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Get Justice for Hercules

Hercules Residents - Go to City Hall and sign the letter to the Contra Costa District Attorney demanding action in the case of the former City Manager, Nelson Oliva.  See the notice below from our Interim City Manager's Weekly report.

Criminal Investigation Request – Also at the February 11th Council meeting, discussion was held regarding the submittal of a formal request to the District Attorney to conduct an investigation of potential criminal wrongdoing on the part of former City Manager Nelson Oliva. The City Council directed staff to prepare the correspondence and to provide the community an opportunity to sign the document prior to submitting to the DA. As of this writing, a draft of the correspondence has been prepared and it is anticipated that the final document will be available for Hercules residents to sign after 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. If you are interested in supporting the City’s request, you will be able to access the document through the City website, www.ci.hercules.ca.us, to provide an electronic signature or you can stop by the reception desk at City Hall, 111 Civic Drive, and sign a hardcopy.

Sarah Creeley February 21, 2014 at 12:21 AM
Thank you, Patty, for the heads up! i will definitely go to sign this. Is there a deadline as to how long it will be there? I hope many people sign it.
Patty O'Day February 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM
I understand that the letter will for sure be available until the next City Council Meeting, which is Tuesday, February 25, so I suggest folks either come to that meeting or come to City Hall prior to that. They might extend the deadline a day or so, but I highly suggest people go there by Tuesday to sign it.
Sarah Creeley February 21, 2014 at 01:37 PM
I signed online using the link in the article and it was super easy.
Patty O'Day February 21, 2014 at 02:06 PM
I just signed online using the link also. I was person #29. Come on Hercules Residents, let your voices be heard.
Butch February 21, 2014 at 02:25 PM
Off to city hall to do just that. Hope more people are steping up and signing this.
Giorgio C. February 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM
I signed. Thanks, Patty. DA Mark Peterson has some explaining to do. I guess he is too busy going after bullied teenagers and trying to clean up the mess that his agency has become. Is he running for re-election?
Dennis Barry February 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM
I also signed online yesterday. It said I was #32. Pretty disappointing for a town that's gotten so heavily shafted by these jokers.
Giorgio C. February 24, 2014 at 09:16 PM
Few read the Patch anymore because it is rarely relevant. The few signatures on the petition are a reflection of this low readership. I bet if this petition were circulated about town, you would have the signatures pronto. Again, the Patch is the worst venue for any issue you want heard. The number of signatures probably represents the total number of Hercules citizens following the Patch.
CHACHA February 25, 2014 at 04:12 PM
OK great! But why did it take soo long for the residents to step-up w/the idea of a DA petition, lol?! Now, only if the City of Pinole residents could follow-suit n be astute w/o dragging their feet to do the same thing n/or vote these bums out of office w/their "deadbeat/crooked n incomp" croonism W/City of Pinole politicians cowing-down to BIG CORP LOBBIEST n personal interests/gain b4 it's too late (already, ie. taxes, bldg/biz permits, Verizon cell-towers, Chevron, Target, McDonalds, KrispyCreme, labor unions, BART, etc) )?!?
Patty O'Day February 25, 2014 at 06:19 PM
At the last City Council Meeting in January, City Councilmember Kelly asked for a discussion on sending the DA a letter requesting an update and action on this matter. At the February 14 City Council Meeting, during the discussion period, City Councilmember Delgado suggested that they invite the citizens of Hercules to sign the letter. The crowd at the meeting was very audibly in agreement with this idea, and I think people even clapped. The City Council Members all voted to include the citizens in the process. So, thank you to our City Councilmembers.
Giorgio C. February 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Did the DA ever respond to the complaints that some citizens submitted a few years back about this matter? They should have provided a response, one way or another. What happened? Why are we going down this road yet again? I remember receiving an email from the DA saying things were being addressed, that the Feds were investigating. And now here we are, asking the DA to do their job. Again. Anyone who submitted a formal complaint should have received a formal response. What was that response?
