On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council voted in closed session to appoint Con Johnson as the next city manager for the City of Antioch.
The appointment comes in a split 3-2 vote with Mayor Lamar Thorpe and councilmembers Tamisha Torres-Walker and Monica Wilson in support with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and councilmember Lori Ogorchock dissenting.
The vote came with no national search, application process or internal candidates considered. The council had met multiple times in closed session over the past few months on this appointment but took no action before Tuesday.
As negotiations begin, Johnson has yet to answer questions regarding his past including the misleading the public on his resume at the time of his interim appointment, his past bankruptcy, foreclosure and judgment against him—its also has come to light that three employee complaints have been filed against him.
All city council candidates, which include: Diane Gibson Gray, Joy Motts, Shawn Pickett, Sandra White and Ogorchock (District 4) have all called for a national search that is transparent and open to the public.
Johnson was appointed City of Antioch interim city manager in November of 2021 in a 3-2 vote after the retirement of then City Manager Ron Bernal. Johnson was hired on a 1-year contract at $20,137 per month and was given full authority to hire and fire department heads—meaning he can hire the next Antioch Police Department Chief of Police.
Although a background check was apparently completed, the city has not publicly addressed the filing of bankruptcy by Johnson, several foreclosures on his record, nor clarify his statement in the cover letter and resume that he is a former San Francisco Police Captain which is not shown by his retirement records with the State of California as a police lieutenant.
Its still not clear if Mr. Johnson has misrepresented his experience. These items have all been brought up by many members of the public.
City Manager Background:
- May 2017: City of Antioch Names Ron Bernal New City Manager
- Sept. 7, 2021: Antioch City Manager to Retire at End of 2021
- Nov 5, 2021: Antioch Set to Hire Former San Francisco Police Captain as Interim City Manager
- Nov. 10, 2021: Antioch City Council Agrees to Hire Cornelius Johnson as Interim City Manager in 3-2 Vote
- Dec. 16, 2021: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring of Interim City Manager