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Alameda Residents ask Attorney General to Investigate Zack Drowning

By Erica Madison

“The Grijalva report on the drowning of Raymond Zack is incomplete and full of inaccuracies, lacks scope and understanding of all the forces at play, and takes no corrective measures”, said Adam Gillitt during a press conference at city hall on October 11, 2011.

Gillett, an Alameda resident and business owner is part of a group of Alameda residents who have filed a complaint with Attorney General Kamela Harris. They’re asking her to investigate numerous allegations of corruption between the firefighters union and city council members, which they believe caused the death of Raymond Zack and left Alameda City unprotected.

The accusation doesn’t seem to be too far off the mark. In 2010, Councilmember Lena Tam was under investigation for illegal conduct and former Fire Chief Dave Kapler and City Manager Ann Marie Gallant are suing the city.

But Gillit and the residents are pushing for something bigger than just an investigation, these residents are asking for an overhaul of fire prevention assistance.

“We have launched a petition to move the City’s fire service to Alameda County Fire Department,” said Gillit. These outraged residents want Alameda County to replace the Alameda Fire Department and they have started getting signatures and passing out fliers demanding this.

The flier points out this would: “Save the city ten percent from the annual fire department budget, approx. $2.5M per year and more if we include Emergency Medical Services.”

The residents are not alone in thinking this. At a special meeting regarding the death of Raymond Zack Council member Doug Dehaan suggested that the City of Alameda stand down, meaning City Council needs to look at all of their policies and procedures, because if they are failing at this they are probably failing in other areas as well.

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