A Call for Marsala to Resign from the Atherton City Council
Original post made by John P Johns, CPA on Apr 4, 2010
During these three minutes I will explain why I believe Councilman Marsala should resign immediately from the Atherton City Council.
For the benefit of those who are unable to attend the City Council meeting of April 7th, I will explain my reasons in this Town Square Forum.
I believe Marsala should resign for reasons that go beyond his dubious status as a resident in Town, for his role in attempting to discredit Ms. Carol Smith a former Atherton Planning Commission member now living in another community, or for his loan request from Mr. Jon Buckheit.
I believe Councilman Marsala should resign because he has abused his position as a member of the City Council. By doing so Councilman Marsala has violated the public trust.
Councilman Marsala was ruthless, reckless and relentless in his efforts to discredit me during my tenure as Atherton's Finance Director and shortly thereafter.
At the outset of my suspension and investigation in August 2007, Councilman Marsala accused me in confidential interviews with investigator hired by the Town of attempting to undermine former City Manager Jim Robinson and of failing to act properly on possible overcharges in building permit fees.
Councilman Marsala repeated these accusations to the Palo Alto Daily News and to this newspaper. By leveling such charges against me publicly, Councilman Marsala violated my liberty interest in public employment, a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Councilman Marsala, under the guise of a series of "freedom of information act requests", actively participated in my personnel investigation. Marsala had hoped to obtain support for the allegations he leveled against me privately and publicly and to find additional grounds for discipline against my person.
By actively taking part in my personnel investigation, Councilman Marsala violated the separation of powers inherent in the Council Manager form of government that is Atherton's governance structure.
Shortly after my termination, Councilman Marsala issued a press release to publish the results of his own so called "audit" of the Finance Department. In this press release, Councilman Marsala released documents that had been ordered sealed by the San Mateo County superior court. By doing so, Councilman Marsala acted in contempt of court.
Subsequent to my termination Councilman Marsala has shown residents in Atherton a copy of an e-mail purported to be from a woman responding to an ad placed in an unidentified internet dating site. Councilman Marsala used this e-mail to buttress his claim that I was responsible for subscription charges to various internet dating sites that had appeared on my credit card.
In his zeal to find me "guilty as charged" Councilman Marsala completely overlooked the fact that this e-mail was sent not only to me but to another Atherton employee along with a standing member of the City Council at the time. As such the e-mail was clearly nothing more than spam. By acting with reckless disregard for the truth, Councilman Marsala has, arguably engaged in defamation.
During the three minutes afforded to me I will hand over documentation in support of the allegations against Marsala that I have leveled in this post. I will present seven sets of copies, one for the public, one for each memmber of the City Council and one for the press.
Now that my work is done, I do hope that my former colleagues, the Council and residents whom I served will continue to press for open, honest and cost-effective government.
I believe the first step will be to remove those from public office who have proven either unwilling or unable to live up to the oath that has been administered to them upon assuming office.
I believe an essential first step in Atherton's recovery is to call for Marsala to step down from his position as a member of the City Council.
I sincerely hope that the City Council has the moral courage to adopt a resolution calling for Councilman Marsala's resolution.
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