San Leandro city manager’s future not certain

Weeks after an independent investigator’s report ostensibly exonerated San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata of sexual misconduct claims by a local non-profit leader, comes suggestions that his future in the East Bay is not entirely ensured.

The San Leandro City Council called a special closed session meeting for Monday, July 2. The lone agenda item: Zapata’s employee performance evaluation.

Heightening speculation about Zapata’s future is that he has not appeared at a City Council meeting since he returned to work on June 5. Instead, Acting City Manager Jeff Kay has been at the helm for both public meetings since.

In addition, as most city council’s have already wrapped up their business for the mid-week Fourth of July holiday, San Leandro elected officials will return to City Hall after a regularly scheduled council meeting for the same day was previously cancelled.

Last November, Zapata was accused by Rose Padilla Johnson, the executive director of San Leandro’s Davis Street Family Resource Center, of seeking a romantic relationship with her in exchange for urging the council to approve a $1.5 million city-backed loan to the non-profit. Zapata was place on paid administrative leave in January pending an independent investigation.

A partial 10-page summary of the subsequent report, released on June 4, raised significant issues with Padilla Johnson’s credibility. On the same night, the council voted, 6-1, to reinstate Zapata as city manager. Councilmember Ed Hernandez was the lone no vote.

Still outstanding, though, is the contents of the entire report by Danville attorney Karen Kramer.   Earlier this month, the city announced the full report would be released sometime before July 31. Although it is unclear how expansive the entire report will be in relation to the 10-page executive summary, a recent council meeting debating a proposed lobbying ordinance in San Leandro, repeatedly referenced–albeit without naming names–individuals and issues potentially included in the full report.

 

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