Edgerly wrongful termination claim denied

February 6, 2009 1:28:44 PM PST
Oakland City Attorney John Russo has rejected a wrongful termination claim by former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly and will never recommend a settlement with her, spokesman Alex Katz said today.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums fired Edgerly on July 1 amidst allegations that she interfered with a police investigation of the city's worst drug gang.

Edgerly filed a wrongful termination claim against the city of Oakland on Dec. 22 alleging that she's a victim of gender discrimination.

Edgerly also alleged that Dellums, his wife, Cynthia Dellums, and other unnamed city officials "acted in concert and conspired to wrongfully terminate Edgerly, in violation of public policy, because Edgerly refused to accede or comply with unlawful demands of the Mayor and his wife."

Edgerly's claim, filed by San Francisco attorney John Scott, alleges that Dellums and his wife wanted to "act as the de facto city administrator and perform duties and make decisions that were exclusively the responsibility of the city administrator."

Russo denied Edgerly's claim on Jan. 7.

Dellums was not immediately available for comment on Edgerly's allegations.

Katz said the reason Russo will never recommend a settlement with Edgerly is that Dellums had "complete discretion" to fire her because the city administrator serves at the mayor's will.

Scott said today that he still hopes to reach a settlement with the city but will consider filing a lawsuit "as a last resort."

Scott said the allegations that Edgerly may have been involved in criminal wrongdoing "turned out to be false."