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CITY MANAGER SEEKS TAM’S OUSTER

Submitted by on 1, July 7, 2010 – 5:00 am24 Comments

An attorney hired by the city’s top officials wants a grand jury to consider whether Councilwoman Lena Tam should be removed from office for allegedly leaking confidential information to developer SunCal and the local firefighter’s union against the city’s interests, and for leaking similar information to local bloggers and others, including this reporter.

Michael G. Colantuono, who was hired by Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant and City Attorney Teresa Highsmith to investigate the alleged misconduct also accused Tam of breaking the state’s public meetings law by e-mailing groups of City Council members in an effort to influence some of their decisions. Council members are only permitted to discuss city business in publicly agendized sessions.

“Based on our review of the evidence available to us, we believe that Tam has engaged in numerous Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code sections 54950 et seq. (“the Brown Act”) violations and other serious official misconduct, which warrant removal from office pursuant to a grand jury charge,” attorney Colantuono wrote to Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Blazer on May 26.

He wrote to Blazer that he believes Tam’s actions could also warrant separate, criminal charges under the Brown Act.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office is reviewing the matter, according to a press release that was issued on Tuesday night just moments after the City Council voted to make the investigation results public. The council was made aware of the investigation Tuesday.

Tam denied the accusations, which were based on e-mails Gallant pulled from Tam’s city e-mail account.

“I think it’s appropriate that I do my due diligence whether it’s the SunCal matter, whether it’s the IAFF (firefighters) matter, whether it is looking at the interim city manager’s past relationships with bond financiers. I welcome the scrutiny,” Tam said.

The city is in the midst of heated contract negotiations with both SunCal and the firefighters – negotiations in which Tam and Gallant have found themselves on opposite sides. And they have clashed on a number of other issues as well.

Tam said she believed the accusations came as a result of questioned she raised publicly about a bond deal proposed by Gallant, one of several issues that have been raised by council members and others during her tenure as interim city manager. Gallant had previously worked for one of the partners in a firm she sought to hire to handle the deal.

“I contacted a number of individuals that were concerned that the city acted inappropriately,” Tam said.

In his report to Blazer and a second report forwarded to Assistant District Attorney Ann Diem on July 2, Colantuono accused Tam of leaking confidential closed session information to representatives from SunCal, and of carrying their interests in developing Alameda Point ahead of the city’s. Tam has been a firm supporter of SunCal’s efforts, while city staff has voiced a host of concerns with their development plan.

Colantuono said the e-mails demonstrate Tam “repeatedly exploited her official position for a private benefit,” though he did not accuse her of gaining anything from any of the parties whose interests she is alleged to have served.

He said Tam forwarded SunCal vice president Pat Keliher on a March 17 e-mail she sent to Mayor Beverly Johnson and City Councilwoman Marie Gilmore detailing legal advice that City Attorney Teresa Highsmith had offered in an earlier closed-door meeting. In that same e-mail, she also talked about an earlier closed session regarding Highsmith’s job performance.

He also accused Tam of forwarding an April 15 e-mail from Highsmith titled “Heads up on SunCal blog” to SunCal Chief Operating Officer Frank Faye that was labeled confidential. He said Tam forwarded the e-mail to her personal account and that shortly afterward, Gallant and Highsmith got calls from Faye complaining that the e-mail’s assertions were inaccurate.

And he said Tam offered similarly privileged information – a letter from a company vying for Alameda County’s ambulance contract – to the political director for the city’s firefighter’s union, Jeff DelBono.

Tam has advocated for the firefighters at council meetings, though they have had a rocky relationship with city staff and others on the council. The firefighters petitioned for a ballot measure that would require the city to maintain minimum staffing levels and they have also sued the city for reducing benefits for new hires.

Colantuono also accused Tam of leaking the same confidential information to local bloggers and others. He said Tam forwarded a number of e-mails to local blogger and political activist John Knox White, including information for an April 20 closed session item on the process for conducting performance evaluations for Gallant, Highsmith and City Clerk Lara Weisiger.

