Sources: Milpitas City Attorney Ouster Was Personal

Milpitas fast-tracked the firing of City Attorney Mike Ogaz and his staff in a 3-1 vote last week, laying the groundwork to completely outsource legal counsel. Vice Mayor Carmen Montano dissented and Councilman Garry Barbadillo, who voiced concern about the motive behind the termination, didn’t even bother to show up for the July 1 closed session. No surprise, the fiasco reignited rumors that this was all City Manager Tom Williams’ way of getting back at Ogaz for putting him “in the crosshairs” over a personnel complaint filed some months earlier. But the breakneck speed of the breakup appeared to catch even Ogaz off guard. The newly laid-off lawyer said the agenda item that ended his eight-year tenure only indicated that the council would vote on whether to put out a call for bids, not whether it would eliminate an entire three-person department. Councilwoman Debbie Giordano, an out-and-proud Williams ally and head of an ad hoc committee tasked with picking apart the cost of in-house legal services, said that aim was implied. Ostensibly to save money, the bid to contract out legal help has raised suspicions mostly because of the timing. The divided vote came after months of internal conflict at City Hall between Williams and Ogaz, who had to pack up with assistant attorney Johnny Phan and their executive assistant Susan Barrett. Ogaz must’ve felt the heat, though, considering the tension had been building over repeated allegations from employees that Williams created a hostile work environment, especially for mid-to-upper management. The complaint Ogaz brought to Milpitas electeds back in April came from then-Planning and Neighborhood Services Director Steve McHarris, who, according to City Hall insiders, accused Williams of trying to meddle with his retirement benefits before leaving for a job with the city of San Jose. The Ogaz ouster proves, yet again, that nobody leaves Milpitas without Williams making sure the door hits them on the way out.

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10 Comments

  1. Sources said…? Really? You don’t say? No kidding…?

    This is really good work by “The Fly.” Seriously it took a lot of effort to sift through the comments in the previous articles to come up with this bit of “news.’

    Some posters knew this and said as much several times… but nice work… way to go… keep mining in Milpitas to sharpen those investigative skills… when you’re ready to put on your ‘big fly” pants you might have the skills needed to put in some work In San Jose’s City Hall.

    • Weed, please just go away. Hanging out in your mommy and daddy’s basement offering up jibberish is no life. Go back to watching porn or whatever keeps you busy. Nobody asked for your opinion but you deem it nessary for posting complete nonsense

  2. The Williams-Giordano cabal hard at work in beautiful downtown Milpitas. I guess they have the same favorite author—Machiavelli.

  3. Wilson will one day hang himself.

    I hope they just leave him there.

    As a monument to the only thing good he’s ever done in his life.

  4. It’s surprising that there is no outrage about this very personal issue that Milpitas City Manager has with an entire City department, and that for his own benefit, he eliminated this department without input from the public. This does not serve the best interests of the citizens of Milpitas.

    Co-conspirator councilmember Giordano will need to demonstrate to Milpitas residents how this saves their City money, because it won’t.

  5. These popularity contest winners are once again putting their personal & personnel biases before the best interests of their constituents. The ability to win an election is in no way an indication that these political posers have the requisite aptitude to govern in a fair & impartial manner. Tom Williams is a smug & condescending bully & a boil on the butt of the body politic of our fine city. He’s the one who needs to be shown the door & if the present City Council isn’t capable of firing him now;perhaps a recall campaign or charges of official malfeasance are the next step. Debbie Giordano’s incompetence is only exceeded by her stupidity & the citizens of Milpitas deserve better & should demand her resignation immediately. The inane babble that spews from her big pie hole should have never taken a detour on it’s way to her little corn hole. Wake up Milpitas,these clowns are ruining our lovely city & running it into the ground. They’re an embarrassment to themselves & our entire community & must be stopped before they can do any further damage. If it’s savings you want let’s start by eliminating Tom Williams outrageous salary & benefits & find a new City Manager before we have to spend tens of thousands of dollars settling harassment suits filed against him & the city !!!

    • Frank, you nailed it. Tom Williams is the problem, not the attorney costs. Why not look at the number of personnel cases caused by the City Manager? If you added the cost of all those cases, plus the cost of all the settlements which have already occurred in the past or “severance packages”, that amount would be very alarming to us taxpayers. Many former employees have walked away with 5 digit checks as settlements. And of course Mike Ogaz was terminated before Council Candidate season and before a new City Council is in place. That was deliberate, calculated, and totally obvious.

  6. So, does Ogaz take the 6-month severance package of over $110,000 and not sue the City? Or, possibly jeopardize his severance package and sue the City, but with large rewards if he wins (most likely he will win). I say, just like the game Deal or No Deal, “No Deal!”. He will most likely get his severance package plus more by suing the City. Brilliant move Council Members! A minimum of $110,000 plus more of taxpayer dollars for nothing in return.

  7. I blame the people of Milpitas who voted in Giordano. The woman has a very checkered ethical history (remember the mailbox scandal?)

  8. Well, this article is all very fine and dandy, but where is the article explaining that District 4’s newly elected council member, Manh Nguyen, has already been fined $10K by the ethics commission? (And this is before he’s even been sworn in to office!!!)