Wright held without bail in SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill bribery case

November 5, 2023

Former-supervisor Adam Hill


A developer who allegedly bribed former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill is being held in a federal jail without bail because of concerns he will flee and continue to obstruct justice, according to court records.

Federal agents arrested Ryan Wright, 37, formerly known as “Ryan Petetit,” on Oct. 30 at his home in Grover Beach and then transported him to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth ordered Wright detained until his trial.

Judge Rosenbluth also ordered Wright to be kept “separate, to the extent possible,” from other inmates.

Because of evidence discovered during the federal instigation, including Wright’s past criminal history and his failure to cooperate with investigators, the court detained him without bail.

Court findings determining flight risk:

  • Won’t reveal assets
  • Says he can’t locate passport, although one was seized by agents
  • Recent and extensive foreign travel
  • Bail resources insufficient

Court findings determining issues with the safety of any person or the community:

  • Two outstanding orders of protection
  • Prior conviction for violence and arrests for violence
  • Committed some of the offenses while on probation
  • Ongoing and lengthy allegations concerning economic fraud

John Belsher and Ryan Wright

Wright and his partner and co-conspirator John Belsher’s business, PB Companies, allegedly paid nearly $100,000 in bribes and gifts to former SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill, who advocated for the company’s projects. Wright was arrested on a three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, falsification of records and obstruction of justice.

CalCoastNews exclusively reported on Wright, PB Companies, Belsher and their links to Hill beginning in 2015.

In Wright’s Oct. 4 indictment, prosecutors describe multiple instances in which Wright bribed Hill in exchange for assistance with his projects:

On July 14, 2014, in a text message exchange, Wright told Hill that PB Companies would pay him “$5,000 up front and $1,700 a month thereafter, and would provide Hill with a leased car from a Volvo dealership.”

On July 19, 2014, Hill leased a four-door Volvo Wagon valued at $43,020 after Wright agreed to pay the lease payments.

On July 31, 2014, PB Companies wrote Hill a check for $2,500, memo line noted, “Invoice # 101 – Retainer.”

On Sept. 5, 2014, Hill deposited a $6,400 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account. The check, signed by Wright, was made out to Adam Hill or San Luis Consulting.

On Oct. 8, 2014, Hill deposited a $4,950 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

In an Oct. 14, 2014 text message exchange, Wright said Hill could make $250,000 per year and have “on going income for ever.” Hill texted, “I think Belsher is starting to understand my value.”

On Oct. 16, 2014, using PB Companies funds, Wright flew himself and Hill on a semi-private jet to San Francisco to watch Game 5 of the Major League Baseball’s National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. Wright also paid for their premium seats, which were in the first row along the third baseline and cost approximately $1,032 per ticket. Wright also paid $754 for luxury hotel rooms.

On Nov. 7, 2014, Hill deposited a $4,950 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

On Dec. 18, 2014, Hill deposited two checks from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account: one for $4,950 and one for $3,084.

On Dec. 31, 2014, Hill deposited a $4,950 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

On Feb. 2, 2015, Hill deposited a $4,950 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account. Signed by Wright, this check noted, “consulting services” in the memo line.

In a March 19, 2015 email, a PB Companies employee asked an investor to write two checks, each for $2,500, to Hill’s re-election campaign. Wright wrote the investor in an email, “We’re giving Hill 25k in total this time around the other funds are coming from us personally or one other entity. If we loose [sic] him it’s bad for us Down town.”

On May 4, 2015, Hill deposited a $10,000 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

On June 10, 2015, Hill deposited a $10,000 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

On July 14, 2015, Hill sent an invoice to Wright and a PB Companies employee that stated, “San Luis Square approval at ARC (Architectural Review Commission) & CHC (Cultural Heritage Committee): BONUS” with the amount of $15,000 under it and the amount of $4,900 for July invoice, for a total amount due of $19,900.

On July 21, 2015, following a five-month investigation, CalCoastNews published the first of dozens of articles about Wright, Belsher and PB Companies’ alleged financial misconduct: “Developers practices draw questions, complaints.”

On Aug 5, 2015, Hill deposited a $25,000 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

On Oct. 14, 2015, CalCoastNews wrote its first article alleging PB Companies was paying Hill, who in turn was openly promoting the company’s developments: “Supervisor Hill’s 2 jobs raise conflict of interest.”

On Oct. 19, 2015, CalCoastNews wrote that Hill was lobbying San Luis Obispo City Council, commissions and committees on behalf of developers who were giving him money: “Lobbying raises question: Who does Hill work for?”

Following the CalCoastNews articles detailing what appeared to be pay-to-play, PB Companies did not pay Hill’s consulting firm for more than a year.

In an Aug. 30, 2016 text message exchange, Wright told Hill he would get him a campaign donation of $10,000 from his “buddies wife.”

In a Sept. 4, 2016 text message exchange, Hill asked Wright for more money for his campaign. Wright responded that he was “funneling money” to Hill through another person, and that he and Belsher planned to give $10,000.

In a Nov. 17, 2016 text message exchange, Hill wrote “$10,000!” to Wright after complaining about his need for money, and noted the check should be written to San Luis Consulting.

In a Nov. 18, 2016 text message, Hill asked Wright to buy the Volvo for him because the lease was coming due and he could not afford to buy it himself. Wright responded, “You earned it.”

On Nov. 23, 2016, Hill deposited a $10,000 check from PB Companies in his San Luis Consulting account.

Hill committed suicide in 2020 during an FBI investigation into bribery and corruption.

Wright’s trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 26 in Los Angeles federal court.

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Waiting for Supervisor Gibson’s carefully-crafted plausible deniability statement.

Am of the opinion if he’s silent then he’s cutting a deal with the Feds.

Hey Heidi…..Wait for the knock.

why the Hell do people support that scumbag DA Dow who is actively in military; if he’s a scumbag here in Slo, what the hell has he done Abroad representing us in pointless wars only benefiting DoD contractors. The guy turns a blind eye to all political corruption, and goes on some Trump style propoganda BS abusing religion, ethics and politics to Garner and secure his 6 figure quarter of a million dollar income? Fk that guy. Fk this county, Fk Atascadero having poisoned water and making the rate payer foot the Bill for Waste Managements Bury Trash seepage BS into the Salinas.

A collective round of applause for Velie and Blackburn. I hope they write a book one day detailing all the shit they had to put up with from the Forces of Evil. Start with Wright and Belsher, but time to clean house in this county and make the bastards pay!


Adam Hill was about power and money. His power and money. He was never interested in serving the people.

sounds like all politicians to me.

Karen is too modest too mention this but it was her dogged investigation which led to all of this. Dan Dow (the “I don’t do bribery cases, no one does” guy) ignored the trove of evidence offered to him, asserting it was all a bit “too much” for him to handle. The FBI then got involved and eight years later, here we are. The Tribune tried and tried to rebut our reporting in the most unprofessional way. But, as the saying goes, the truth will out. Eventually.

Thank you Karen!

There’s more. Much more…

I so appreciate CCN and your honest reporting. I remember the push back Karen received when she first began reporting on this and it wasn’t pretty. In fact, if I remember correctly, even KVEC management received pressure and Karen was no longer allowed to be a guest on Dave Congalton’s program. Thank you Karen for standing up for the truth and keeping us all informed.

Dan Dow gives many white collar criminals a past or a slap on the wrist. He protects those who travel in his same circle.

Highly unlikely that Hill was the only person he bribed. It should be interesting if this guy starts talking.

‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’.

This is what happens when you get in bed with a corrupt supervisor. Get comfortable in your new digs buddy……you reap what you sow.