Alameda councilmembers met for five hours
during a closed session in late January likely
discussing the same item being heard Friday.

An independent inquiry into allegations made last October by Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach against unnamed councilmembers may finally yield some answers next week.

A special closed session meeting scheduled for Mar. 9 at 1:30 p.m. was announced Thursday amid increasing pressure for the contents of an investigative report to be released to the public.

Four months ago, the Alameda City Council called for an independent investigation into allegations made by Keimach that some councilmembers applied political pressure on her to choose the city’s next fire chief.

In early October, Keimach sent the council a memorandum voicing displeasure with some elected officials, who she said, pressured her to hire a candidate for the vacant fire chief position who was backed by the city’s powerful Alameda Firefighters Union. Under the City Charter, the city manager is given the power to hire departmental heads. Any interference by elected officials is prohibited by the charter.

Ultimately, Keimach did not choose the union’s pick, and, instead, hired Ed Rodriguez, a former Salinas fire chief.

The council moved on Oct. 17 to name a third-party to investigate Keimach’s allegations. But, on the periphery, Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri told the East Bay Times that Councilmember Jim Oddie, during an event on Aug. 1, suggested to him that Keimach’s job could be in jeopardy if she did not hire the union’s preferred candidate.

It is unclear whether the closed session next Friday will result in any conclusion. The City Council previously met in closed session for nearly five hours on Jan. 27 without any reportable action.

It is believed the topic of that meeting centered on the investigation, in addition, to potential or anticipated lawsuits. All five members of the City Council, some with facial expressions more glum than others, attended the late January closed session. Keimach, however, was not seen.