Ex-Staffer Accuses Councilman Oliverio of Sexual Harassment

Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio's former chief of staff filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexually harassing her and calling her vulgar names.

The case, filed Sept. 30 in Santa Clara County Superior Court by former top aide Denelle Fedor, asks for undisclosed damages from Oliverio and the city.

Oliverio denied the allegations and dismissed the suit as "without merit." City Attorney Rick Doyle said the city will "vigorously defend" Oliverio.

The lawsuit claims Fedor suffered lost wages, medical expenses and "extreme emotional distress" from Oliverio's "severe, pervasive and unwelcome" attention and sexual harassment.

In her original suit against the city, filed last year, Fedor says her former boss called her "a bitch and other vulgar names on an ongoing basis."

Oliverio, who represents Willow Glen as part of District 6, joined the City Council in 2007. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor earlier this year, finishing fourth in the primary.

Fedor ran for an elected office in 2012. She served as volunteer for Councilman Johnny Khamis in 2012 after finishing last in the District 10 June primary. In September, she went to work for Khamis, who, according to the Merc, called her "highly qualified."

A case management session for Fedor's case was set for February 2015.

Pierluigi Complaint1

47 Comments

  1. Sounds like Ms. Fedor has taken a page out of Mr. Oliverio’s book and applied a software solution to the councilman’s apparently pressing hardware problem.

  2. Just when you thought this City Council couldn’t get any more dysfunctional….

  3. ROFLMAO. Remember that song “Another One Bites The Dust”? How many clowns will that leave once the others have termed out? Karma is a beeach.

  4. Has PLO officially endorsed Sam? He cold deliver a very large voting block “Accused Sexual Harassers for Sam!”

    • PLO never endorsed Sam, officially or otherwise, but I don’t think it matters. I’m pretty sure that Cortese has the sexual harasser block locked down thanks to his former “women who won’t watch you masturbate on the bus are prudes” spokesman.

  5. A smug sense of pride and smarmy arrogance, along with a healthy dose of entitlement, coupled with a sense one is above the laws that govern the average peasant, I mean citizen, usually does not end well for that person. Something about pride goeth before the fall. Pierre now has something in common with a few recent NFL players of note, who had the same mindset, and whose fame is now infamous. How the good people of Willow Glen are so enamored by this guy, and blindly defend him, is beyond belief.

  6. I thought we lived in America? What happened to innocent til proven guilty? You folks need to check yourselves!

    • When it comes to Oliverio, many people have a healthy skepticism that nothing will be done, thus there is no system to prove him innocent or guilty. Several times, he has made threats to call the city manager or police chief, directly from his cell phone, when his authority is questioned. The one very infamous incident, memorialized forever on YouTube, is when Luigi was caught red handed with a trunk full of stolen campaign signs from his opponent. Nothing happened to him, after a deputy police chief personally came to the call after Luigi called him from his cell phone. You inadvertently make my point when you state you thought we all live in America. The rules are suppose to apply to us equally with a disregard for your social position. With Luigi, that obviously was not the case, and he loves to threaten to call the city manager or police chief from his cell phone speed dial, thus why nobody is waiting for a venue to find whether guilt or innocence will prevail, because we doubt it will happen.

      • I watched this video again, and when Oliverio is caught with the stolen signs in his trunk, he clearly says to those videotaping this that he is going to call the city manager and the police chief, then holds his cell phone to his ear. He clearly thinks he is above the law and flaunts this. At that time, he should have been cited or arrested, and gone through the judicial process, to be cleared or found guilty. It was wrong that there was no investigation and there were no repercussions to Luigi. No doubt he is extremely bright, but he does not deserve a double standard and to be held above reproach. I think he is also a condescending and pompous person, and also mean spirited. I also think he knew this was coming down the pike, thus why he did not want to taint Liccardo with his endorsement, and why he has withheld his endorsement for mayor.

  7. I doubt that since after the Liccardo Campaign’s investigator, aka: The Fly , broke the story, Cortese did the right thing and fired the guy.

    • I agree Black Smith, that this mayor, prior city manager, and the majority of the city council who votes with Reed should be investigated on many levels by the Grand Jury. The City Auditor, Sharon Erickson, has made so many issues so clear to them on where money is being wasted or misspent by them, and they have turned their backs on her. That is just for starters.

  8. Did Judge Nichols and Judge Flaheraty act to hastely to disband the last grand jury?
    They were too close to the politics in the Sal Si Puedes, Slum Lord investigation, by the EPA.?