“There is absolutely nothing that she says that makes this an allowable closed-session item!” Knox White wrote Tam on April 19.

Knox White, who sits on the city’s Sunshine Task Force, had written a a letter to the city on April 17 telling them the discussion would violate state open-meeting rules. At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Beverly Johnson called on Knox White to step down from the task force, and she said she’d ask her dais-mates to remove him if he does not do so.

Tam also forwarded an e-mail from Lonnie Odom containing contact information for a city staffer in Desert Hot Springs, where Gallant served as city manager, to blogger Lauren Do and this reporter. Odom is a financial adviser who said he had originally offered the city a bond deal similar to the one Gallant proposed but was ultimately cut out of the deal.

“I talked to (the staffer) Friday night and he indicated that he’s still cleaning up the mess left behind from Ann Marie’s tenure,” Odom wrote in the June 7 e-mail to Tam.

Colantuono also accused Tam of violating the state’s serial meetings law by blind-copying some council members so others were unaware they were breaking the law, in a effort to urge them to take action against Highsmith and Fire Chief David Kapler.

Tam e-mailed Johnson and Highsmith to request a closed-session performance evaluation of Highsmith following a spat over questions Tam raised about SunCal’s negotiating agreement during a late-night council session. Councilwoman Marie Gilmore and SunCal’s Keliher were blind copied on the e-mail.

She sent a similar e-mail to Gallant and City Councilman Frank Matarrese on May 15 that was blind-copied to Gilmore to follow up on concerns firefighters had raised about Kapler. Colantuono said the intent of the e-mail was to “develop consensus among the Councilmembers to take action against (Kapler).”

The accusations were made public two weeks before SunCal’s exclusive agreement to negotiate a development deal at Alameda Point expires. The council will be asked to decide whether to continue to negotiate with SunCal at its July 20 meeting.

“Given the importance of this decision to Alamedans and the need to review the City’s legal risks in Closed Session without fear of further leaks to SunCal, the city’s attorneys and the Interim City Manager brought the pending investigation to the attention of the Mayor and the City Council,” the press release says.

The accusations also come as Tam kicks off her re-election campaign for her council seat. A fundraiser for Tam thrown by Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, Alameda County Supervisor-elect Wilma Chan and other local luminaries is set for Saturday.

City Council members, who voted to release the reports to the public Tuesday night, had little to say about the accusations.

“I’m just astounded by this. It’s unbelievable,” Matarrese said. “It’s in the hands of the DA now, so we’ll see what happens.”

Santa Clara County prosecutors used similar rules to win the removal of Mountain View Mayor Mario Ambra in 2002. Ambra was convicted by a jury of trying to skirt that city manager’s authority and trying to get staff to do his bidding, in an effort to halt development on land that bordered his father’s property, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

24 Comments »

  • Mike McMahon says:

    Here is government code regarding disclosure of confidential information by a member of the legislative body:

