San Leandro city manager’s accuser calls for his resignation after sexual misconduct allegations

Davis Street Family Resource Center CEO
Rose Padilla Johnson filed a complaint
against San Leandro City Manager Chris
Zapata on Dec. 8.

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL
The CEO of a prominent San Leandro non-profit, who last month issued a complaint accusing City Manager Chris Zapata of sexual misconduct, is now calling for his dismissal.

Rose Padilla Johnson, the CEO of the Davis Street Family Resource Center, a well-known non-profit in San Leandro and the recipient of millions in city grants over the years, says Zapata made a series of improper advances toward her starting just after he was named city manager in 2012 and up until a $1.5 million loan was given by city to the non-profit in 2016.

“Johnson and the non-profit organization today are calling for the immediate resignation of Mr. Zapata or his firing by the San Leandro City Council after the city manager sent a rambling, incoherent 23-page letter to the organization, the city, and local media with strange, misleading and false statements,” according to a press release sent Thursday morning by well-known Bay Area public relations guru Sam Singer.

ALSO: San Leandro city manager discloses allegation of sexual misconduct reportedly made against him by local CEO

“It is wrong, it is unacceptable, and it is unconscionable to use a public office to attempt to pressure me or anyone else into having a relationship in exchange for public funds,” said Johnson, in reference to a $1.5 million loan from the city to the non-profit in 2016. The loan was not immediately repaid and Johnson blamed the delay on the slow pace of remittance from the federal government for the non-profit’s services.

San Leandro City Manager Chris
Zapata was hired in 2012.

In the statement, Johnson said she wanted to avoid bringing up Zapata’s alleged behavior in public, but was forced to do so only after he continued to defame her and the non-profit, along with his own allegations that she was a liar. Johnson says the “final straw” was after Zapata allegedly began calling her the “black widow,” a reference she says to her late husband, former Alameda County Fire Chief Bill McCammon, who passed away in 2014.

“I have been a part of this community my whole life. I have been working for twenty-six years at Davis Street to provide healthcare, food, clothing, childcare, and shelter to the less fortunate,” said Johnson. “That’s all I have ever wanted to do. I didn’t want to shine a light on this horrible situation, but I was forced to because it threatened more than me. It threatened my reputation and my ability to help people who really need help.”

In his letter this week, Zapata denied the allegations, but acknowledged his job may be in jeopardy. Zapata’s tenure in San Leandro has generally been positive over the years. But the San Leandro City Council has discussed his performance in closed session several times within the past two months. During this period, it was learned this week, the subject was Johnson’s official complaint, dated Dec. 8.

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