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Lawsuit could force Alameda County supervisor to prove he’s a full-time Oakland resident


Alameda County Supervisor Dave Brown has just a couple months still left in his time period, but the lawyer at the rear of a new lawsuit filed Tuesday desires to get him “tossed out of office” by Labor Working day over allegations he was appointed illegally.

In the match, the Alameda County Taxpayers’ Affiliation alleges that Brown was not a resident of Alameda County when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the board. The lawsuit may perhaps drive him to prove in courtroom that he’s a total-time, long term resident of Oakland even with going there from Walnut Creek just 4 days just before his appointment past November subsequent the dying of his predecessor, Wilma Chan, for whom Brown served as main-of-staff members.

Alameda County demands elected officers to are living and be qualified to vote full-time in the districts exactly where they serve for at minimum 1 12 months right before they begin their terms.

County Counsel Donna Ziegler beforehand established those people regulations really do not apply to Brown because he was appointed and not elected. But the plaintiffs see things otherwise, and argue that Brown doesn’t qualify as a permanent resident of Oakland for the reason that he stays just one evening a week at his Walnut Creek household, wherever his wife and kids still live.

Brown, in an job interview, called himself a “proud resident of Oakland and Alameda County,” — he resides in Jack London Sq. — and that he and his relatives “enjoy the estuary, farmers’ industry and the dining places.”

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“My appointment was what Supervisor Chan required, and it is what her spouse and children needed,” Brown mentioned.

Requested if he would shift back again to Walnut Creek following the conclude of his term, he claimed “I like Oakland.”

In June, Venus Johnson, the main deputy to Lawyer Common Rob Bonta, granted the plaintiffs’ capability to sue and observed Brown himself “has the load of proving this kind of a change” in his long-lasting home. Bonta recused himself from choices involving Brown after endorsing Brown’s appointment in November.

Brown was appointed swiftly to the District 3 seat by the Board of Supervisors at its Nov. 16 assembly just two months following Chan’s dying. Just after a tribute to the late supervisor — who was struck and killed by a automobile even though going for walks her canine — the supervisors moved to appoint Brown, who received hefty guidance at community remark.

“Dave is the best individual to switch her,” Chan’s son informed the board.

The supervisors’ hurried choice prompted a further pending lawsuit by the taxpayers’ team in excess of concerns the board skipped above looking at other candidates and subverted condition legislation that need a general public system for this kind of appointments. An product on the board agenda referred to as for building a course of action to fill Chan’s seat, but the supervisors skipped it and instead voted to appoint Brown without having publicly thinking of other candidates.

“The fact that citizens have to go to these lengths at their individual expense is just alarming,” mentioned Jason Bezis, an legal professional for the taxpayers’ group, in an job interview.

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“The county political establishment… all were being calling for this illegal appointment and pushing for it,” Bezis claimed, referring to textual content messages among Brown and two other supervisors about his potential appointment.

Brown, whose limited residency in the county produced him ineligible to operate for the seat in the June most important, will provide only till the stop of this yr with Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan and county organizing official Lena Tam competing for the open up District 3 Supervisor seat in a November runoff election.

The taxpayers’ team has campaigned versus past Alameda County tax steps, owning earlier sued in excess of the creation of Evaluate C, a half-cent revenue tax that was cleared to take influence by a county decide previously this month.

Brown led the marketing campaign for the evaluate to be permitted in the 2020 election — at the time, he was a Walnut Creek resident. It was just one particular of the examples Bezis cites of a political establishment in Alameda County that does not mirror the will of voters.

“The levels of political corruption in this scenario are just astounding,” he claimed.

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