    54963. (a) A person may not disclose confidential information that
    has been acquired by being present in a closed session authorized by
    Section 54956.7, 54956.8, 54956.86, 54956.87, 54956.9, 54957,
    54957.6, 54957.8, or 54957.10 to a person not entitled to receive it,
    unless the legislative body authorizes disclosure of that
    confidential information.
    (b) For purposes of this section, “confidential information” means
    a communication made in a closed session that is specifically
    related to the basis for the legislative body of a local agency to
    meet lawfully in closed session under this chapter.
    (c) Violation of this section may be addressed by the use of such
    remedies as are currently available by law, including, but not
    limited to:
    (1) Injunctive relief to prevent the disclosure of confidential
    information prohibited by this section.
    (2) Disciplinary action against an employee who has willfully
    disclosed confidential information in violation of this section.
    (3) Referral of a member of a legislative body who has willfully
    disclosed confidential information in violation of this section to
    the grandjury.
    (d) Disciplinary action pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision
    (c) shall require that the employee in question has either received
    training as to the requirements of this section or otherwise has been
    given notice of the requirements of this section.
    (e) A local agency may not take any action authorized by
    subdivision (c) against a person, nor shall it be deemed a violation
    of this section, for doing any of the following:
    (1) Making a confidential inquiry or complaint to a district
    attorney or grand jury concerning a perceived violation of law,
    including disclosing facts to a district attorney or grand jury that
    are necessary to establish the illegality of an action taken by a
    legislative body of a local agency or the potential illegality of an
    action that has been the subject of deliberation at a closed session
    if that action were to be taken by a legislative body of a local
    agency.
    (2) Expressing an opinion concerning the propriety or legality of
    actions taken by a legislative body of a local agency in closed
    session, including disclosure of the nature and extent of the illegal
    or potentially illegal action.
    (3) Disclosing information acquired by being present in a closed
    session under this chapter that is not confidential information.
    (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit
    disclosures under the whistleblower statutes contained in Section
    1102.5 of the Labor Code or Article 4.5 (commencing with Section
    53296) of Chapter 2 of this code.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    An amazingly detailed pattern of deception and violation of the spirit of the Brown Act. TAM has totally breached her fiduciary responsibilities to her constituents as well as her oath of office. She should be removed ASAP. At the very least she should be censured by the Council pending the investigation by the District Attorney and not permitted information or allowed to vote on anything involving development in Alameda, the Firefighters, City Attorney or City Manager. I can’t believe anyone would vote for TAM to be re-elected after this must. Nor would the remainder of the Council want to have anything to do with TAM. Her actions were poisonous to involve them.

    Thank you Michele for bringing these allegations to light. And thank you to Gallant, Highsmith and the Council for having the courage to take action. I hope the District Attorney acts quickly and saves our City from a long drug out expose of TAM’s dirty laundry.

  • Mark Irons says:

    Barbara, isn’t it enough that this is in the hands of the County attorney? It’s take hubris like yours to be a one person Grand Jury.

  • Mark Irons says:

    who is going to rifle through ICM’s email and when?

  • Neal_J says:

    Shameful flouting of the Brown act to knowing breach confidential closed session information.

    Tam should do the right thing & resign from office NOW.

  • Gillico says:

    Actually, I agree with Mark Irons… While we’re cleaning house on Ms Tam, let’s be thorough and look into the shenanigans surrounding ICM Gallant as well.

  • Page Barnes says:

    Michele,

    Do you know if there are any plans to make the report available on the Internet? I’d like to read it for myself before I make any judgments. Lots of us can’t make it to City Hall to read it there.

  • Mike Henneberry says:

    A political hatchet job of the first order. Where did the Iterim City Manager get her training in Nixon’s White House?
    I find it very interesting that this come up after the Mayor’s less than impressive performance against Wilma Chan in the Supervisor’s race, after her failed attempt at “campaign reform” and before the November election. Did the City Manager and Mayor decide to clear the field for a council seat for the Mayor?
    Funny how when Tam did what she thought was right for her constituents and working people she ends up it hot water with the DA. But when the city lays off workers, contracts out services, guts medical benefits and pensions that’s prudent government.
    All the sanctimonious hand-wringers calling for Tam’s resignation should redirect their energy toward the clique that runs Alameda politics and see what’s in their emails.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Mark Irons:
    Should we thank TAM for putting at risk the work and privacy of all the remainder of the Mayor and City Council, City Manager, City Attorney, every City employee, taxpayers, news agencies, bloggers, voters, and yes, even SUNCAL?

    When something this violative of the law has gone on this long it pervades every potential decision made since the first act was detected. And the investigation will probably go back in time to who knows when to see how long this went on before detection. Just like the SF drug lab issue, more and more problems were discovered as the investigation went deeper. At great taxpayer expense. And a loss of belief in the integrity of the entire system. I dislike having this happen to our City and do not look forward to our City being made a mockery in the press because of these revelations.

