WILLIAM J. KELLY ATTORNEY AT LAW firstname.lastname@example.org 1511M SYCAMORE AVENUE www.wjklaw.net TELEPHONE (510) 741-8334 FACSIMILE (510) 964-7032 PMB 188 HERCULES, CA 94547-1767 September 25, 2012 City of Hercules ATTENTION: John Patrick Tang, Esq., City Attorney 111 Civic Drive Hercules, CA 94547 Violation of citizen’s First Amendment Rights Dear Mr. City Attorney, The Contra Costa Times reported on Sunday, September 23, 2012 that Councilmember Myrna deVera had complained to an official of the City of Pinole that a citizen of Hercules who worked for HDR Engineering was making comments on the Patch which she was offended by. The article further indicated that the Pinole official moved this complaint forward to a Vice-president of HDR and that this vice president caused the Hercules resident/employee to be the subject of a discussion relating to these postings. The end result is that the Hercules resident/employee was convinced to stop posting on the Patch. Mrs. deVera has apologized for her lapse in judgment but unfortunately her apology letter raised more questions than it answers. She tells the citizens, in relevant part, that, “Even though I did not tell the Pinole official to silence the citizen, and the Pinole city official did not direct HDR to do the same, and there is no evidence HDR forced Mr. Von Aspern to stop blogging,…” The e- mails obtained and published by the Times, at the very least, leave the accuracy of that claim in doubt. On July 3, 2012 the Pinole official wrote Mrs. deVera and said, “"I spoke with the VP for HDR about Kent's postings on the Patch. I was told that discussions were made and we should not be seeing any future postings.". Then on July 17th Mrs. deVera sent that same official an e-mail complaining that the Hercules citizen/HDR employee was posting again and making comments that Mrs. The information may be privileged attorney/client communication, which is protected by law as confidential and not subject to disclosure to third parties. Should someone who is not party to the attorney/client relationship somehow come into possession of these documents that person must immediately take steps to return the documents to the Law Office of William J. Kelly; 1511 M Sycamore Avenue, PMB 188; Hercules, CA 94547-1767. John Patrick Tang, Esq. September 25, 2012 Page 2 of 2 deVera found objectionable. Mrs. deVera asks us to believe that there was no coercion of the Hercules resident/employee while the tenor of these two e-mails makes it hard to believe her claim. The rule of law relating to the standard by which the conduct of public officials, both elected and appointed, is to be judged was set out by the courts longs ago. That standard is that even the mere appearance of impropriety must be avoided. The unanswered questions raised by these events unquestionably create an appearance of impropriety. That fact, in and of itself, requires that there be an independent investigation with all the facts being reported openly to the public. I ask the City Council by this letter to request that the California Attorney general investigate this incident. Respectfully submitted, ___________________________________ WILLIAM J. KELLY, Esq. cc: Mayor Dan Romero Vice Mayor John Delgado Council Member Gerard Boulanger Council Member Myrna deVera Council Member William Wilkins The information may be privileged attorney/client communication, which is protected by law as confidential and not subject to disclosure to third parties. Should someone who is not party to the attorney/client relationship somehow come into possession of these documents that person must immediately take steps to return the documents to the Law Office of William J. Kelly; 1511 M Sycamore Avenue, PMB 188; Hercules, CA 94547-1767.