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Atherton Gets Ready to Settle John Johns Litigation

Original post made by Concerned Resident, Atherton: other, on Mar 27, 2010

The Town of Atherton has posted a closed session agenda, the second in the ten days since the last council meeting, to discuss the John Johns litigation. This indicates to me that the Town of Atherton and John Johns are about to enter into a settlement agreement.

Undoubtedly this will involve Atherton paying a huge amount of money to Mr. Johns. Council Member Jim Dobbie has commented that in his view, a council member's defamation of Mr. Johns has created legal liability for the Town of Atherton. That council member is Charles Marsala.

For whatever reason, Charles Marsala took up the John Johns matter as his priority one issue long after John Johns was no longer part of Atherton. Were there more pressing issues to deal with? Clearly, if the ongoing financial budget crisis is any indication.

Mr. Marsala was very vocal about stating his (highly negative) views about John Johns in these forums, as well as multiple newspapers.

And now he's complaining about being the subject of a witch hunt himself?

If Marsala's big mouth created the legal liability, let Marsala pay the settlement amount. We can't afford to pay for his transgressions!

Comments (11)

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Posted by Don't settle
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 28, 2010 at 12:35 am

Charles has been terrified all year that John Johns would sue him personally for defamation and that the town resources wouldn't be paying to clean up his mess on this one.
Maybe this is what he needed the $500,000 loan for--to prepare to get sued, --to hire his own attorney and settlement pay out to the finance director
--or then again-- possibly Charles just wanted to look so flat broke that Mr. Johns and Lord only knows who else wouldn't bother to sue him.
He still has the Ferrari I'm told--just no place to park it.

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Posted by please don't settle
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Dear John Letter:
Are you really so fed up with Atherton that you are going to call it quits and just settle your case?
The full council knows very well that--
If you took this to trial you would win back your name, your job, your pension, and your legal fees-- and have purged the town of our worst politicians.
Have you decided to exact a different kind of revenge on Atherton?
Have you decided to leave us all stuck here forever with Charles Marsala and Jerry Carlson -as our punishment for what we have all let happen to you over the last few years?
Have more Mercy on us than we have shown to you.
Think about what you deserve-not what we deserve.

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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

The modus operandi of the empowered during the grandiose days of the realty/developer bubble was vitriolic personal attacks on anyone who voiced dissenting opinion to the council majority or to those who served them in appointed and employed office, or am I the only one who noticed?

Everyone in sight, including the press and the County government were supportive through complicity, and of this, they are well aware.

The economic driver behind those days is gone and shall not ever return, and for this, we can only thank God, and the cyclical nature of systems.

I pray that saner voices will be raised in the relative safety of these times.

All Mr. Johns ever wanted was to preside over the establishment of an ethical, humane government for the most beautiful and richest town in America. He loved the people here and just wanted human decency in government, ethic-ism and honesty.

What a horrible aspiration this appeared to be to some, whose denouement emerges before you in the present time.

The consequences, you have all witnessed.

Who among you has the courage to speak out?

Where do you think these things come from that serve you, yourselves?

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Posted by more clues
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:17 am

Dear Just a Thought
I wish I understood better what you meant by "where do you think these things come from
that serve you,yourselves?"
I understand everything else you have said exactly and have for some time--but am still full of unresolved questions that I ponder away on...

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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Dear 'more clues',

Thank you for making the effort of heart and mind to really listen and understand. It is appreciated more than you know to have even one such person hear me.

The answer is simple: These things that serve us come from within.

People don't understand how much external trouble is a manifestation of that which we focus on within ourselves. I know this sounds spiritual and trite to some, but I see it as true.

If only people were able to focus more on compassion and the common good, instead of selfish self-interest, none of this would have happened.

What has happened to the strength of good people who are willing to speak out and stand for good things in your community?

Perhaps, this is a phenomenon of our culture and the personal mind-sets it suborns as acceptable, normal or common place.

These things are more arbitrary and within our control than people wish to acknowledge and less absolute, in my opinion.

Thank you, again.


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Posted by just a thought
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Shame - It's not too late, and if there were a majority movement in your town, I am certain Mr. Johns would trade any monetary settlement for the chance to be your City Manager.

Personally, I cannot conceive of a more fitting resolution to all of this.

Your shame is appropriate, and shared, willingly or not, by every decent person who has remained silent.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:56 am

Todays article in the Daily News by Jessica Bernstein-Wax

"Mr. John Johns attorney Jon Parsons has confirmed an agreement is in the works that would give his client about $225,000 in settlement money and a letter of commendation."

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Posted by Shame on us
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Atherton gives an armed officer 284,000 dollars because someone might have once said some means words to her--even though the issue had already been through a jury trial and laughed out of the court room.---Officer Pilar Buckley
But a three year vicious and very personal persecution of Mr.Johns, consisting of nothing but false allegations, that ruined his future employment options and forced him to move his family out of the bay area is settled for just enough to cover his legal costs.--And a worthless piece of paper from the Town that is supposed to explain the whole exhausting episode away.
We should all be horrified and ashamed.

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Posted by SMann
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Does Mr Marsala and the council carry insurance for such matters...?

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Posted by meredith
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

Word around town is that John Johns is doing very well in private practice as a forensic accountant. In his case, the cliche "living well is the best revenge" seems appropos.

It's too bad we Athertonians remain stuck with Marsala. One could say that the joke is on us and that it isn't a very funny joke at that.

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Posted by mortgage broker
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:27 am

Here is a solution to Marsala's money and image problems. He should ask Johns for a loan. After all, it was Marsala who made the errors in judgment that caused the Town to have to write a great big check to Johns. Heck one could argue that Johns owes Marsala a favor.

It also seems as though Johns' forensic accounting practice is going well so Johns probably has a few extra bucks he could throw Marsala's way (assuming the interest rate is right).

Finally, Johns is no longer in litigation with the Town so nobody's going to claim that there is any conflict of interest.

Problem solved.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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