The former chief of staff to Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty is suing his former boss, claiming he was pushed out of his job illegally.
The aide, Chris Gray, accused Haggerty in a lawsuit filed Friday of misusing his office to line his pockets with public money and firing him when he got in the way.
Gray worked in the District 1 office for 27 years, including 15 years under Haggerty, who was elected to represent Livermore, Dublin and Fremont in 1997. The supervisor fired him in June for unspecified reasons related to his work performance.
Gray, 56, said Haggerty had been looking for a way to get rid of him because of his age, poor health and because he had been complaining for years that Haggerty was flouting the law.
The supervisor misused and misappropriated public money, according to Gray's lawsuit, which accuses the supervisor of violating the Whistleblower Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California labor code.
Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Haggerty required staff members to work on his re-election campaign and run personal errands, such as chauffeuring his children and taking care of his pets. Gray claimed that collectively the he and the rest of the District 1 staff spent an average of 20 hours a week on tasks that had nothing to do with their job descriptions.
"This is nothing more than a disgruntled employee trying to get a payoff," said Shawn Wilson, Haggerty's current chief of staff. "It is sad that it has come to this."
Haggerty also dismissed the claims but said he could not comment because it is a personnel matter being litigated.
Gray included the allegations in complaints filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Alameda County grand jury. Both responded that they would look into the allegations.
The lawsuit did not specify a dollar amount but demands compensation for lost wages and benefits Gray would have accrued since June.
He filed a $10 million claim in October against the county, which rejected it, paving the way to the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Gray said he tried to resolve the problems privately. He said he complained to Haggerty, Haggerty's personal attorney and former County Counsel Richard Winnie and Donna Ziegler, who replaced Winnie.
"There was no one higher in the county I could go to," Gray said.