Both Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant and City Attorney Terri Highsmith have filed claims against the city over the City Council's decision to place them on paid administrative leave in December.
Gallant and Highsmith are claiming the move was in retaliation for their roles during last year's investigation into whether Councilwoman Lena Tam leaked confidential city information to developer SunCal Companies over the future of Alameda Point.
Both Gallant and Highsmith say their suspensions have caused them emotional distress and are seeking financial damages.
In a statement attached to her complaint, which the city received March 10, Gallant said the council's 3-2 vote not to renew her contract violated the city's charter, which prohibits the council from firing a charter officer within 90 days of a new council member taking office. Rob Bonta was sworn in just seven days earlier.
Gallant also accuses Tam of using her influence over Bonta and Mayor Marie Gilmore to sway the closed-door vote.
Highsmith's claim against the city was filed Tuesday. She is seeking at least $10,000 from the city, while Gallant is seeking at least $25,000, including lost wages.
City officials declined to comment on the two claims.
The council's decision to place Gallant and Highsmith on leave has set the stage for officials to hire permanent replacements for them, and currently three finalists are in the running for city
Until permanent replacements for Highsmith and Gallant are hired, Assistant City Attorney Donna Mooney has been serving as acting city attorney, while Assistant City Manager Lisa Goldman has been serving as acting city manager.
Gallant was hired as interim city manager after Debra Kurita quit the job in February 2009 over what she described as differences with the City Council.
Highsmith replaced Carol Korade as Alameda city attorney six years ago. Before taking over the job, she served as Korade's assistant for nine years.
The council's move to place Highsmith on leave -- which came during the same closed door session as the decision on Gallant -- was unanimous.
It followed the surprise announcement from Highsmith that she was taking over as the interim city attorney in Barstow under a contract that Barstow has with Colantuono & Levin -- the same law firm that Alameda officials had secured to investigate Tam.
The investigation focused on allegations that Tam leaked confidential city e-mails to SunCal Companies during talks on the redevelopment of the former Navy base.
Tam denied wrongdoing and the Alameda County District Attorney Office declined to file charges against her.
The flap led representatives from SunCal -- which no longer has exclusive negotiating rights with the city over the former base -- to accuse Gallant of raising the e-mail issue as a way to sideline Tam and prevent the company from going forward with its proposal.