Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 13, 2014

Still on the case

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: , , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

So, it’s not really clear from the records on the Domain Web site, but it appears that former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant’s appeal has finally has made it’s way out of default and may be moving on.   When last we left off, Ann Marie Gallant has appealed the judgment against her in her case against the City of Alameda and that for some reason the appeal was deficient in some way.   On the deadline to cure the default there was a notice to the court report to prepare a transcript, which supposedly is a sign that the appeal is moving forward but there isn’t a record of something happening between the notice of default and the notice to prepare a transcript on the Court of Appeals website, so I’m not sure what it all means.   However I am unwilling to shell out any money to look at the one register of actions on the Alameda County website  that might shed some light on the issue the “Memo to Case Memo to Case File Filed.”

But what did get filed, which is why this is all so confusing is the Motion for Attorney’s fees which was filed by the City, because remember the City gets its money back per the ruling.

The amount they are requesting…


April 10, 2012

A certain appeal, part 2 of 2

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: , , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Continued from last week”s post.  Of course David Kapler is not the only one with a lawsuit against the City, former Interim City Manager An Marie Gallant’s case is also in the appeals court over pretty much the same issue of the lower court dismissing the SLAPP motion proposed by the City’s lawyer.

In the City’s brief in Ann Marie Gallant’s case — who of course based her lawsuit on the contention that she was retaliated against for being a whistleblower essentially due to her role in the Lena Tam debacle, but here the City questions the consistency of that contention since AMG’s own statements pin the blame on Michael Colantuono for the whole investigation and sending the letters to the DA, which would make him, in fact the actual “whistleblower”:


April 5, 2012

A certain appeal, part 1 of 2

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: , , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Right now both the former Fire Chief David Kapler and former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant’s cases are tied up in appellate court.   Both are being defended by outside counsel Manuela Albuquerque, or in these cases she has appealed the lower court ruling that threw out the City’s SLAPP motion.

In the appellate briefs there are some interesting tidbits that I wanted to share.

Here are the bits from the City’s brief in the David Kapler case, what is revealed is that even though David Kapler seemed to blame Councilmember Lena Tam for his legal woes, it was in fact then-Mayor Beverly Johnson that the firefighters had approached regarding the issue:

And more revelations into the whole gas thing:


November 9, 2010

Fire in the hole

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: , , , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Yesterday, Michele Ellson broke the news that Fire Chief David Kapler had resigned.   Kapler, if everyone remembers, was placed on administrative leave after news and photos appeared of him gassing a BMW coupe with City gas.   And then reports about his previous stints in Tahoe and Rochester, MN also surfaced.

According to Michele E., Kapler has retained legal representation to press for his rights to get lifetime medical benefits that vested on October 1 of this year while he was on administrative leave.

What was interesting in Michele E.’s piece was this part:


September 23, 2010

Fire department storm

I had this post in the hopper to run two weeks ago, but some other much bigger news cropped up and bam, this one got sidelined.   So this is back to the issue of Fire Chief David Kapler, currently on administrative leave, which means he is in employment limbo until someone does something.    The official statement from the City is fairly vague, citing “personnel issues” which means that they can’t talk about it.

The combination of media coverage over the gas thing and the Tahoe troubles, as well as emails from people who used to work with Chief Kapler, apparently was enough to make the City do something in the form of placing him on administrative leave, but I wonder how long it will be until we learn anything definitive.   Anyway, you did read that right though, folks that used to work with Chief Kapler have caught wind of the questions being raised here in Alameda and have started reaching out to folks.

So another interesting controversy that Chief Kapler was embroiled in involved his last position in Rochester, MN as the Fire Chief there.     The gist is this: the Rochester Fire Department received a grant from the federal government, a SAFER grant, to fund additional firefighter positions.    At the end of the interview and hiring process, two candidates sued for discrimination.   At the lower court level, the courts ruled in favor of the City.   On appeal, the Appellate Court reversed the ruling.   Right now, according to this blog posting, the ultimate decision is up in the air.


August 23, 2010

Car trouble

Remember how I said things couldn’t get much worse in Alameda City government life?   Well…I was mistaken.

Because of the exposure and media coverage over the whole Fire Chief gas thing, information about the Fire Chief’s past woes are coming to light.   Michele Ellson at the Island has covered the story here, but thanks to an anonymous email, I have copies of the articles for you all.   Excerpt from Michele’s post which gives the nutshell:

Kapler resigned as chief of the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District in 1991 after allegations surfaced that he misused a department-owned vehicle. He was also accused by representatives of a casino and a builder of soliciting contributions in exchange for support on a construction project the owners of one casino sought to undertake and of a variance the other sought that would allow it to avoid installing sprinklers in a parking garage it planned to build, news reports issued at the time said. Kapler also came under fire for soliciting contributions including ski passes, a mountain bike and vacations for a program aimed at curbing department absenteeism, news reports showed.


August 19, 2010

Adding fuel to the Fire Dept

As mentioned by folks who have reviewed Fire Chief David Kapler’s employment agreement, the agreement is silent on the issue of whether free gas via the City’s own service stations is included.    The option, was to select a City owned vehicle or take the car allowance stipend in the amount of $250 a month.   According to the City Clerk’s office, this is a copy of the offer letter, as there is no other contract, this serves as the employment agreement between Chief Kapler and the City.

Chief Kapler opted, at that time, to take the allowance:


August 18, 2010

You’re looking so fly inside your BMW

Yikes!   If you didn’t think things could get any worse at the City government level, think again.   Apparently when things get contentious amongst staff and the public becomes hyper aware of potential problems, issues come out of the woodwork.

Over at the Island, Michele Ellson has posted an excellent expose about Fire Chief David Kapler’s use of city resources — in this case, gas — for his personal benefit.    A brief summary, but reading the entire article is worth it, according to Michele E. a few eagle-eyed witnesses noticed the frequency with which the Fire Chief was filling up at official Fire Department service stations,  but it wasn’t just for his personal truck which was outfitted for official use, but his private BMW coupe.   On Saturday, these witnesses snapped photos of the Fire Chief, off duty, and filling up the BMW and snapped a photo of the gas log.


August 16, 2010

What a bargain

On Friday, Michele Ellson posted an excellent piece giving the basic background behind the Firefighters Union lawsuit against the City of Alameda to compel the City into arbitration.    For those confused by the whole business this all started last year when the Interim City Manager and the City Attorney decided to modify the ordinance which covered health benefits for retirees from Alameda public service.

Interestingly enough, when this was passed by the City Council (4 to 1) the City Attorney and ICM assured the Council that this ordinance modification was necessary in order to go to the negotiation table with all the bargaining units (not just the Firefighters) in order to “meet and confer” and come to an agreement as to how to handle post-retirement health benefits.   According to the City Attorney and the ICM, without this ordinance modification the City couldn’t sit down to negotiate with this band of folks who agreed to work out a solution to the ever rising cost of post retirement benefits.

However, despite the Firefighters Union going through the process of first filing a grievance — a “grievance” according to the MOU between the Firefighters and the City is “any dispute which involves the interpretation or application of any provision of this Memorandum of Understanding” — with the Fire Chief and then the Interim City Manager, the City management opted to delay and stall and deny rather than talk it out through the grievance process outlined in the MOU.


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