  9. I doubt if he did but even if he did call her a bitch and “other vulgar names”. Get over it.
    Denelle Fedor- yet another Pig at the Trough.
    Heroically embarks on a career in “public service”. Then greedily attempts to rip off the very people she supposedly served.
    Government work: What a colossal racket.

    • Calling a female coworker a bitch or other vulgar name on a regular basis is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is private or the public sector, and don’t twist this into another rant on every public employee being evil. I don’t know if you have a wife or daughter, but if her male boss did this to mine, I would be calling him up and having a personal “meeting” with him. I would not tolerate some p*ssy bullying and berating them. I have seen these sorts in my workplace, and to a person they are too big of a wimp to do this to a guy, but they always pick on the women to go after. Would you tell your wife and daughter to “get over it?” If so, you are no better than their boss.

      • No, I wouldn’t tolerate Mrs. Galt being talked to that way. But I wouldn’t capitalize on the situation by trying to extract money from YOU, Mr. Observation. She named the City of San Jose in her lawsuit. That’s you and me.
        50 years after JFK, the new motto of today’s public employee:
        Ask not what you can do for your City,
        Ask what your City can do for YOU.

        • Yes , sadly naming SJ ultimately coat you and me… once again proving the point that “we” get what we deserve when “we” vote irresponsibly

          • I’m not so sure it’s a case of the voters “getting what we deserve” so much as it is a mindset of “if the system allows me to do I then I’m a fool not to”.
            Sure. Our justice system allows this woman the opportunity of a legal remedy for her claimed damages. As with all public employees she enjoys the advantage of a deep pocketed employer playing with other peoples’ money- an easy target for a shakedown.

        • Galt,
          I don’t care if it were a public or private entity if my wife or daughter was mistreated, especially after the boss had been warned to knock it off, which this one was. I would seek to severely financially punish the person and the entity that wronged my family, especially if it involved a bully of a boss who was such a big p*ssy that he gets off intimidating female subordinates. That is the only thing that will stop it for the next persons wife or daughter. Your wife must be thrilled that you would not seek justice because you are such a responsible taxpayer.

  10. > In her original suit against the city, filed last year, Fedor says her former boss called her “a bitch and other vulgar names on an ongoing basis.”

    In boot camp, a Marine drill instructor called me “vulgar names on an ongoing basis.”

    He’s a government official, right?

    Where’s my lawyer?

    Hell. Two thirds of the people who post on SJI have called me vulgar names (in violation of the SJI Comments Policy).

  11. Loser just like sam, chuck………how many other need to listed here. Pete if you run for any office on your fake disability, good luck.

  12. The hubris that this guy exudes is amazing. He proclaims to be a champion of all those who are impacted by sexual harassment, yet this wussy bully is no better than those that he claims to despise. Hypocrite City Attorney Rick Doyle who is infamous for losing cases and offering settlement agreements, chooses to defend PLO who is really nothing but a city employee, yet Doyle has fought to terminate other city employees in similar (and lesser) situations.

    I hope that both the City of San Jose and PLO have access to Due Process and if found gullty of the charges, write a big fat check to Ms. Fedor. Perhaps PLO can pay his share from the tips that he gets from his bar tending job at Applebees’s.

  13. > I’m not so sure it’s a case of the voters “getting what we deserve” so much as it is a mindset of “if the system allows me to do I then I’m a fool not to”.

    Egg-zack-lee!

    Your point is so brilliant that you deserve a free Obama-phone.

    • If it were that easy everyone would do it. I’d like to see the breakdown on harassment suits filed by private sector vs public sector employees. Those numbers would most likely silence the critics who make the claim that this is something public sector employees do for no other reason than “because they can.” …as if harassment doesn’t exist….

      • Wrong Meyer. If it were that easy NOT everyone would do it.
        Unprincipled chiselers would do it. Honorable people wouldn’t.
        Unfortunately we’ve created a society and a government that rewards dishonorable behavior and has everyone brainwashed into believing that it’s somehow virtuous.

        • Like I said earlier you have no clue…educate yourself on the process that leads to to an person getting the right to file a suit in these matters.

          Also thanks for once again clearly stating your position on public sector employees and their collective integrity.

  14. If this lawsuit was filed last YEAR, why are we just hearing about it now?

    • Negative News blackout period for SJI/Metro/MercuryNews favored elected officials has expired???

      • I agree with you Meyer. The Mercury is the main source of local political news. They are still the only news game in town. Their editorial bias is evident, and this obviously affects what their writers report on, and what actually makes it into print. The Mercury is enamored with Reed, Liccardo, and their voting block. My belief is that they buried this story as long as they could. Pierluigi has always been protected by the Mercury, along with all of Reed’s minions. I see the character assassination has now begun on the woman who has come out against him. I hope she hangs in there as if true, it is intolerable.

