Palo Alto City Attorney Donald Larkin Accused of Extortion

Palo Alto City Attorney Donald Larkin Accused of Extortion

In Mr. Ciampi’s latest 78 page motion filed in federal court yesterday Mr. Ciampi  is now accusing Palo Alto city attorney Donald Larkin of extortion.

Mr. Ciampi asserts that Mr. Larkin is being coercive in his attempts at getting Mr. Ciampi to settle and sign-off on all third party claims, claims which were not part of the original settlement agreement.

Mr. Ciampi is asking the court to review extortion allegation against Mr. Larkin under California State Bar rules of court. 

Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 5-100 Threatening Criminal, Administrative, or Disciplinary Charges

(A) A member shall not threaten to present criminal, administrative, or disciplinary charges to obtain an advantage in a civil dispute.  Mr. Ciampi, acting in behalf of himself or in pro se, must abide by the same professional rules of conduct.

Larkin’s alleged extortion and plaintiff’s motion to enforce settlement agreement

Palo Alto city attorney Donald Larkin’s Threat exhibit 922

Up-Date: 09/13/11 Loco Motions filed in response

Defendents Postion

Declaration of city attorney Donald Larkin


James Keene’s previously hidden and unreported compensation


Gentlemen and Ladies:

Information and documentation regarding Palo Alto City Manager James Keene’s previously hidden and unreported compensation.

To understand the perspective on this issue, please refer first to the attachment “Keene_Comp”, which is a true and accurate copy of the employment agreement for him which the City Council approved in 2008, as documented by the signatures on page 13.

You can further access this document on line or through the City Clerk’s Office if confirmation is needed.

The issue of hidden compensation is shown in section 5.2 beginning on page 3. The payment is accomplished by means of a little known IRS code section 401(a) “Governmental money purchase plan”, which is perhaps more aptly titled than the originators intended.

This is a special type of deferred compensation not available to all City employees and one whereby the City pays the funds directly into the program for benefit of the employee, without it passing through the employee’s salary or reported paycheck/income. All other employees have deferred compensation deducted from their base salary and it thus shows up as part of their total reported compensation.

This special benefit for the City Manager is a very unique and misleading form of compensation which appears to be designed to hide his total compensation from other employees, the public, and the media. Please note that he does receive regular retirement benefits in PERS and is eligible to participate in regular deferred compensation programs the City offers, such as the ICMA-RC.

The dollar amount of this benefit has increased since 2008. It is now a maximum of $49,000.00 per year, so that Keene receives $24,500 at the 50% level provided by the agreement for the first 3 years of his employment. Note that it will increase to 75% after 3 years, meaning that he will receive an automatic $12,225.00 raise this September.

The other three documents show how Keene has previously reported (or failed to do so….) his compensation to the media and the State. Note that in the second and third attachments sent to both his own professional organization, the League of Cities City Managers Association and to the Mercury News, he reported only his base salary of +/- $260,000.00 and did not report the additional $24,500.00 in deferred compensation.

Note that in the League of Cities report a special column was provided for “special compensation issues” wherein many City Managers reported additional compensation items above base salary, yet Keene failed to do so.

Only after the City of Bell scandal over improper compensation and when required to do so by new State law did he disclose that additional amount, as shown on the fourth attachment from the State Controller’s Office. Note that all three reports are for the year 2009, yet show different amounts. Only now, in 2011 has Mr. Keene chosen to reveal this amount on the State and Mercury News surveys. It was not disclosed for 2008 or 2009.

It is absolutely amazing that a City Manager and a City Council who purport to stand for openness, honesty, and transparency would contrive to create such a devious basis of compensation and reporting. This is all being done at a time when other employees are taking permanent cuts in compensation, and yet Keene is scheduled to receive an automatic $12,225.00 raise this September.

Keene and then Mayor Larry Klein, who negotiated and approved the agreement, should be ashamed of themselves and held accountable for such dishonesty. I  trust this information is of interest to you and that you will make good use of it.

In future communications I will show you how the total value of all forms of compensation Keene receives from the City approaches $550,000.00 per year, with yet another substantial unreported benefit from the City in the form of subsidized housing.


City-Town Manager Compensation Survey

Public Employee Salaries Results – San Jose Mercury News

State Controller’s Office – LGCR (Compensation Reporting)

James Keene Comp Plan 1 of 3

James Keene Comp Plan 2 of 3

James Keene Comp Plan 3 of 3

James Keene up-date: 09/15/11

Palo Alto city manager James Keene

Gentlemen and Ladies:

This is the last installment of information that I have for you. In the Email I will be summarizing the net total of all of the information I have previously sent to you. 

This will show you just how large the value of City Manager James Keene’s compensation really is, and how much of it is beyond his stated base salary alone. The items comprising his total annual compensation are as follows:

1. $260,000 – base salary. Note that his 5% reduction was for one year only, and has now been restored.
2. $137,800 – value of standard benefits at 53% of base salary, as used for all City employees except Police and Fire.
3. $   7,800 – annual value of car (“transportation”) allowance at $650.00 per month.
4. $ 24,500 – 401(a) additional deferred compensation program, not reported in prior salary survey.
5. $110,000 – computed value of housing subsidy, not reported.
$540,100 – total compensation in fiscal year 2010.2011

6. $  12,225 – contractually guaranteed raise in 401(a) program due in September 2011

This is an amazing amount of compensation, and comes at a time when other employees are being asked to take cuts, not being given guaranteed raises.

