San Simeon board member resigns amid conflict of interest allegations

By KAREN VELIE

A San Simeon Community Services District elected official resigned shortly after county prosecutors filed a civil suit on Sept. 28 alleging illegal business practices and false advertising against a company paid to manage the district.

At a Sept. 30 special meeting called to looked into their general manager, the district informed the public that Bill Maurer had resigned. Maurer, who had been on the board for approximately a year, is under a Fair Political Practices investigation for conflicts of interest, as is board chair Gwen Kellas.

San Luis Obispo County prosecutors accuse Charlie Grace and his company Grace Environmental Services, which is paid to manage the district, of unfair and illegal business practices.

The San Simeon CSD board responded to the civil suit by calling for a special meeting that included a closed door session for a review of Grace’s performance, under Government Code 54957 (b) (1), which allows closed door reviews of public employees, but not of contractors. At the same time, Grace claims he is not a public employee.

At the end of the closed session meeting, the board announced they took no reportable action, though they said there would be information provided at their Oct. 12 board meeting.

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