By JOSH FRIEDMAN
In a Facebook post teeing off on reporter Karen Velie and radio host Dave Congalton, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill announced he has marital problems — which he blames on the two Central Coast media figures.
Hill is married to Dee Torres, a longtime professional in SLO County’s homeless services industry. In 2013, CalCoastNews published a series of stories detailing allegations that Torres had abused her role of homeless services director for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, which Hill referenced in his Nov. 11 Facebook post.
“We were once a family,” Hill stated in the Facebook post.
The county supervisor did not elaborate on the statement, nor did he respond to questions on the matter from Cal Coast Times. However, numerous sources have said that Hill and Torres have spent a large amount of time away from one another in recent months.
In the Facebook post, Hill placed the blame for his relationship problems, including Torres’ recurring “emotional trauma,” on Velie and Congalton.
“These two purveyors of lies, propaganda and gossip have been attacking me for more than 7 years,” Hill wrote. “I’m a public figure and it is what it is these days.”
Hill then accused Velie and Congalton of attacking Torres and her three daughters.
“But they attacked with equal venom and mendacity Dee Torres, and sometimes directly, mostly indirectly, they attacked her three daughters too.
However, CalCoastNews reporters never photographed, followed or harassed any of Torres’s daughters. One of Torres’s daughters was mentioned by name in a single CalCoastNews article, which solely quoted a text message exchange between Hill and Torres’s ex-boyfriend, Ralph Almirol.
Hill’s Facebook post next claims that Almirol was the main source of the CalCoastNews reporting on homeless services.
“Who was the main “source” of their lies against Dee? An Ex of hers who physically abused her so badly, he went to County jail, and to this day, has a long-term restraining order against him. These two liars both knew this, but left it out of their calumny, or down-played it. They simply don’t care because their hatred of me justifies anything, everything.”
Approximately 20 years ago, Almirol was arrested for physically abusing Torres during an argument. Following the arrest, Almirol and Torres reunited for a short time before ending their relationship.
While Almirol was a source in the CalCoastNews series, he was just one of more than a handful of Torres’ ex-boyfriends and former coworkers who said she took gift cards donated to the homeless and made personal use of them. Over the course of all the interviews CalCoastNews conducted, more than a dozen past and then-employees of CAPSLO came forward with allegations that Torres was abusing her position of homeless services director.
Torres later sued private investigator Mike Brennler, claiming he slandered her in a conversation with one of her ex-husbands. Shortly after Torres filed the suit, Hill contacted Almirol in writing and attempted to get him to change the testimony he made in a sworn deceleration. Hill offered to make things right between Almirol and his daughter if Almirol agreed to Hill’s request.
The suit was eventually tossed out of court, and following the CalCoastNews series, CAPSLO’s management demoted Torres. Hill then began contacting CalCoastNews advertisers, attempting to get them to cancel their advertising. The county supervisor also harassed reporters on social media and through emails.
In Saturday’s Facebook post, Hill claimed Velie and Congalton caused Torres to undergo some of the same trauma she suffered during domestic abuse that had occurred decades prior.
“The result of their spite was what any expert will tell you: it forced Dee to have to undergo some of the same emotional trauma as the abuse, and its after-effect remains terrible,” Hill posted on Saturday.
Hill has previously made false claims that he and his family were being followed and threatened. In 2015, Hill said he was getting death threats and, as a result, was receiving SLO County Sheriff’s Office protection. Hill sent multiple emails describing the threats and posting photos of sheriff’s vehicles parked on his street.
However, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Commander Stuart MacDonald said the agency did not have a protective order for Hill and was not conducting any investigation into Hill’s claims that his life and family were being threatened.
Hill did not respond to questions from Cal Coast Times asking for examples of attacks on Torres’ three daughters and an explanation for how Almirol was the main source of the reporting on Torres and CAPSLO.