    If TAM emailed 3rd parties including this blog with admittedly confidential closed session materials, and in particular her calling for the review of performance of personnel matters she has opened up the City to great financial liability. The fact that the entire Council has already acted by removing themselves from the issue and invoking the District Attorney is enough for me to want TAM to resign and let the City move on without her and the damage that may continue to be uncovered long after she is gone. Maybe you look forward to it. I don’t. And I don’t believe OJ was innocent either.

  • Jon Spangler says:

    Before anyone starts tying nooses or tarring and feathering Councilmember Tam, take another look at this part of the Brown Act posted by Mike McMahon. It is entirely appropriate for any member of a legislative body to release information from a closed session if that information was not, in fact, privileged. (In other words, releasing information from improperly held “closed” sessions that should have been conducted in public is entirely legal.)
    See sections 2) and 3) below in particular:

    “(e) A local agency may not take any action authorized by
    subdivision (c) against a person, nor shall it be deemed a violation
    of this section, for doing any of the following:
    (1) Making a confidential inquiry or complaint to a district
    attorney or grand jury concerning a perceived violation of law,
    including disclosing facts to a district attorney or grand jury that
    are necessary to establish the illegality of an action taken by a
    legislative body of a local agency or the potential illegality of an
    action that has been the subject of deliberation at a closed session
    if that action were to be taken by a legislative body of a local
    agency.
    (2) Expressing an opinion concerning the propriety or legality of
    actions taken by a legislative body of a local agency in closed
    session, including disclosure of the nature and extent of the illegal
    or potentially illegal action.
    (3) Disclosing information acquired by being present in a closed
    session under this chapter that is not confidential information.
    (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit
    disclosures under the whistleblower statutes contained in Section
    1102.5 of the Labor Code or Article 4.5 …”

    Once again, it *looks* as if the ICM and/or certain elected officials appear to be covering up their own
    inopportune or inappropriate actions by accusing someone else of having violated the law. (Tam was clearly questioning the appropriateness of some of the topics discussed–perhaps illegally–in closed Council sessions.)

    I just hope that the ICM and other city officials who so quickly attack others for alleged impropriety are willing to
    meet the same high standards called for by the Brown Act that they claim to be “defending.” When will the ICM come clean with all of her emails and blind copies?

  • Incredulous says:

    One problem I have with the “press”, be they on the internet, on television, or in print, is that rather than just showing the public the actual evidence, in this case the letters the City’s outside lawyer sent to the District Attorney, the “press” has to slant things for their own purposes, using headlines and text which misrepresent the situation.

    So, for the real story and only story on the Lena Tam situation, read the actual document which the City of Alameda released, i.e. the letter its lawyer sent to the District Attorney:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/34010954/Lena-Tam-Allegations-July-6-2010

  • Jon Spangler says:

    Doug deHaan used to complain at length about the topics discussed in closed session during previous years. He was never investigated at the time for leaking any information, even though he raised similar questions about the appropriateness of certain topics being discussed behind closed doors….

  • ct says:

    So this is how Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant responds to Councilwoman Lena Tam’s questions about Gallant’s contracting practices. If Gallant is genuinely concerned about a violation of the Brown Act, why not bring up the issue in public during an open City Council meeting? But no, because she feels Tam’s concerns were “professionally insulting,” Gallant has to take matters into her own hands, wield a big stick, and:

    1. Hire an “outside attorney” to investigate Gallant’s suspicions

    2. Have the Alameda County District Attorney’s office review her attorney’s reports

    3. Try to convince a grand jury to oust Tam from her Council seat

    4. And only then voice her concerns about Tam to the mayor and City Council

    Gallant is clearly attempting to deflect recent criticism of her own questionable actions onto someone else, someone who dares to publicly disagree with the imperial city manager and who champions government transparency. Many of the allegations appear to stem from information disclosed in frequent closed-door meetings, an obvious demonstration of Gallant’s scorn for openness.