  15. WTH R U talking about? Judge Nichols retired in 2009 and Judge Flaherty retired in 1998.

    • Judge Flaherty is an arbitrator for JAMS Foundation. He voted against the SJPOA. I don’t recall on what matter. His wife is deeply involved in the San Jose Library system. He contributed to Sam Liccardo’s campaign. Not sure what else he is involved in. Might be retired but still active.
      Not so sure about Judge Nichols.

      http://www.jamsadr.com/flaherty/

      • Flaherty arbitrated the issue between the POA and the City regarding whether or not the 10% salary decrease was a one year, two year or “ongoing” salary reduction. I remember that Flaherty sort of agreed with the POA that the term of the reduction was something less than “ongoing” but that he was obligated to rule in favor of the City because of the constraints imposed by Measure V and Charter section 1111 to rule.

        https://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18946

        IT was only after the ruling that the POA learned that Flaherty might not be the impartial “neutral” he is advertised to be. His wife, Georgiana Flaherty, was (and still is) on the board of the San Jose Library Foundation (http://www.sjplf.org/board_of_directors.html). SJPLF raises money for SJ libraries to supplement City budgeted money – which is a good thing – however SJPLF also campaigns fairly consistently to have a large amount of City Money budgeted for libraries even if the increase means decreasing spending on Police and Fire…

        • I think somewhere following “Neutral” Flaherty’s ruling against the POA there is a comment form the city that says something like “the judges ruling will allow libraries to stay open…”

  16. Thanks for the 4-1-1 Meyer.

    So, Judge Flaherty is being criticized for following the law (Measure V and City Charter section 1111)?

    I guess SJPLF didn’t lobby well enough–all branch libraries are closed for Columus Day. Columbus Day? Seriously?

    • I have no idea what The Blacksmith was referring to and I don’t think that criticizing him for following the law in the arbitration case is justified – what other choice did he have?

      This is background info and not related to this article but I think it will shed light on why Flaherty is not highly regarded by City employees. He is a source of contention because of his and his wife’s connections to the City administration – things that did not come to light until after he was selected as the “neutral” arbitrator in the “restoring the 10%” case where following the law the 10% was not restored.

      Its one of the MANY occurrences in recent years that employees point to when they say that the City is “disrespectful” towards them. His selection by the CIty lends to the appearance that the City had “their guy” on the panel – again he ruled according to the constraints of the law so it is probably just appearances that are at issue. A truly neutral arbitrator I expect would have ruled the same way.

      Just regarding this arbitration case – it was totally unnecessary since shortly after the ruling ( and pay attention to the reasons fro the ruling – average revenues from 5 different tax revenue funds didn’t increase by sufficient margin to trigger an expenditure of City funds…. blah blah blah….) the City essentially gave the POA a fractured 10% salary restoration over an extended period of time… Not only was this insulting to employees but it was expensive to both the unions AND HE TAXPAYERS – yet not a word… I get it , it is war – and the City has deep pockets and a war chest that could outlast any siege waged by the unions – that doesn’t make appearances any more palatable.

      It has also been reported that he is a financial contributor to Liccardo mayoral campaign. If that is true then it would have been better that he donate to the SJPLF. Kind of like Lawyer Cotchett representing the City against the MLB who reportedly donated 50K to Sam? May be it is legal – that doesn’t make it right.

  17. Sadly, oliverio has proven to be one of the most disrespectful politicians I have ever come across. His mightier-than-thou behavior has contributed to the irreparable damage heaped on the relationship between city employees and city council. It’s sad that we much continually deal with this kind of haughtiness from our elected officials. Maybe oliverio didn’t get the memo that when in office, one must be above reproach. From stealing campaign signs to public displays of disrespect for the citizens of San José, oliverio has done nothing but heap shame on the position of council member, and himself. Remember folks, this is a civil action requiring an attorney simply prove a preponderance of evidence that a coworker or supervisor committed the act. Anyone willing to bet this will be settled out of court so as to avoid epic embarrassment for oliverio?

  18. He has done a wonderful job, has been wonderfully in contact, cares.

    …. and it is quite suspicious that this suit is filed now when it is such a political dig.

    I don’t like women being treated badly because of who they are … but this seems more of political maneuvering… and there are people who have done so much worse.

    If he it was true and it was small like called her a “b” once after she stabbed him in the back and he fired her for something that would not be cause for suit imho! If it was bigger lets see the evidence and not bring the whole thing up just at the time of an election like it might have been black mail.