Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday’s Briefing: Ex-City Staffer Files Harassment Claim Against Desley Brooks; Alameda Council May Fire City Manager Keimach

Plus, SoCal water agency may vote to fund Brown’s water tunnels.

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 10:08 AM

click to enlarge desley_brooks_steven_tavares.jpg
Stories you shouldn’t miss for April 10, 2018:

1. An ex-staffer of Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks has filed an official claim against the city, alleging that Brooks verbally harassed him and created a hostile work environment, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. Sidney Wilson, who worked for Brooks from July 2016 until October 2017, also said that she forced him to collect cash from farmers’ market vendors and hand the money to her “without proper reporting of receipts of income and expenditures.”

2. The Alameda City Council may vote next week to fire City Manager Jill Keimach, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. The council placed Keimach on leave last month following an independent investigation into her allegation that councilmembers illegal interfered in her hiring of a fire chief last year. The council’s agenda for next week also indicates that the city expects to face more than one lawsuit over the controversy.

3. Gov. Jerry Brown is urging the Metropolitan Water District, which serves much of Southern California, to approve $11 billion in funding today for his giant water tunnels plan, reports Bettina Boxall of the LA Times$. The water district’s vote is expected to be close. Brown has pushed for years for the twin tunnels, to be built underneath the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, although recently his administration had backed a scaled down plan for just one tunnel. Brown now appears to have rejected the single-tunnel plan.

4. In an effort to spur the construction of housing for teachers and firefighters, state Sen. David Chiu, D-San Francisco, introduced legislation that would provide property tax breaks to developers who build middle-income housing, reports Katy Murphy of the Bay Area News Group$. “During the housing crisis, middle-income Californians are in a very tough spot,” Chiu said. “They don’t qualify for low-income affordable housing but also can’t afford market rents.”

5. It’s illegal for employers to pay women less than men for the same job — even if women made less money in previous employment, a federal appeals court ruled in San Francisco, reports Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle. “The ruling goes a step beyond other federal appeals courts, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had prohibited employers from basing pay differentials solely on workers’ previous salaries but had allowed them to consider prior pay, along with skills and experience, in setting new pay levels.”

6. FBI agents raided the homes and offices of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, searching for unlawful activity and payments involving Trump’s relationships with porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, The New York Times$ reports.

7. And Virginia Bakery, a Berkeley institution, announced that its closing later this month after being in business for more than 65 years, reports David Curran of the San Francisco Chronicle.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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