    Is Gallant working for the City, or is the City working for Gallant? Her behavior resembles that of a small-town City Hall bully who, through fear and intimidation, keeps Council votes in line with her personal agenda: It looks to me like Ann Marie Gallant is Alameda’s very own Boss Tweed.

  • While it will be instructive to see what the DA has to say about the Tam question, one obvious difference in the Alameda and Santa Clara situations is that Santa Clara’s Mayor had a private self interest behind his public actions. Tam, by contrast, is not accused of taking care of her own in any way. It also makes me nervous that an unelected city official might be able to pick and choose whom to ‘vote off the island,’ as it were. We the voters are supposed to do that, not an appointed administrator. If the City Manager succeeds in removing a troublesome city councilor, she will have sent a chilling message to anyone else who might dare question her practices as Tam did. We need to retain that element of democracy where we, the people, chose who represents us, not an appointed official insulated from scrutiny.

  • RM says:

    For those who want to read the letters and emails that this is all about: if you call the city clerk’s office 510 747-4800, they’ll print a copy and you can pick it up.

    Then take it home, sit for an hour or so and read it for yourself.

  • Richard Bangert says:

    In the Alameda Times Star, February 25, 2004, Jill Tucker writes an article entitled, “School board told to get transparent.” The article refers to a letter sent by Lena Tam, chair of the Alameda County League of Women Voters, and contains the following: The letter called on the board to follow the “basic requirements” of the Brown Act, which ensures public access to and information about governmental meetings. Tam also urged the trustees to “go beyond the minimum requirements, and honor the spirit and intent of the act as well.”

    The full article is at http://www.mikemcmahon.info/brownact.htm

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Although not published/linked here the 25 page letter containing the specific allegations and supporting facts concerning TAM’s numerous and repeated actions is a must read before the readers and bloggers here get to wrapped up in defending those same actions. Entire nations of people disbelieved that Hitler could wipe out millions. Until the Allies discovered Auschwitz and the other camps.

    Violating individual employee’s privacy, hampering labor negotations, and giving inside information to SUNCAL concerning the state of the Council’s negotiations are pretty serious allegations. And these allegations are backed up with facts and copies of emails which leave a really secure provable trail. She can be removed from office as well as criminally prosecuted. Which is exactly what the independent attorney recommended. And she faces personal as well including the City in civil liability for those persons’ privacy whom she violated. The extent of the damage caused by TAM has only been broached. If the DA investigates her personal email accounts, there may be more actionable activities and persons who also committed crimes. People who received blind compies of privileged information should have known better. These are crimes against the entire community and our democratic system as it exists.

    TAM only focused on the ICM and CA after she was warned by the CA that her actions might be exceeding legal limits. Then she tried to fire the CA. The allegations about bidding and other actions occurred afterwards and are aimed at shifting the focus from her and onto them. TAM blindcopied COUNCILMEMBER GILMORE, an attorney, and JOHN KNOX WHITE, and unsuspecting persons like the Island’s MICHELE ELLSON. Did anyone say anything to TAM when they received blindcopies of these illegal emails?

    The sooner TAM resigns, the better it will be for the CITY and everyone in it no matter what side of what issue they believe in. This investigation/ prosecution is going to go on and continue for weeks, months and years otherwise. So we can spend time putting spin on the activities of TAM, or we get over it as soon as possible. And our elected officials can focus more time running the city instead of dealing with the investigation and prosecution of TAM. AS it is now, she is set to take down herself and every issue she supported.

  • Gillico says:

    Again, there are multiple problems in City Hall. It’s not just Councilwoman Tam who needs a thorough investigation; regardless of her motivations or feelings, ICM Gallant also needs to have her practices looked into closely.

