Antioch City Attorney to leave position effective May 15

By Allen Payton

It’s been a clean sweep of leadership inside City Hall, since the November election. First, on Election Night then-City Manager Steve Duran announced a tentative retirement date set for August 15, of this year. Then Chief of Police Allan Cantando announced on March 8 he would be retiring the first week of April. Then, the following Tuesday, the City Council voted 3-2 to terminate Duran’s contract.

That’s in addition to the election of new Mayor Sean Wright and Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe. Now, today, city staff issued the following brief press release:

“Michael Vigilia City Attorney has announced that he will be leaving the City of Antioch.

The City of Antioch would like to thank Michael Vigilia for his service to the City.  While with the City of Antioch, Michael Vigilia served as legal advisor for the City departments.  His expertise on a wide range of legal issues will be missed.

The City of Antioch wishes him well in his future endeavors.”

Asked if it is effective immediately, Mayor Sean Wright simply replied “May 15, 45 days.”

Administrative Services Director Nickie Mastay offered additional information, stating, “Mr. Vigilia put in a 45 day notice on March 31, 2017.”

No reason was given for the resignation. Asked why and if Vigilia was forced out, Wright responded, “Surprised all of us.”

Vigilia has been in the position for a little more than a year, having been hired March 8, 2016. (See related article). Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful prior to publication.

On March 28, the City Council on a 4-0 vote hired then-Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Ron Bernal as City Manager for one year. Captain Tammany Brooks is the Acting Chief of Police. Bernal will have the opportunity to either hire him or someone else to be Cantando’s successor.

The City Council, which only hires the city manager and city attorney will have the opportunity to hire Vigilia’s replacement, as well.

11 Comments to “Antioch City Attorney to leave position effective May 15”

  1. skip says:

    The chief of police should be filled by someone from outside of the APD. Change won’t happen unless an outsider can come in and fix a very screwed up department.

  2. Renee Sparks says:

    Now the City of Antioch’s attorney is leaving. Our City of Antioch is falling apart before our eyes. It seems the New Direction that The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are taking The City of Antioch is into complete chaos.
    It is obvious they don’t know what they are doing nor do they know how to simply get along with personalities that may differ from theirs. They need to be able to manage people not alienate everyone.
    I agree with the other comments that the City of Antioch needs to do a Real Search for a New Police Chief. But considering the way Sean Wright and Lamar Thorpe are managing Our City of Antioch I don’t expect them to do anything but promote the acting Chief . With that being said, when it comes time to vote for the measure C to continue I don’t know that I’m for it. If our Mayor can’t manage to make crime his first priority then why should I ?

    • Steve says:

      You do know the Chief of Police is hired by the city manager, right? Not Mayor or Mayor Pro-tem.
      Also, I’d argue that with 60% of the mayoral vote going towards change (that is to say, someone other than Harper), this is exactly what Antioch voted for – change. No one ever said change was easy or fun. Sometimes change looks chaotic. Sometimes it needs to appear that way to get people’s attention.
      Finally, to place all of this “blame” on Wright and Thorpe is unreasonable, irresponsible, and incorrect. Two alone cannot make a change, it takes the vote of three. So, Pick three council members to blame, or blame no one at all.

    • Publisher says:

      Ms. Sparks,
      Thank you for reading the Herald and for your comment.
      But, I have to completely disagree. The city isn’t falling apart.
      Actually, I would say things are finally falling into place.
      We needed a new city manager – which was obvious from the across the board comments by community leaders the day he was fired.
      A new police chief will help us get the remaining 11 additional police officers hired that we were promised “immediately” if we passed Measure C, three years ago!
      Just wait. You’ll hopefully learn soon, what I learned yesterday, but can’t publish the specifics of, yet, that the city attorney leaving has nothing to do with anything else that’s going on inside city hall and nothing to do with the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem.
      Allen Payton, Publisher

  3. Julio says:

    The city is not falling apart. The city manager needed to go. Other changes will happen for the better. Financially we are on the brink of bankruptcy due to the new contracts given to the city employees by the Harper council. They knew it when they made the decision. This council and city manager have a hell of a battle to fix this city and need support. Measure C I would vote against even though I know bankruptcy is two years away. The city manager and Wright and Thorpe are working harder than anyone has worked since Mr. Freitas and his team. It can be pulled out with support and belt tightening. Layoffs are coming again for sure!

  4. RJB says:

    Steve, Allen, and Julio, you all hit it right on the nose. Change is definitely hard to do and sometimes comes at a cost and or sacrifice.

    I think the city is heading in the right direction for once. Shame on king film flam Harper for approving the golden contract for city workers. Hey if a layoff is needed to stay afloat due to this ridiculous bargaining unit contract, then bring it on. They will can’t layoff police because The measure C funds won’t allow for it. So only city workers will get the boot, which will be a small impact to services. Heck, the damn recession has been over and we still can’t get the city services we need, so there’s no change there.

    • Julio says:

      RJB, Measure C is going to be used up completely very soon unless they renew it. The new budget is posted in next weeks agenda package. A lot of voters will not renew it because of the way it has been handled and continues to be handled. Layoffs of police are a distinct possibility. So is bankruptcy which will cause a cut in all pensions past and present. Perfectly legal.

  5. Renee Sparks says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any police laid off ever I wasn’t suggesting that. As for the city manager I didn’t say I supported his leaving or staying. I just find it disheartening, maybe that’s a better word that people are leaving. If it makes the city better than that is great! I just really hope it does. Thank you.

  6. Loretta Sweatt says:

    I feel Renee Sparks’s comment is a knee jerk non-factual dismal outlook. Come on, “Change” is most often times for the better. It’s called “Progress”. Ron Bernal, the new City Manager is highly respected, so his final pick for Police Chief should be the right one. I support 100% Mayor Wright. Vice Mayor Thorpe and City Council are working on many issues in depth. I agree with the other above comments.

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