Monday, January 22, 2018

San Leandro non-profit leader, who accused city manager of misconduct, will sue the city

The leader of the local non-profit, who last week said San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata attempted to offer a publicly-financed loan for the Davis Street Family Resource Center in exchange for an intimate relationship, says she plans to file a lawsuit.

A lawsuit against Zapata and the city is pending, said Sam Singer, a spokesperson for Davis Street Family Resource Center CEO Rose Padilla Johnson. and stems from Zapata's 23-page letter, which he released to the public on Jan. 16.

Singer asserts Zapata's voluminous letter further defamed Johnson and the family resource center, and was written not by Zapata, as a private citizen, but as city manager. Therefore, Zapata’s actions, potentially represent legal liabilities for San Leandro taxpayers.

Johnson has said the impetus for her complaint to the city last month was to protect the Davis Street Family Resource Center from derogatory comments allegedly made by Zapata to members of the community against her and the non-profit, which has helps feed and clothe the poor, in addition, to providing health care services.

In an interview last Friday, Johnson said donations from the public were down in December by roughly $30,000, a downturn she blames in part on Zapata.

On Thursday, Johnson and the Davis Street Family Resource Center called on Zapata to resign or for the San Leandro City Council to terminate his employment. Zapata has served as city manager since 2012.

Last week, San Leandro City Attorney Richard Pio Roda said he was not aware of the letter before Zapata distributed it to the public.

"I think that's true," said Singer. "I don't think any city attorney would allow a city official to write that kind of letter."

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter also said she did not know about Zapata's letter beforehand.

In the letter, Zapata denied Johnson's allegations, first made to the city on Dec. 8, but unknown to the public before Zapata's letter was released last week.

Instead, Zapata said the complaint is an effort by Johnson and business partner Gordon Galvan to secure final approval for a medical cannabis dispensary located within the non-profit's current home.

The city maintains the Davis Street Family Resource Center, located on Teagarden Street, must repay the remaining $325,000 of a forgivable loan used previously by the non-profit to purchase the property before the dispensary can open for business. City officials say a dispensary is not a permitted use based on the original loan agreement.

During a city zoning board meeting last November, a representative from the Davis Street Wellness Center dispensary said the loan would be repaid, although, he also asked for additional time to come up with the money.

But Johnson says her complaint has nothing to do with the dispensary and instead about a $1.5 million loan from the city--since repaid--that she says Zapata supported and push through the City Council.

However, when the family resource center struggled in late 2016 to pay it back in a timely manner, Johnson said Zapata renewed years of inappropriate sexual comments and dangled the loan extension in return for a romantic relationship.


  1. By MW:

    In regard to the "standards" of the big boys in government, and especially when the right to engage in drug trafficking is involved.

    Some months ago I was at a meeting of AC's Unincorporated Services Committee at which there was a lengthy discussion in regard to having
    some new and "improved" rules and policies concerning who would be awarded the right to open a medical marijuana clinic. Since the County was leaning toward awarding only about three such permits for the entire unincorporated area, it was felt that there would be many applications for such, but only a few winning bidders.

    While in the past the winners had been selected by lottery, however under the new and "improved" system, the winners would supposedly be those "determined" to be the "best qualified."

    So in support of the new and "improved" system, one of the con artists with a law license from the County Counsel's office spoke for at least half an hour feeding us the standard lawyers' lies and garbage.

    However my position was that the permits should continue to be granted under lottery, since if they were granted on the basis of "merit," those declared to be the most "meritorious" would be whoever had provided the most in election campaign contributions and/or under the table bribes.

  2. In all fairness - while the prosecuting lawsuit is pending for Zapata & the city - we think the State, Federal, IRS auditors must perform an audit & investigation on Davis Street's financial reports, bank transactions, and personal chief executive accounts for Johnson as well for transparency.

  3. If found to be violation of the rules for tax exempt organizations, Davis Street board directors could be fined by the IRS and the organization could lose its tax exempt status.

  4. This article quoted Johnson, who says her complaint has nothing to do with the dispensary, but instead is about a $1.5 million loan from the city--since repaid--that she says Zapata supported, and pushed through the City Council.

    This conflicts with the former Mayor at the time who has openly claimed he was the one pushing for this 1.5M loan from the city for good deeds.

  5. "Johnson has said the impetus for her complaint to the city last month was to protect the Davis Street Family Resource Center from derogatory comments allegedly made by Zapata to members of the community against her and the non-profit, which has helps feed and clothe the poor, in addition, to providing health care services."

    Really Rose, that is impetus for your complaint - how does that justify your claims of sexual misconduct?

    Maybe the loss of donations is directly related to YOU wanting to bring a dispensary to the Resource Center.

  6. Steven Tavares, you may want to verify this:

    Former mayor Cassidy -- now adviser to the Davis Street Wellness Center -- is here for business in a burgeoning billion dollar industry. Coincidentally or not, Cassidy is also related to Gordon Galvan. [Their wives are cousins.]

    This could be a long planned situation with deep monetary motive, and greed.

  7. Mrs. Cassidy is a Commissioner on San Leandro's Human Services Commission. This Commission recommends grant award amounts to SL City Council for local non-profits, including Davis Street.

  8. Grants, pot license, any city activities with Davis Street should put on hold until completion of the investigation.


  10. And how much is Sam Singer costing Davis Street Family Resource Center? Thanks Rose, more money lost for programs...

  11. By MW:

    Sam Singer, and who is representing Davis Street and Rose Padilla Johnson in their dispute with Chris Zapata, has had a long run as supposedly being the very best and the very smartest at what he does, and just as Harvey Weinstein and Bernard Madoff also had long runs during which they were generally regarded as the very best and the very smartest at what they did.

    However the great reputation for successfully representing his clients that Sam Singer has had for at least a few decades now is nearing its end. In fact one of the major reasons Singer has had so much success was that he had been operating in San Francisco, and which is far and away the most corrupt major city in the entire country. In fact, Singer's office is located at 47 Kearny Street in SF.

    However when SF style "experts" attempt too often to employ their SF style "wisdom," "thinking," and "logic" outside SF, the results usually eventually lead to disaster.

    For instance SF lawyer Melvin Belli was notorious for the fact that he was much less successful with judges and juries outside SF than in his homebase of SF. (In other words judges and juries outside SF "lacked" the "intelligence" and "wisdom" to be impressed by Belli's lies, garbage, and nonsense. And Jim Jones, and later of Jonestown infamy, was another creature who found that SF residents, and due to their unique great "wisdom" and "intelligence," were able to "see" and "discern" his extreme "greatness," and while the stupid, uneducated, and unsophisticated hicks in such places as his native Indiana could not, and in fact they generally saw Jim Jones as a phony, con man, and charlatan, since they were not as "smart" as SF residents.)

    And then there was the time that a very politically connected SF organized crime ring, but which pretended to be a law firm, tried its SF style lies, garbage, and nonsense on a panel of judges outside SF, and then had those judges describe the statements of those SF lawyers as "an enormous snow job."