  • Dennis Green says:

    Too late! Continuing investigative journalism will reveal, and probably revel in Tam’s actions re. Suncal, John Knox-White, the League of Women Voters, Lauren Do, this site and who knows how many of the people lining up to comment here. I know at least one reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle who will smell blood here, and future revlations may well prove embarrassing to all Tam’s contacts and the City of Alameda itself.

    Matier & Ross are already interested in the AP&T debacle because of the interest by SF in establishing it’s own municipal electric power. Chip Johnson is aware of huge unfunded pension/retirement benefits facing Alameda City Hall. Jill Tucker, who also writes for the Chronicle, is asking questions about Measure E, private self-interest conflicts at AUSD, budgeting issues and nepotism.

    Some of our more twisty local truths prove fascinating in the light of municipal agonies elsewhere, including Vallejo, Oakland and SF. Reporters don’t dig as deeply as Grand Juries do, but isn’t talk about Boss Twead and Nixon’s White House a little premature? I have never met Ms. Tam or been graced by her hot tips for bloggers, but I suspect that some of the people I have met will be called to testify. Advice: be candid.

    DG

  • Incredulous says:

    The law Tam is alleged to have violated, by giving attorney-client privileged documents and information to outsiders, is Government Code Sec. 54963.

    (a) A person may not disclose confidential information that has been acquired by being present in a closed session authorized by Section 54956.7, 54956.8, 54956.86, 54956.87, 54956.9, 54957, 54957.6, 54957.8, or 54957.10 to a person not entitled to receive it, unless the legislative body authorizes disclosure of that confidential information.

    (b) For purposes of this section, “confidential information” means a communication made in a closed session that is specifically related to the basis for the legislative body of a local agency to meet lawfully in closed session under this chapter.

    (c) Violation of this section may be addressed by the use of such remedies as are currently available by law, including, but not limited to:

    (1) Injunctive relief to prevent the disclosure of confidential information prohibited by this section.

    (2) Disciplinary action against an employee who has willfully disclosed confidential information in violation of this section.

    (3) Referral of a member of a legislative body who has willfully disclosed confidential information in violation of this section to the grand jury.

    (d) Disciplinary action pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) shall require that the employee in question has either received training as to the requirements of this section or otherwise has been given notice of the requirements of this section.”

    Those binders with 100 pages or so of emails are pretty tough to deny, so Ms. Tam just ignores their existence, as do her friends in the blogosphere.

    There is a law. There is a paper trail of evidence that Lena Tam broke it. It doesn’t matter who discovered the law breaking or who complained. The Legislature enacted the section of the Brown Act quoted above to protect the public, both the public purse and the public’s well being. Every resident, property owner and taxpayer in Alameda is supposed to be protected by that law.

    I frankly don’t care whether Lena Tam and her girlfriends like the City Attorney, City Manager, Mayor Bev or vice versa. Those issues are irrelevant and a grand jury or jury would see them as so.

    California is rife with political corruption at the local level. Local politicians have gotten very clever about gaining benefits from developers and other businesses, by receiving indirect favors, jobs for family members, business for their employers. You name it. It comes in through the back door or under the table.

    The problem with the rife political corruption is that District Attorneys are politicians, frequently Democrats, and there’s an old rule among politicians that one won’t go after another, at least when the crooked pol and the DA are in the same party. That’s why, in L.A. County, only crooked Democrat black and Latino politicians get prosecuted….L.A. County has a white, suburban Republican D.A. Jerry Brown was completely lame as Attorney General, in terms of prosecuting political corruption cases.

    So we’ll have to see what the Alameda District Attorney does. However, assuming she does nothing, I see nothing in the text of Government Code Section 54963 forbidding ordinary citizens from bring a “private attorney general lawsuit”, like a CEQA lawsuit, to obtain the injunction prohibiting further breaches of the Brown Act. And as with most “private attorney general” actions, the plaintiff’s lawyer gets to recover attorneys fees from the wrongdoer. So there is more than one way to punish a politician for leaking attorney-client privileged material.

