The Arroyo Grande City Council conducted an independent investigation into the City Manager controversy that some say included attempts at a cover up.
The independent probe was to determine if anything inappropriate went on inside Adams’ City Hall office late at night back on July 3.
Several Arroyo Grande Police officers say they found Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClishin his office in whatthe officer’s described in their reports as being in an awkwardsituation.
Police were responding to a phone call from McClish’s husband who was concerned about her when she failed to return home that night.
Adams, who offered to resign but stay on the job until a replacement is found, has consistently denied anything inappropriate took place in his office and maintainshe and McClish weresimply waiting for the effects of wine they had shared earlier in the night to wear off before driving home to their families.
“We did not find any evidence of a romantic or inappropriate relationship between McClish and Adams”, said Charles Hookstra who was hired by the city to conduct an independent review of the City Manager incident at a cost of about $20,000.
“As we write in our report we thought the wisdom of coming back to City Hall after having a couple a drinks was questionable”, Hookstra says, “again we were asked to look at that July 3rd incident, and determine what we could find about what went on, well there’s nothing more than what the police reports indicate.”
Local residents voiced their opinions on the independent review at the City Council meeting Wednesday night that was missing both Mayor Tony Ferrara, who was voted out of office, and Adams.
“I have said to this City Council if you have no intention of widening the scope of the investigation to determine the truth, and not just whether or not Steve Adams was literally caught with his pants down, please do not waste our money,” one woman told the council.
“This incident was not fabricated by any media, fringe or otherwise”, another woman told the council, “something happened on July 3, it was mishandled incredibly by this council, and by our city attorney and our mayor, and I’m very frustrated.”
Mayor-elect Jim Hill, who won as a write-in candidate in the most recent election but will not be seated until next month, said Adams should be terminated immediately
“The City Manager, Mr Adams, has been compromised in his ability to manage the City effectively and impartially”, Hill told Central Coast News, “I think there is no action the City Council can take for the betterment of the city other than to accept that resignation immediately certainly with no extra compensation granted.”
The Arroyo Grande City Council voted in closed session to accept Adams resignation, effective immediately, while it continues to search for his replacement.
The full report of the independent inquiry into the City Manager controversy has been posted on the city’s website.