Former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant has filed a claim against the City of Alameda citing damages sustained at a closed-door Alameda City Council meeting on December 28th, 2010, wherein three council members voted to effectively terminate her contract. Filing such a claim is typically a predecessor to a lawsuit.
In her claim, Ms. Gallant describes her damages as “wage loss, emotional distress damages, attorney fees and costs” and notes that the total amount claimed exceeds $25,000 but does not name an amount. The claim was received by the Alameda City Clerk’s office yesterday. Action Alameda News obtained a copy of the claim through a public records request to the City of Alameda.
Attached to her claim is a personal statement, reproduced below:
Attachment to Tort Claim of Ann Marie Gallant
I was terminated because (1) I refused to participate in illegal activity; and (2) I disclosed information pertaining to illegal activity to government agencies. The illegal conduct was done by City Council Member Lena Tam. The laws violated include, but are not limited to, the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code section 54950 et. seq. (“The Brown Act), Government Code sections 3060-3075, Sections 7-2 and 7-3 of the City Charter, and Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution. Ms. Tam’s illegal conduct is discussed in detail in a March 26 2010 letter from Michael G. Colantuono Esq. to Lawrence Blazer, Assistant District Attorney, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
I reported all of the information regarding Ms. Tam’s illegal conduct to (1) Michael G. Colantuono, Esq. , the Special Counsel for the City of Alameda; (2) the Alameda City Attorney, Teresa Highsmith; (3) and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. I made the decision to hire Special Counsel Michael Colantuono to investigate my concerns of illegal conduct. Mr. Colantuono’s investigation confirmed that Ms. Tam engaged in the illegal conduct and resulted in Ms. Tam’s illegal conduct being reported to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
On December 28 2010, the Alameda City Council voted to terminate my contract. Ms. Tam influenced two other council members, Marie Gilmore – now the mayor – and Rob Bonta – a newly elected council member – to vote to terminate my contract. Council Member Tam used her influence to help get Marie Gilmore and Rob Bonta elected. Ms. Tam publicly endorsed Ms. Gilmore and Mr. Bonta and she raised money for both of their campaigns.
The December 28 , 2010 vote to terminate my contract was done in violation of Section 2-2 of the City Charter. Specifically, Mr. Bonta was sworn in on December 21 , 2010.
Pursuant to Section 2-2 of the City Charter, the City Council was prohibited from terminating my contract until ninety days had elapsed from December 21 2010. The legal claims that will be brought include, but are not limited to, Labor Code 1102, 5(b), Labor Code 11 02.5 (c), and declaratory relief.
Gallant has retained William Marder of the Polaris Law Group in Hollister to represent her.