  • Dennis Green says:

    I like the logical thinking Incredulous displays, so uncommon on this site, where the partisans usually just pat each other, and themselves, on the back. As a journalist myself, it also rubs me the wrong way such a sell-described “news site” would so often appear to have an unobjective opinion, (pro-SunCal, pro-Measure E), without ever quite coming out and saying so. Personnaly though, I like Michele and read her coverage almost every day, find it more readable than the Stepford blog or JKW.

    But let’s focus for a moment her on the political consequences of this new scandal. Yes, I agree the legal fallout is unavoidable, but so is the political coating of toxic ashes. We voters are not in a forgiving mood, and have demonstrated in a number of recent electiions recently that we expect more of our leaders, such as LEADERSHIP!

    The record of Mayor Bev and the City Council vis-a-vis SunCal is floppy and pathetic, period. I’ve worked with Ron Cowan, Tim Hoppen, Rich Sherrat and Aiden Berry, gotten the best sort of political advice from Bill “The Godfather” Godfrey, and any one of those gentlemen would run circles around a novice like Lena Tam. And now that her cat is out of the bag, she’s dead politically. The voters are. Ot as willing to cut her slack and make excuses for her as some of the writers here. Plain fact. In the public arena, you cannotnafford even the appearance of impropriety.

    We’ll have to wait and see if AUSD has learned its very expensive lesson in this regard, but I wouldn’t be buying any stock in them, or in Tam, just now.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    The next question becomes who pays for TAM’s defense? And all the persons who were blindcopied? And maybe “acted” or “used” that info? And all the entities whose causes she supported that are now going to be investigated? Can the Boys & Girls Club continue wihtout her grant support? Will EB Regional Parks District get drawn into this too? The DA has probable casue to now get into everyone’s email that TAM blindcopied. I can visualize the search warrant now. Only the bloggers and press will have a “press shield” copout. This may well turn out to be the snowball from hell as far as municipal business is concerned. I can just see her campaign for re-election now. [Assuming that the DA’s action do not preclude her form ever holding office again.] It is going to focus on each and every illegal action that shows up in the now 400 pages of emails and factual support. The public will never get to decide on the candidates’ positions on issues. Every debate, especially those sponsored or having to do with the League of Women Voters, will become attack fests for TAM’s growing list of disgusted opponents.

  • Ellen Paisal says:

    Having known Lena Tam for several years and having served in several capacities during her terms as President of the League of Women Voters I find it hard to believe she has ever violated any aspect of the Brown Act.
    Even when I have disagreed with her stance on some city issues I always respect her ability to clearly see the issue, state her views and cast a responsible vote.
    I have no desire to become involved in who said what to whom re: the interim city mgr or the Mayor. I do intend to take my time, do as much research as possible, make no judgements and try to be a fair as possible to everyone involved.
    Alameda is a very special town- provincial yes, in many ways, but also filled with many amazingly talented people who have added much to our community. Until absolute PROOF is provided, I prefer to include Lena as one of those smart, aware, public-spirited women who make living here such a treat.

  • Dennis Green says:

    Oh, Ellen, if only it were so! Tam’s attachment to SunCal, long after we voters kicked them to the curb in such numbers, demonstrates at the least very poor judgment and at the most some possible expectation on Tam’s part of personal benefit. “Develop the Point at any cost? This is our best chance no matter what?” As we too often say of public figures, “What was she thinking?” This is all about SunCal, and their attempts to override the voters and get their way with a “Plan” that isn’t much different from what we voters defeated. 5,000 homes on the Point?

    Jeez, Kiddo, do your math. High density development doesn’t work on an island with such limited access and egress. You side with Tam, you’re in denial about that too!

    DG

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