How can a Manager and Council who preach openness, transparency, full disclosure, and mandate salary and benefit reductions continue with such an inequitable amount of compensation – and conspire to hide it from public disclosure? In my opinion this approaches a “City of Bell” level of scandal. I trust you will make good use of this information.


James’ Dough

AT&T Launches Wi-Fi Hotzone on University Avenue

AT&T Wireless

Just a week before the opening of its highly anticipated Foundry Innovation Center, AT&T made another local splash today with the launch of a Wi-Fi hot zone that will provide Wi-Fi coverage on Palo Alto’s University Avenue.

The new hot zone is expected to provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi near the 300 block to the 500 block of University Avenue, which the company says consistently sees high customer traffic and mobile data use.

“As the center of technology and innovation, Palo Alto is proud to be one of the first cities in the country to have a Wi-Fi hot zone deployed in its downtown corridor,” said Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa. “We appreciate that AT&T is making this investment in our community.”

Palo Alto is the sixth major market where AT&T has launched Wi-Fi hot zones, following locations in San Francisco, New York City, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, and Austin. Hotzones provide connectivity to the company’s Wi-Fi network and add network capacity for customers in high traffic areas. Currently, AT&T is the only major mobile operator using Wi-Fi in this way.

Paula Sandas, the President and CEO of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce says that AT&T’s continued Wi-Fi expansion is a welcome development for the area’s business community.

“The Chamber applauds AT&T’s expansion of Wi-Fi coverage in Palo Alto,” Sandas says. “Wireless connectivity in today’s business is a requirement, not a luxury. Our businesses depend on reliable wireless connectivity for their day-to-day operations.”

This is the second significant Palo Alto partnership AT&T has announced this year. In May, AT&T announced an agreement with Stanford University Athletics to provide Wi-Fi across nine Stanford Athletics venues, offering Cardinal fans at those venues expanded wireless and broadband connectivity. The company says these investments demonstrate its commitment to providing a better overall experience to its area customers.

“In an area where we’re seeing more connectivity and mobile data use across AT&T’s networks, our hotzones provide customers with the added benefit of logging onto AT&T Wi-Fi in more locations,” said Ken McNeely, AT&T President-California. “We’re focused on increasing our coverage and enhancing the customer experience in the Palo Alto area, and we are excited to continue efforts with the launch of our second Wi-Fi hot zone in the past year for AT&T customers in California.”

‘YES’ on Measure E

Clean Coalition

When it comes to renewable energy, environmental justice, and conservation of local parklands, Palo Altans can have it all—if they vote ‘YES’ on Measure E.

Measure E would rededicate 10 acres of the City’s former landfill to build a renewable energy facility that uses biological processes to turn organic waste into an alternative form of natural gas.

As Oakland, Millbrae, and other Bay Area communities have already demonstrated, these “biogas” facilities save millions of ratepayer dollars by generating energy that is carbon neutral, capitalizing on existing infrastructure (such as the sewage treatment plant adjacent to the landfill), and displacing fossil fuels that require environmentally destructive drilling techniques (e.g., hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”).

As a life-long conservationist, I fully appreciate opponents’ concerns, but Measure E does not threaten conservation efforts; it enhances them.

First, this is not an “either-or” scenario; only a fraction of the former landfill will be rededicated (10 of 126 acres, or 8% of the landfill).  Secondly, because no funding currently exists to redevelop the landfill, revenues from the bioenergy facility could subsidize restorations to the rest of the park.

Finally, by off-setting fossil fuels, and providing an alternative to the City’s inexcusable sewage incinerator, Measure E’s environmental conservation will extend far beyond the borders of the former landfill.

Sadly, opponents of Measure E present a false dichotomy: renewable energy vs. parkland.  But the real dichotomy is not complicated: sustainable development vs. 10 acres of landfill.

The City of Palo Alto’s Bottle House or “It’s The Real Thing”

Palo Alto's own Bottle House or Its "The Real Thing"
Bottle House 2005

The Bottle House was rehabilitated in 2005. The foundation was stabilized, bottles replaced, the board covering the attic section of the Bottle House was removed and new bottles placed where they belonged. The South Wall was stabilized so that it was no longer necessary to have a brace holding it up. I think it may last for another 100 years now. Thank you to Central Nevada Museum and Beatty Museum (released Friends of Rhyolite’s Bottles with their permission) for the period bottles that repaired the house.

Now this place has a lot of history behind it! It was one of three bottle houses to be built in Rhyolite. But you have to say that Mr. Kelly had the largest! Most of the bottles used were Adulphous Busch, (You know, it’s known as Budweiser today!) anyway, there are a few patent medicine bottles that were used also. Did you know that they used opium in patent medicines in the early 1900’s? (It really did make you feel better, but I am not sure that it cured anything!) Unfortunately, a lot of people who used the medicines became addicted to them. That was a big problem in some of these mining towns. (Some of the stories I could tell you about the people around here! But that’s for another time.)

