services out to for a while?

There’s something wrong with the math here. If Nilon was almost immediately inappropriately touching women, why after his first three months of work did the Board extend his contract another 9 months? If Nilon was so bad for so long, why did the Board only start the recruitment for the position after they fired him last week? Their story doesn’t add up. It’s either a hatchet job or gross ineptitude by the Board, or likely both.

But doesn’t he also say he did nothing inappropriate but that doesnt seem to be the case, either.

Its also unlikely his inappropriate behavior just started here, but due to the elite protecting their own any issues at previous jobs were kept hidden and became SLO’s problem, it will hidden here and when he moves on it become his next employers problem, unless he is ready to retire.

It’s interesting that the complaint only lists “unwanted touching.” No mention of making inappropriate comments, unwanted texts messages or phone calls, asking personal or inappropriate questions, or attempting to meet with the accusers outside of work. When employees touch others at work for sexual gratification, the touching is invariably accompanied by some of the above behaviors. Their absence gives one pause.

saywhat :Please address the Policies, events and arguments, not the person.

Better check if he owns a GoPro camera.

I’m inclined to give his version some consideration, whilst admitting that I am not privy to the facts. However, what is clear is that we now have a board of supervisors which is entirely dysfunctional. And this is mirrored in the local bodies as well, see OCSD Board, Morro Bay City government, and SLO City Council. In each of these cases, we can trace the dysfunction to one or two malefactors (and here I already have to correct myself, because the SLO City Council is pretty much one distasteful blob of malefactors) and these agents of dysfunction hail from the Left side of the political spectrum. Performative displays, policies such as ruining downtown SLO in terms of parking, traffic flow on Higuera and Marsh, and the homeless situation. I did not know John Nilon. I do know Wade Horton, who is a stand-up guy, an honest military officer and Iraq veteran, and I know the backstory. The real question is, when will it get bad enough? Are the people of San Francisco waking up after the APEC Potemkin Village spectacle? Probably not. Will the self-absorbed newcomers to SLO County, with their “In This House We Believe” tautological peacocking, start to think about not going autonomically Left all the time? Probably not. This whole state is running on the fumes of the accomplishments of previous generations, and soon enough will come shaking and jittering to a halt.

Whilst blaming anything and everything wrong in this county on “the left” is highly popular with a majority of those who make comments on this site, it is clearly and totally unproductive. If that were the answer to our problems, there would be no problems in SLO County. One might even get the idea, given that all most of these commentors see is increasingly dire circumstances closing in on themselves, they might get a clue that they should be doing the opposite of what they are doing if they are to effect change. After all, a ship continues to sink if all one does is drill holes in the bottom, for instance.

One person’s perception (I would categorize it more as a fantasy) of “running on fumes” is the rest of the world’s view of the 5th largest economy in the world. We have our problems, but “running on fumes” would hardly put us where we actually are. Addressing our real problems instead of pretending that a yard sign encouraging inclusiveness of our fellow community members and pointing fingers at the “other side” is problem solving would be helpful.

You are certainly entitled to your own perception (one might categorize it more as a fantasy) that California is superbly well-administered. If so, please articulate in detail the soon-to-be-realized solutions to homelessness, groundwater depletion, crime, population loss great enough to cause the loss of a Congressional seat, ageing infrastructure, wealth disparity (and be sure to recognize that the oligarchic Brahmin class in California is overwhelmingly Democrat) and education. I look forward to being illuminated.

You forgot to mention the 30 plus billion dollar deficit that’s likely to increase and ca having the highest poverty rate in the country.

I don’t think she was making the case that CA is superbly well administered . You pulled that of thin air. Her point was about perception. You missed it, and proved it in one fell swoop.

If you have been on this site for any length of time you would know that Francesca offers solutions for most problems she identifies.

I have my suspicions that no matter what she says in reply your illumination is a ways off.

I stand by my statement. I have been around a long, LONG time in SLO County. I have also had the opportunity to live, travel and work elsewhere around the U.S. and the world. I read Ms. Bolognini’s comment and I see no solution identified other than some vague statement about people who disagree with her are shooting holes in the bottom of the boat. I have been on this site long enough to discern much, by the way. And it’s all good. We are mutually irrelevant. Peace.