Alameda City Council will meet in closed session tonight to discuss an item that suggests that Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam may sue the City of Alameda to recover legal expenses she incurred defending herself last year against allegations of official misconduct.
The item is billed as “anticipated litigation,” and explained, this way: “The significant exposure to litigation is connected to the filing of a claim by Lena Tam to be reimbursed for her out of pocket legal expenses incurred in defending herself in a proceeding initiated by a former City of Alameda special counsel with the Alameda County District Attorney which the District Attorney rejected. A copy of the claim is available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s office.”
Tam racked up in excess of $40,000 in legal fees and has previously asked the City of Alameda and the Joint Powers Risk Management Authority to reimburse her. The risk management authority has refused, and Tam would be stymied in a Council vote – Councilmembers Beverly Johnson and Doug deHaan, who supported the investigation of Tam, would likely vote against any reimbursement, and Tam would have to recuse herself, leaving only two potential votes in her favor from Mayor Marie Gilmore and Councilmember Rob Bonta, which wouldn’t be enough.
Members of the public can address council for up to three minutes on any closed-session agenda item.