The City of Hercules is suing former City Manager Nelson Oliva and three of his daughters for $3 million, court records show.
NEO Consulting—the company Oliva founded—was also named as a defendant and possible others.
The complaint, filed Wednesday, stems from Oliva’s alleged financial ties to NEO while serving as Hercules’ assistant city manager and later as city manager. It alleges a breach of fiduciary duties and violation of conflict of interest law.
Hercules City Council hired law firm Bowles & Verna to prosecute Oliva, NEO and others. The council announced its decision to sue after a closed session at Tuesday’s council meeting. The $3 million it seeks is in restitution and punitive and compensatory damages.
Oliva served as Hercules city manager from April 2007 to January 2011, when, under public pressure, he resigned for undisclosed reasons. Before he was city manager, Oliva worked briefly as assistant city manager under Mike Sakamoto. Before that, he headed NEO, a firm that the city contracted with to run its affordable housing program.
He left in January with a severance package that included one year’s pay plus medical benefits and an extended due date for a $250,000 interest-free loan he used to purchase a home in Hercules.
The city is currently withholding part of Oliva’s severance pay.
Hercules Patch will follow up with more details on this lawsuit soon.