Phil Simmons February 27, 2014 at 03:50 PM
@Giorgio, You are quite correct. This was all done a couple of years ago. To say the lest about the media coverage and the involvement in the past City management and the past police department. This looks like political pandering and a political vendetta. If the Council or City Hall has new or as yet unseen information then they should provide it to the DA through normal channels. But the posse is on the trail and maybe this go around something new will move this forward or at the least put the whole matter to rest so that the City of Hercules can look at a future instead of a past.
Patty O'Day February 27, 2014 at 05:40 PM
It is my understanding that there has never been any kind of report or any arrests made in this matter, by any of the investigative agencies. There was obviously wrong-doing by past city officials. The current City Council is simply asking for an update or report, and hopefully for some action, possibly including arrests. I do not know of any new information, but I believe we should at the very least get some sort of report.
Phil Simmons February 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM
@Patty, Since you have not been in Hercules long, you need to know that I was one of 5 directly involved in the organizing and the actions that lead to the uncovering if the City mess which included the recall and the actions that forced Oliva out of his position. So, I have no love for the lack of solutions regarding this matter. But, according to one of the ex City manager-Ex Police Chief this has been in the hands of the FBI and DA for several years. The FPPC not only provided a report but they fined Oliva $70K (as I recall) for the matters relating to State ethics practices. The City also dealt with the matter in a lawsuit in which they won a judgement over civil matters, an altogether appropriate action. There may very well be other outstanding matters in the works. But there is a process, which has been at play for some time. And eventually there may be an action taken, if any action can be taken. The rest is pure politics. But then again, politics does sometimes trump law. So, maybe everyone will get what they want. Governing by the masses and justice by petition seems to be the American wish.
Patty O'Day February 27, 2014 at 06:43 PM
Well, I am all for governing by the masses and I think justice by petition is one way to do that.
CHACHA February 27, 2014 at 07:10 PM
....duh? Govern by MASSES/PETITION w/only 40 sigs/people of Hercules, whata joke!?
Phil Simmons February 27, 2014 at 07:30 PM
@Patty, Interesting, that would explain a lot. I'll not gain any PC friends over our discussion here, but I call it the way I see it. Without regard for hearsay. So, convince me. If you think something criminal was done, Enlighten me. Not something unethical. Not something that maybe deserved losing a job over. Not something that does not meet the standards of political practices in the State of CA and might end in fines. But rather something criminal. Something a judge and jury hears and sentences with prison time over. I have my suspicions of some possible laws that might have been broken. But if my suspicions were true they are all based on things that City Hall, the Press, the Council(s), and the DA knew of years ago. For now they are merely my imaginings. And to date these suspicions have not been founded in evidence or actions. I can only assume that there is more to the story than I may know. And if City Hall has something that meets this measure then they should simply turn the facts over to the authorities. No need for grandstanding to the Press or the Public. So, again, convince me. You signed a petition. What crimes do you know of that were committed? And by the way, do you consider the past Council members that allowed the charges being leveled by this Council to be accomplices?
Phil Simmons February 27, 2014 at 07:35 PM
@ChaCha, Actually there are almost 300 signatures now. But your point is well taken. Considering that past exercises in justice in Hercules have usually resulted in over 3000 signatures within the same time frame and without a push by City Hall this is as you say a pretty poor showing.
Giorgio C. February 27, 2014 at 09:22 PM
The politics of this cannot be ignored. Only recently, WCCUSD President Ramsey appeared before the council to discuss school safety issues, including the fact that the DA was seeking to prosecute a Hercules student for how they defended themselves with their dukes from bullying. Mr. Ramsey specifically mentioned "the ELECTED DA" when proposing how the City should deal with this. The ELECTED DA. And it is an election year for Mr. Ramsey, and I believe, the DA. I learned a tough lesson when the WCCUSD sought approval for the debt limit waiver, that our elected council does not always act on their principles, that sometimes politics guides their actions and decisions. These are some very good folks on our council, but they all roll around in the hay with some WCCUSD board members (Kronenberg, Ramsey), and Senator Hancock, and others. As for Councilman Kelly, this is the man who wanted the AG to investigate Mayor De Vera for issues related to blogging. The AG for Myrna? Seriously? Well, like Mr. Kelly admitted, sometimes his friends say he can be "cooky" at times, so I now pay close attention to his actions, and I do not regret electing him. Again, this entire council has taught me a tough lesson, that politics often comes before principles, otherwise you will never get elected. Of course, if you can't act on your principles, then what's the point of getting elected?
