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Ann Marie Gallant Files Claim Against City of Alameda

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.

Gallant says that she was fired for refusing to participate in illegal activity, and for disclosing illegal activity – allegations of Councilmember Lena Tam’s malfeasance – to authorities.

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.

23 comments to Ann Marie Gallant Files Claim Against City of Alameda

  • Good for her. Since the nasty Lena Tam, minion of SunCal, has destroyed Ann Marie’s reputation as well as that of Teresa Highsmith, they are both owed reparations. I hope she sues the snot out of the city and wins.

  • Smart voter

    I totally agree, good for you Ann Marie, all our prayers and good wishes are with you.

  • Richard Hausman

    First, the Council did not terminate her contract as she states; they voted not to renew it — a very different matter under California labor law.

    Second, she is going to have a difficult time showing that there was any illegal activity in light of the Alameda County DA’s letter refuting such a charge. While she may have legitimately felt there was illegal activity at the time, to now claim again simply weakens her claim for compensation.

    Lastly, It’s rather absurd for Liz Williams to suggest that Alameda tax payers should give up their tax dollars to AMG. Perhaps she’d be in favor of a special AMG tax district?

  • Anonymous

    The surprising thing is that the city hired someone with such a terrible employment record. That she would sue after another brief and unsuccessful tenure was sadly predictable.

  • Betty

    I hope Ann Marie is successful and cleans out the funds she saved for Alameda.
    We have 3 people on the city council that are out for only themselves and
    don’t care what happens to Alameda or it’s citizens.
    Go get em Ann Marie.

  • Rev. Poodlesmurf

    Live by the sword … die by the sword
    bring on the transparency

  • Anonymous

    I thought the charter violation was “take NO action for 90 days”?
    Seems clear to me that action WAS taken.

  • Barb

    The DA did not refute a single charge made by ICM Gallant against TAM. She simply left her fellow democrat to wend her own way through what remains of her political life. Nor was TAM acquitted by a trier of fact. It takes no imagination to understand that forwarding confidential attorney client communications from the City’s attorney, to those with whom one is in labor neotiations or a lawsuit, is a breach of that elected official’s fiduciary responsibility to the people. Since TAM got away with this with SUNCAL and the firefighters, what makes anyone think she will do anything different in the future? The dearth of quality in the proposed replacements shows only a few truly desparate souls risk applying. Kate Quick has become the Boss Tweed and the League of Women Voters has become Tammany Hall of Alameda. All flamed by that ersatz prejudiced and biased “reporter” John Nox White. I wold suggest everyone keep up to date in the hard copy press with the Eastbay Express which is covering the goings on with an air of independence, treating it as news, and not an opportuhnity to further attack those perceived as the new Tammany enemies.

    I suspect O’Malley simply protected her budget. The prosecution of Governor Blagojevich resulted in conviction on only 1 of 23 counts (lying to investigators) in a jury verdict August 17, 2010. The U.S. Attorney for the district, announced he would seek a new trial as to the remaining counts, scheduled to begin April 20, 2011. Very difficult and costly to proseocute political crime. O’Malley simply chose not to try.

    Our Tammany advised and advertised council is now relying on the Meyers firm for legal advice. Meyers who so cavalierly recommended terminating the office of City Attorney and then hiring himself to the City of San Leandro, (See Gov. Code Sec. 1090), a felony with no statute of limitations. Alameda is now left with the prospect of paying TAM’s continuing legal fees. And this illustrious advice our legal eagles, Bonta, Gilmore and Meyers Nave, propound on one hand that ICM Gallant was not fired, yet immediately authorized hiring and paying for CUMIS counsel for the fired ICM Gallant in the SUNCAL litigation. Since SUNCAL came to TAM’s rescue by spending hundreds of thousand of dollars to elect Gilmore, Bonta and Tam. Does anyone think that the council is not paving the way for SUNCAL or something equally as bad returning to Alameda?

  • Rev. Poodlesmurf

    in light of these events … is anyone attending tuesdays city council meeting?

  • Anonymous

    get back to posting under your own name, Adam.

  • Anonymous

    Is there an employer that AMG has not sued?? Seriously!!! She has a history of claiming to be a “whistle blower” but is really a very skilled storyteller.

  • There are at least two cities now where Gallant has exposed and/or refused to participate in illegal activity, and suffered retribution for it, subsequent to which she sued the City. Anyone else would likely do the same.

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_resign15.3ea869c.html

  • lbaroni

    Gallant should be praised for refusing to participate in illegal activity!

    NO ONE should suffer retribution for doing the right thing.

  • Richard Hausman

    In response to Anonymous’ question, here’s her abysmal employment record:

    • 1997 – 2000 – Employed at L.A. Redevelopment Agency; Appraisal controversy and suspension over expense reports; Gallant agreed to resign

    • 2000 – 2003 – Employed as General Manager of Development Services at the City of Carson; subpoenaed by the LA County Grand Jury involving contract bidding; she was terminated by the City of Carson and sued the City for $215,000

    • 2004 – Employed as City Manager of the City of Gustine, CA; less than one year later, she began interviewing for her next position

    • 2005 – Employed as City Manager of King City

    • 2005 – Five months later, she was announced as Candidate A for City Manager of Desert Hot Springs

    • 2006 – 2007 – Employed as City Manager for Desert Hot Springs; four months after her official position took effect, she resigned stating that she was “involuntarily terminated” in her public settlement agreement and took a severance pay of $119,000

    • 2008 – Hired as Finance Director of Alameda

    • 2009 – Hired as Interim City Manager of Alameda on a 2-year contract

    • 2010 – City Council votes on Dec 28, 2010 to not renew her contract and placed on administrative leave.

  • Oh, come now Richard, we all know you are just part of the crowd trying to bash Gallant and defend Tam, Gilmore, et al.

  • Anonymous

    As opposed to you, Action Alameda, who is studiously impartial in all things.

  • Anonymous

    R.H. failed to disclose the reasons behind the changes in AMG’s
    past positions. You have also failed to explain why AMG was “bashed”
    in all of the recent campaign literature. She wasn’t running for office. And why didn’t the council follow the charter and wait 90
    days to take action?

  • Well, at least myself and richard Hausman stand by their words, “Anonymous.”

  • Opaque

    So the problem lies only with Ann Marie Gallant? I don’t think so. Read Teresa Highsmith’s claim below, in which she states that members of the city council originally approached her with concerns about SunCal being privy to supposedly confidential information. Tam’s cronies have tried to paint this as an attack on poor, persecuted Tam, but that’s not what happened.

    Former City Attorney Files Claim Against City of Alameda:
    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2011/03/15/former-city-attorney-files-claim-against-city-of-alameda/

  • JoeinSFO

    How do these people with such terrible records get these plush jobs ?

    Ann Marie was a MESS in Desert Hot Springs, then gets the job in Alameda.

    DO YOU PEOPLE NOT READ THE NEWSPAPERS ?

    Any moron with an internet connection can see the trail of destruction with this woman.

  • Les

    Known of this lady for a long time…She is very honest…The biggest problem people have with her is the fact that she tells it like it is.. if you are corrupt and doing something illegal she will report you!! Seems some in there comments fail to mention about the people that ended up in jail because of her actions. IE: City of Carson!!

  • Les

    Like the old saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”… Sounds like to me some people can’t stand the heat and want to fire the cook, in this case fire AMG!!!

  • Les

    No comment? Come on nay Sayers!! I’m waiting for a reaction!! Got my email…give me yours?? Love people that flap there lip and run!!!

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