SLO County Supervisor Hill skips most meetings

SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill has repeatedly failed to show up to work, attend meetings, or respond to the media. Since March 1, Hill has failed to participate in 26 of the 33 board and committee meetings he was scheduled to attend.

In the immediate aftermath of the March 4 election, in which Hill initially trailed Stacy Korsgaden by 304 votes, he disappeared from the public eye. He was absent at election night parties, and he failed to attend board meetings of the Regional Transit Authority Board and SLO Council of Governments. Likewise, Hill was not communicating with members of the media.

During the days following the election, neither Hill nor his administrative assistant Nicole Nix came to the county offices, according to county officials.

By March 10, Hill had surged ahead of Korsgarden as absentee ballots were counted, and was favored to win the election. In the end, Hill won by 587 votes.

Hill not only showed up at the county building, he chaired the March 10 Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

A day later, on March 11, FBI agents served a search warrant on Hill’s home. At the same time, they raided his office at the county building.

Shortly after the last agent left Hill’s Shell Beach home, Hill attempted suicide. Emergency personnel transported Hill to a local hospital. He was released on March 12 after being placed on a psychiatric hold, according to county sources.

Following the March 11 raids, Hill again stopped attending county meetings.

In late March, county staff searched for Hill in an attempt to have him sign the county’s shelter-at-home-order, but they could not find him.

On March 30, Hill attributed his suicide attempt to the stresses of running for office, in a statement released to the media.

“In the weeks leading up to Election Day, I fell into a bad episode of depression, culminating in an attempt to end my life,” Hill wrote. “I’ll have more to say later, but right now my main focus is on restoring my health so I can return to the job I love.

“I cannot comment on pending confidential investigations by the FBI except to say that we are cooperating fully with their inquiries and will provide news when we can.”

Shortly afterwards, bowing to community pressure, Hill announced plans to relinquish his role as chairman because of health reasons. In the same email to county administrators, Hill said he planned to remain on the Board of Supervisors.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will utilize teleconferencing as my Crohn’s disease is an auto-immune illness and I’ve been advised to restrict my exposure,” Hill wrote in the email. “That said, I speak with my legislative assistant Nicole Nix frequently and know she is doing a superb job with our constituents and other matters.”

On May 5, Hill attended his first public meeting, through Zoom, since the FBI raid on his home and office.

The SLO County Board of Supervisors is responsible for establishing policy to guide the administrative functions of county departments, and serves as the governing body for many oversight boards and committees.

During the past four months, Hill has missed five Board of Supervisor meetings, and attended seven via Zoom. Currently, all county boards meet through teleconferencing because of the pandemic.

Also, during the past four months, Hill has failed to attend 21 meeting sof agencies in which he represents county residents: the Air Pollution Control Board, the Economic Vitality Corporation, the Integrated Waste Management Authority, the Homeless Services Oversight Committee, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, and the Regional Transit Authority, while collecting his full salary.

Hill did not respond to questions about attending board meetings.

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