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Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill says he didn’t violate Brown Act

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill denies claims he violated the state Brown Act by emailing an unapproved employment contract to an email account he shares with his wife, saying the contract was already available to the public in a meeting agenda packet and didn’t contain any confidential information.

“I’ve done my best to represent the city and the district to the best of my abilities,” Hill said Friday. “This is obviously very upsetting for me, and it’s very distressful for my wife.”

The Arroyo Grande City Council and South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District have launched a $15,000 independent investigation into the claims. On Thursday, The Tribune asked Hill for a comment for its story on the district’s decision. He responded after publication, on Friday.

An April 2016 email chain shows a copy of the employment contract for district administrator Gerhardt Hubner being sent from Hill’s city email account to a different account two days before the contract was approved by the district. The contract included Hubner’s home address.

Hill said the email is an account he and his wife share, although her name appears as the owner of the account in emails.

According to Hill, he emails city or district documents to that account so he can print them out at home and notate before meetings, rather than viewing them on his city-issued iPad. He asserted that his wife does not view the documents in the email, and no confidential information has been shared via that account.

Hill said he has since directed staff to deliver hard copies of documents to him, rather than printing at home.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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