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Gallant Files Lawsuit Against City of Alameda

On August 15th, former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant filed a long-anticipated lawsuit against the City of Alameda, claiming wrongful termination, breach of contract and emotional distress. Ms. Gallant’s employment with the City of Alameda was terminated on December 28th, 2010, when Mayor Marie Gilmore, and Councilmembers Lena Tam and Rob Bonta voted to dismiss her.

In March of this year, Gallant had filed a claim with the City of Alameda, typically a precursor to a lawsuit, making similar claims, including the claim that she was terminated because she “refused to participate in illegal activity.” Last year, Gallant went public with a series of allegations of official misconduct against Councilmember Lena Tam. The claim was rejected on April 6th.

In her lawsuit, Gallant asserts that on December 28th, Ms. Tam “influenced two other council members, Marie Gilmore – now the mayor – and Rob Bonta – a newly elected council member” to vote to terminate her contract. She also notes that Tam publicly endorsed both Gilmore and Bonta and helped raise money for their campaigns.

Gallant also asserts that Rob Bonta’s vote to terminate her contract was in violation of Section 2-2 of the City Charter, which prohibits newly-elected councilmembers from taking personnel actions within ninety days of their swearing in.

Inasmuch a the December 28th vote was not valid, Gallant says, the City of Alameda defaulted on her employment contract when they stopped paying her in early April without a required 90-day written notice, hence the breach of contract claim.

Gallant is asking the court to award front and back pay, monetary relief and general damages according to proof, interest on monies owed, and attorney fees. The case is RG11590505 in Alameda County Superior Court.

The City of Alameda has previously stated that the vote was valid and legal. Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment over the weekend.

The complaint is reproduced below.

Ann Marie Gallant Lawsuit Against Alameda August 15 2011

14 comments to Gallant Files Lawsuit Against City of Alameda

  • Barb

    The three stooges at work! How can one [BONTA] who works for a City Attorney not know he cannot take any action to remove any employee until after he has been in office for 90 days? And how can an attorney [GILMORE] who has been a councilmember for 6 years not know that we have a strong City Manager form of government and that she cannot vote to fire any but her the three employees who report to her? And of course these actions were all taken because GALLANT caught TAM sending confidential emails during fire negotiations to the fire departments own negotiators?
    Which sounds better ALAMEDABELL or BELLAMEDA?
    Alameda is being run by a bunch of crooks whose next move to is further screw Alamedans and give COWAN the golf course to build more houses and create more traffic.

  • Richard Hausman

    Your statement that “Ms. Gallant’s employment with the City of Alameda was terminated on December 28th, 2010” is not accurate. Ms. Gallant’s contract with Alameda as the the ICM was not renewed. That contract specified that it would have automatically renewed on April 1, 2011 unless a vote by the City Council was held at least 90 days before the renewal date not to renew. That is what happened. Whether her suit will be tossed on summary judgment remains to be seen.

  • Semantics Richard… semantics….

  • Ms Gallant was effectively removed from the position as of that date and no longer allowed access to her office, her files, her computer, and she was prevented from performing her duties. That constitutes taking action, Richard, any way you slice it, even as pompously as you do it.

  • Herculean

    Richard, if you don’t like Alameda’s City Charter,you could always retire to Twain Harte. The rest of us prefer that the City Council uphold it & act accordingly.

  • Barb

    Summary Judgement? Surely you jest? Alameda’s charter Sec. 2-2 states: “During a period of ninety days immediately following the date of installation of any person newly elected to the Council at a regular or special municipal election or of any person newly appointed to the Council,the Council shall take no action, whether immediate or prospective, to remove, suspend, request the resignation of, or reduce the salary of, the incumbents in the aforementioned appointive offices.”

    Isn’t it a triable question of fact whether or not locking someone out of her office constitutes removal – which is the stnadard for granting a “summary judgement”?? Even the 3 stooges could have figured that one out if they weren’t so arrogant as to not even read the Charter. Lock out = removal. How about the economic torts as well? And any lawyer worth anything would plead violations under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act secs. 1983 et. seq. and the Jesse Unruh Civil Rights Act as well.

    What exactly does BONTA try to do for the SF City Attorney?

  • DHL

    This is just fabulous. First the AFD’s actions (DelBono’s in the Vanderheiden v city of alameda ), then Tam’s actions (blind copying city-confidential emails to a potential point developer, John Knox White, and IAFF Local 689 DelBono), and now the GilBonTam actions illegally firing AMG (yes it was a removeal, a firing) are causing us more lawsuits, employee overtime, attorney fees, etc. that our city can ill afford.

    I don’t know about you all, but I’d rather our elected officials did their job ethically and above board so that 1. the jobs would be well done and 2. our city revenues could be spend on things like the animal shelter and the parks. And I’d rather the city got concessions from every union before moving forward. $300K per year for any public service staff is RIDICULOUS.

  • Betty

    Let me out of here…it’s an asylum..
    or maybe I am just kicking myself for not getting
    a job with the city of Alameda.

  • Vania

    Barb, in answer to your question, I ran Bonta’s name through the California Appellate Reports and it appears he defends police beating cases. You know, the SF cops beat the crap out of someone; they sue in Federal or state court on a civil claim; and the “defense attorney” tries to get the cop and the City/County of SF off the hook.

    Bonta should be a big disappointment/disgrace to his mother, who was an active follower of Caesar Chavez. As us old folks remember, the Kern County Sheriffs Deputies used to regularly beat the crap out of Chavez and his fellow union members.

    Some old records show that after he got out of law school Bonta went to work for a well known criminal defense attorney named Keker, who defended one of the Enron officer/thieves/fraudsters, as well as at least one infamous politician. My bet, Bonta wasn’t up to Keker’s standards for high quality brain power, and whoever was SF City Attorney at the time was glad to burnish the office’s resume with a minority group member who had gone to an Ivy law school. Generally, in a big city or county’s “city attorney office” one does not have to exhibit the same level of intellect as is required to survive and thrive in a top law firm in SF, San Jose/Silicon Valley or LA.

  • notmayberry

    Betty, have you noticed that the Sun’s “Police Blotter” this week lists no less than 8 Alameda arrests for “insanity”? There were 4 arrests for insanity the previous week. Last I heard, insanity was not a crime. But, hey, now its documented! Insanity on Webster! Insanity on Clinton Ave.! Insanity on Buena Vista! Coming soon to a street near you.

  • not-a-john, either

    Only the names have been changed (Jon, Kate, Lauren, Knox) to protect the innocent?

  • Denise Shelton

    On the one hand, I’d like the City to win because I don’t want more of our money spent on something that only benefits one person, and AMG has already been pretty well compensated by the taxpayers. On the other hand, if Giltambo did do wrong, as many suspect they did, it must be brought to light. They’re all about sunshine, right?

  • Barb

    Oh yes, The keker firm. Weren’t they well paid by our city to defend TAM? Incest at it worst. the inbreeding, breeds nothing but more stupid and nursing at the government trough.

  • Betty

    I have noticed that insanity has spread throughout the city.
    It must be in the water.

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