On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will take two actions that will result in the hiring of Con Johnson as Antioch’s next city manager.
First, they will meet in closed session. Second, they will bring the issue to the council meeting (Item 9) after they decide the number of years his contract will be and his annual salary.
This comes back to the council after a city council 3-2 vote in closed session on September 27 to appoint Johnson as the next city manager. The split 3-2 vote was 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.
The hiring comes just weeks before election day as all city council candidates, which include: Diane Gibson Gray, Joy Motts, Shawn Pickett, Sandra White and Ogorchock (District 4) have called for a national search that is transparent and open to the public.
According to the Staff Report, if Johnson is terminated without good cause and does not secure comparable employment, his severance payment would be limited to 12-months of salary and health benefits.
The staff report also lists a termination date of October 26, 2023 (although that has yet to be decided), it also includes an automatic renewal contract unless the city gives Johnson a timely notice of non-renewal of at least 90-days.
Since being hired as interim city manager, 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.
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.
Antioch City Council Meeting
- Tuesday, October 25, 2022
- 6:30 pm closed session
- 7:00 pm regular meeting
- 200 H Street, Antioch CA
- City Council Agenda: Click here
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
- Sept. 10, 2022: Antioch Council Takes No Action on Hiring Con Johnson as City Manager
- Sept, 27, 2022: Antioch City Council Agrees to Appoint Con Johnson as City Manager
Regarding the “hiring process” used by Thorpe et. al, an old GI expression comes to mind: if it looks like ****, smells like **** and tastes like ****, then it must be ****.
If this isn’t a violation of state law, it should be.
“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”. Ron Bernal was appointed in a similar fashion, and it was never scrutinized by our elected Officials.
Con a is Great choice for Antioch, Con lives in Antioch and cares about what happens to the City of Antioch, and to the people of the City of Antioch. Congratulations Con I know every decision you make will be for the greater good for the people of Antioch. GOD BLESS ANTIOCH and GOD BLESS AMERICA.
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