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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Legal challenge expected

Uploaded: Dec 27, 2012
One legal fracas looming in the New Year is the legal action expected to be filed by Chris Gray, former chief of staff of Supervisor Scott Haggerty.
Haggerty fired Gray in June and this month the board of supervisors denied the claim filed by Gray for wrongful discharge. That sets the stage for filing a law suit.
Gray had served as chief of staff for Haggerty since Haggerty won the supervisor's seat when Ed Campbell retired in 1996. He was re-elected this year without opposition so will start his fifth term in January. Gray had been Campbell's chief of staff.
The unusual situation for office staff for supervisors is that the staff members are county employees and thus entitled to most of the same protections afforded to civil service employees. Of course, they serve at the pleasure of their boss, the supervisor, but things can get mucky. Thus, the legal challenge by Gray.
It played out in a very interesting way in Contra Costa County when former supervisor Gayle Bishop was convicted of nine felony counts using her office staff in an unsuccessful election campaign as well as lying to the county grand jury. Two of the perjury charges were dismissed upon appeal and she wound up serving a brief jail term.
Her staff members, who likely would have lost their jobs when the new supervisor took over, instead, appealed to the county human resources department and wound up getting placed in other jobs within the county system.
Gray has worked for many years in the county system. Whether he would want to continue within the county is a question only for him, but it will be interesting to see if this case is quietly settled or actually goes to trial. It was unusual for me, over the course of many years, to meet with the supervisor without Gray also being present.
Gray also was a successful political operator, running a number of campaigns including Haggerty's first election campaign and subsequent re-elections. He also advised on judge campaigns.
How this will play out is anyone's guess—one item I would be willing to bet on—both sides will want terms of any settlement sealed.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Dec 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

What a scoop! I hope when they make the movie of this taut political thriller, you get a share of the profits for your role in covering this gripping story.

Tim, you've dunnitagain!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Dec 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Daniel Bradford is a registered user.

"Wrongful Discharge" starring Matthew McConaughey as Chris Gray and Johnny Depp as Scott Haggerty. And Salma Hayek as the woman they both love. Can we get Oliver Stone to direct?

The climax of the film will be the out-of-court settlement. I just love movie scenes where people sign and then file legal documents; always sends a chill down my spine.


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