Group to Demand that San Leandro City Manager Be Fired Over Harassment Claims
(by Jeff Shuttleworth) – Supporters of the chief executive of a non-profit group that helps poor and disadvantaged people gain access to healthcare say they will come to the San Leandro City Council meeting tonight to demand the immediate firing of City Manager Chris Zapata.
The council voted unanimously two weeks ago to place Zapata on paid administrative leave because of allegations that he sexually harassed Rose Padilla Johnson of the Davis Street Family Resource Center.
Johnson alleges that Zapata attempted to pressure her into having a sexual relationship with him in exchange for continued public funding for services for needy community members.
Sam Singer, a spokesman for Johnson, said about 50 supporters of Johnson and the Davis Street Foundation will speak at the start the council meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the San Leandro City Hall
at 835 East 14th St.
Singer said in a statement that although the City Council placed Zapata on leave pending the outcome of an independent investigation, it “did not act swiftly enough.”
He said, “Local supporters will be at the council meeting tonight to voice their concern about the council’s actions and demand the immediate firing of Zapata.”
In a statement two weeks ago, San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said the city hired an independent investigator as soon as they learned about the allegations against Zapata.
Cutter said in a statement, “The city of San Leandro does not tolerate nor condone harassment of any type.”
But, referring to placing Zapata on leave while the allegations against him are investigated, she said, “It also believes in due process.”