Phil Simmons February 27, 2014 at 11:17 PM
@Giorgio, Just a small correction to your comments. In your reference to Councilman William J Kelly Esq. I believe the correct spelling is Kooky not Cooky ( - :
Giorgio C. February 27, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Hey, you're right, Phil. According to <www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/cooky> "cooky" is any of various small flat sweet cakes (`biscuit' is the British term). 2. n. the cook on a ranch or at a camp. FULL DEFINITIONS OF: cooky. 1. n any of various small …Was Mr. Kelly ever a cook on a ranch or at a camp?
CHACHA February 28, 2014 at 01:36 AM
"KROOKIE" may be a more appropriate name for him!?
Patty O'Day February 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM
It is my understanding that many people in Hercules still do not feel that they have a final report or know the findings of whatever investigation was done. I see nothing wrong with asking for a status update. Kelly stated that he is approached all the time by citizens complaining that nothing has been done on this issue. I believe him. I really don't know why you are so angry about everything Phil. I am trying to do what I can do to help the City of Hercules feel better about themselves. I think signing this petition is one step in that direction. I believe in giving the citizens a voice.
Phil Simmons February 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM
@Patty, Sorry if I seem so angry about Hercules. If I am, it's not about this matter. And frankly the anger I hear is not coming from me. It is being percolated out of the City Council. Besides, nothing from this Petition is going to make Hercules feel better about itself. Quite the contrary. Asking for a status report is one thing. But it is not the thing this petition is about. A simple read of it implies something totally different than requesting a status report. Besides, a request like that could simply be done by the City Manager, the Police Chief, or perhaps even the Council by directing the staff. But, It seems very odd to me to for the Council to draft a letter and then create and sponsor a Petition drive, regardless of its purpose. It smacks of a government body using a push poll. It is quite backwards. I could understand a citizens group creating a petition, promoting it, gathering supporters and then demanding or requesting that the Council acknowledge or support it. That sort of thing happens all of the time. But for a governing body to use a petition drive to garner public support and then use their self created petition to make demands of another governing body just seems backwards. And it is certainly confrontational. In the end if everyone gets their vengeance that's fine with me. But the City of Hercules continually finds ways to use its power in some really weird and potentially harmful ways. A litany of the past failings of City Hall and its Councils serves the point quite well. And that is not ok with me. And Council and City Hall's constant use (misuse) of power in Hercules is what makes me angry.
CHACHA February 28, 2014 at 02:51 PM
KUDO'S PHIL! Do u or anybody have an update on the new Safeway Store Shopping center n/or a much-needed BART-line extentiion into the Hercules/Rodeo?
Phil Simmons February 28, 2014 at 03:09 PM
ChaCha, The sell of the City parcel, Sycamore Crossing, is not complete yet. Safeway will most likely buy it. But the most recent news that the Safeway Corporation is possible going to sell to another corporation. There have been 2 takeover attempts this year to buy Safeway. The Safeway management made a public statement a few days ago that they are considering selling. This most likely puts the Hercules Safeway on hold until more is known, though City Hall has stated that Safeway considers things to be "business as usual".
Phil Simmons February 28, 2014 at 03:14 PM
ChaCha, BART is a whole different matter. There is approved funding for a study to consider a West BART expansion. That's the good news. The not so good news is that both the Safeway deal and the development plans that have been discussed by the Market Hall owner are planned in ways that will not support a BART in Hercules. If you support BART in Hercules you will need to reconsider your support of Safeway, at least in the way that Safeway has presented and the way the Council seems to support.

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