The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission has mounted an investigation into San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson concerning conflict of interest allegations.
In 2016, the county board of supervisors approved a vacation rental exemption for a home approximately 1,200 feet away from Gibson’s primary residence in Cayucos. Without disclosing he lived nearby, Gibson argued that approval of the vacation rental permit would impact the character of the neighborhood.
Since then, Gibson has repeatedly fought against approvals for vacation rentals near his Cayucos home.
Filed by activist Julie Tacker on April 30, the FPPC complaint alleges that Gibson has violated laws requiring public officials to recuse themselves from voting on issues where the decision could influence the financial value of the official’s property.
Yet, it appears Gibson did not expect the allegations to result in a state investigation. Less than a week after Tacker filed her complaint, Gibson voted against two vacation rental applications for properties near his home in Cayucos.
After reviewing Tackers complaint, on May 10, the FPPC sent a letter notifying Tacker that the agency had opened up an investigation into her allegation of a conflict of interest over his votes on vacation rentals in Cayucos. The FPPC rejected Tacker’s request to investigate Gibson’s recent vote to deny a vacation rental exemption for a home near a farm Gibson owns in Cambria.
If found to have violated conflict of interest rules, Gibson faces penalties for each violation ranging from a warning letter to a fine of up to $5,000.
In addition, the county may have to redo the public process if the allegations hold up.