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Government and Politics

Investigation finds misconduct by Arroyo Grande mayor

City of Arroyo Grande
Mayor Jim Hill at the August 8, 2017 city council meeting

A months-long investigation into Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill found misconduct. The inquiry was paid for by the city of Arroyo Grande and the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District. Besides serving as mayor, Hill is the city's representative on the sanitation district's board of directors. 

Details are laid out in a 102-page report, saying Hill revealed confidential personnel information about the sanitation district to third parties. The investigation also found Hill interfered with personnel matters beyond his official capacities as either mayor or board member.

"While the preponderance of the evidence clearly reveals Jim Hill as a hard-working, committed public servant and a vigorous advocate for the policies and initiatives he favors, it is difficult to dismiss concern about his advocacy for a political supporter...," the report states. In another analysis, the investigators found several examples of "Mr. Hill's tendency to unilaterally step beyond his legislative role while taking or attempting to take unilateral action."

Investigators verified as true four of the eight allegations made by members of the public during a city council meeting in January. Interim City Manager Robert McFall and City Attorney Heather Whitham called for an inquiry in February.

City Attorney Whitham says the city council plans to discuss the investigation results at a future council meeting.