Saturday, April 14, 2018

Alameda city attorney will ask City Council to refer Keimach taping case to D.A.

The Alameda City Council will discuss the
possible termination of City Manager Jill
Keimach on Monday night.
A day after Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach admitted to unlawfully recording two councilmembers without their consent, Alameda City Attorney Janet Kern said she will consult with the City Council on whether they want to refer the case to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

During Keimach's spate of interviews Friday, she also asserted that Kern was aware of her intentions to record Councilmembers Jim Oddie and Malia Vella beforehand, and that the action was legal.

MORE: What We Know: Keimach admits to recordings; implicates city attorney

Kern denied the allegations Saturday and described them as potential grounds for a lawsuit. "To be completely clear as to the false allegations being made about me by Ms. Keimach and her lawyers, I absolutely did not advise Ms. Keimach that she was authorized to surreptitiously record two City Council members. Those statements are false and potentially legally actionable," said Kern, in an email.

According to sources with knowledge of the taping scandal, the issue of referring the then-allegation to the district attorney has been a major point of contention among councilmembers and city officials. Although the taping incident occurred last fall, the existence of the recording only became known to city officials sometime prior to Keimach being placed on paid administrative leave on Mar. 9. Keimach, herself, provided the recording to the independent investigator hired by the council.

A special closed session meeting is scheduled for Monday evening to discuss possible litigation against the city resulting from the case, in addition, to the possibility of Keimach's being fired.

Meanwhile, the scandal, which was precipitated by Keimach's search last summer for new fire chief, quickly devolved into a swarm of antipathy between her and the local firefighters union; and allegations by Keimach that then-unnamed councilmembers violated the City Charter by applying political pressure on her to hire a candidate for fire chief backed by the union.

The pace of the burgeoning scandal quickened on Thursday with reports that Keimach illegally taped the councilmembers. An attorney for Keimach denied she recorded the councilmembers during a private meeting in August. But the next day, Keimach told multiple news outlets that she indeed, taped the councilmembers without their knowledge, but only did so because she believed their conduct was illegal. The act, referred to in the California penal code as wiretapping, carries a fine of $2,500 per violations and up to one year in prison.


  1. Alameda D.A. office must involve the San Leandro scandal too! Especially if later the investigation found SL city manager not guilty of any wrongdoing. D.A. needs to investigate every angles of his 23 page document to the public.

  2. By MW:

    If Janet Kern is actually going to insist that she believes the Alameda County DA's office engages in real investigations, and not just choreographed charades that only pretend to be real investigations, then I want to be her agent and get her a job as a performer on a late night comedy show.

  3. Councilmembers Oddie and Vella say they did no wrong. They can clear all of this up by demanding that the hour-long tape of their conversation with City Manager Keimach be released. Just release the tape.

  4. By MW:

    Relating to the post of 10:51AM, if Oddie and Vella are guilty, I am sure they can find some sleazy lawyer to invent a "reason" to "prove" that it is "best" and "proper" that the evidence be covered up.

    And as far as Constitutional protections pertaining to this and that, they should be much less in situations relating to government employees on the public payroll who engage in criminal activity while being paid by the taxpayers.

    In other words, the job of government employees is to serve the public, NOT to scam and rip off the public.

  5. 12:21PM, why so cynical? Oddie and Vella would never want anything covered up. They believe in transparency and they say that the tape, in fact, proves they did nothing wrong. I am beyond certain they will be demanding that the tape be released. There is no way they will hide behind a bogus excuse not to release the tape. They want the tapes out there. It would be like a 59 minute-long infomercial for them and the good job they are doing for Alameda voters.

  6. Wire tapping the felony crimes of conspiracy to commit, extortion and malfeasance (in office) is exempted from the wire tap prohibitions. Threatening another Raymond Zack situation - where firefighters stand back and watch a person die - is a crime against humanity by Vella and Oddie. Absolutely glad this was taped for posterity.
    633.5. Sections 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, and 632.7 do not prohibit one party to a confidential communication from recording the communication for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of the crime of extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, including, but not limited to, human trafficking, as defined in Section 236.1, or a violation of Section 653m, or domestic violence as defined in Section 13700. Sections 631, 632, 632.5, 632.6, and 632.7 do not render any evidence so obtained inadmissible in a prosecution for extortion, kidnapping, bribery, any felony involving violence against the person, including, but not limited to, human trafficking, as defined in Section 236.1, a violation of Section 653m, or domestic violence as defined in Section 13700, or any crime in connection therewith.
    Keimach's mistake was listening to a lawyer who did not know what she was talking about.


  8. Thursday's article mentioned two unnamed sources. Which two people would want this information out in the universe??

  9. Release the tapes ! "Lordy, I hope there are tapes"

  10. By MW:

    In regard to the "competence" and "stick-to-it-iveness" of Nancy O'Malley.

    Those who have followed major league baseball over the last several decades are well aware that the 1962 New York Mets are considered to be one of the worst baseball teams of all time, and that in fact many people consider the 1962 Mets to be definitely the very worst major league baseball team of all time. However if Nancy O'Malley, and instead of Casey Stengel, had been the manager of the 1962 Mets, the Mets would have been undefeated and won all 162 games that season, since any time a major league opponent had shown up for that day's game, O'Malley would have "studied" the situation, then invented some "reason" as to why the scheduled contest should not take place, and then she would have arranged a game for that day against a team made up of five year old children.

    And that is similar to the way she runs the Alameda County DA's office, in other words anytime a case comes up in which the potential opponent has some serious firepower on his side, and such as: one, a highly competent attorney; and/or two, a skilled and highly tenacious PR [person, and such as for instance Sam Singer, O'Malley - and after "studying" the situation, declares that there is no basis for prosecution.

    (So if O'Malley boasts of her high "batting average" of cases won, remember her team, in other words the AC DA's office, evades and avoids all major league and even minor league competition, and only agrees to go into battle against the very lowest of Little Leaguers.)

    For example at Library Gardens, in other words the apartment complex in Berkeley at which the balcony collapsed and six people who fell from that balcony were killed, at least one of the parties that could have been prosecuted hired Sam Singer, so O'Malley's office, and after "studying" the situation, declared that there was no basis for prosecution.

    (While I definitely do not like Sam Singer, and nor the things he stands for and represents, however I have to admit he is very effective and that he almost always wins.)

    Or if O'Malley decided to become a professional boxer, she would not engage in fights with Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson, but instead every day she would go into a large nursing home, select the most decrepit ninety-five year old person she could find, and then after two entire years of that, declare that she is not only undefeated, but also has a record of 730-0, and is therefore unquestionably the greatest boxer of all time.

    So if the AC DA's office does end up doing an investigation of the activities of such characters as Vella, Oddie, Kern, or Keimach, etc, if, and by some remote chance, the fix is not in from the very beginning and the DA's office actually decides, or at least initially, to do an honest investigation, still O'Malley would be scared off by any guilty party bringing in a strong, competent, and tenacious attorney and/or PR person.