Everyone laughed and had a grand time as they brought their old bottles here for Mr. Kelly to build with, and of course, he retrieved most of them from the saloons in town. There were over 53 saloons here so bottles were easy to come by. I guess it was a good thing though, you see, this was not the only house built of bottles in Rhyolite. Just about 100 yards behind this one was Mr. and Mrs. Wylies home. It was only one room but it was quite a nice little place made of beer bottles. There was also one up there by the school. That one was a little different because most of the house was underground. It was called a ‘Cousin Jack’ home, but the surface material other than the roof was made of bottles also.

Back to Mr. Kelly and this house. He started it in September of 1905 and had it finished just 5 1/2 months later in February of 1906. And he was 76 years old when he built it! Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to tell you that Mr. Kelly used almost 30,000 bottles before he completed his house. He did not even wash the bottles before he used them. But I guess that was because the water lines had not been laid yet. We had to buy water in those days for up to $5.00 a barrel. That was pretty expensive, so you couldn’t waste it on washing bottles for building materials. I believe one of the bottles in the north wall, if you look real close, will have some crickets still left in there.

Mr. Kelly never did live in the house. He raffled it off and everyone was buying tickets. They only cost $5.00 and you might just get a nice three room house to live in. He plastered the interior of the home, so you could wallpaper or paint. You wouldn’t even know that you lived in a bottle house when you were inside. The Bennet family won the drawing and lived in the Bottle House until 1914.

In 1925 Paramount Studios made a movie in Rhyolite, using the Bottle House. The town was pretty well deserted by then and a few repairs needed on the old house. The Movie was called The Airmail starring Billy Dove and Douglas Fairbanks. It is believed that they are the ones responsible for the patchwork of bottles in the back of the house. There was some confusion at the first movie, at one time it was believed to be “Wanderers of the Wasteland”. Although there was a movie by this name made in Rhyolite in 1924, this was not when Paramount repaired the house. We have been fortunate to speak to the descendants of the Bennet family and Mrs. Bennet still living in the area took photographs of the picture crew working on the house during “The Airmail”.

For more information see:  TOM KELLY’S BOTTLE HOUSE

Editors notes:  A favorite family winter destination

Pulgas Water Temple Reopens to the Public

Pulgas Water Temple

REDWOOD CITY, CA. – The Pulgas Water Temple reopened to the public on Friday morning, September 2nd. The temple was closed all summer for critical water system construction.

Some minor re-landscaping continues, but the temple grounds and parking lot are now open for normal hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Pulgas Water Temple and the facilities around it serve the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System and function as part of our Crystal Springs Reservoir System.

The Crystal Springs Reservoir System provides emergency backup and supplementary drinking water supply to San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

For more information about construction projects in the area, subscribe to the e-newsletter dedicated to recreational users of the Peninsula Watershed:; or follow us: Twitter@SawyerCampTrail.

The completed work is part of the ongoing $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program to repair, replace and seismically upgrade the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

The Pulgas Water Temple was built in 1934 to mark the location where the waters of the Sierra reach the Peninsula. Wedding ceremony reservations can be booked for 2012 by calling (650) 872-5900.

Tazer settlement what tazer settlemment? “This is not a done deal!” Tony Ciampi

$35,000.00 Tazer settlement

In a brief statement from Tony Ciampi this afternoon concerning the alleged tazer settlement of $35,000 g’s previously announced by the Palo Alto Online, San Jose Mercury News and The Daily Post.

Mr. Ciampi is now squealing that the purported settlement is far from over. It’s all hyperbole according to Mr. Ciampi.  In fact, Mr. Ciampi has filed two new additional claims against the city Palo Alto aimed at assistant city attorney Donald Larkin and Top city attorney Molly Stump.

I guess it’s back to the troth for further slopping around and mud slinging………Who knows who will emerge squeaky clean or come up smelling like roses.  As it stands, this little piggy has none…….

Up-date: Rumor has it city attorney Donald Larkin is attempting to arbitrate an earlier agreement on legal fee’s negotiated between Mr. Ciampi and David Beauvais.  See Retainer Agreement

Number four of the agreement states; “In the event of a disagreement concerning the terms of this agreement the parties agree to submit the matter to the Alameda Bar Association for arbitration.” 

It’s purported city attorney Donald Larkin is now serving on the board of the Alameda Bar Association for the purpose of this settlement agreement something to which Mr. Ciampi was totally unaware of.  City attorney Larkin is wanting to administrate the lien of $20,000.00 against future monies or pay-out to Ciampi.  We call foul!!

As reported earlier Mr. Ciampi files two new claims against the city of Palo Alto.  We call it Claim one and Claim Two.

Claim One and Claim Two

Claim One
Claim Two

City attorney Donald Larkin attempts to pull a fast one in arbitrating legals fees he has no jurisdiction over having the settlement check payable in Mr. Ciampi’s name and his former attorney David Beauvais.

Clearly, Mr. Larkin has no legal footing to arbitrate a prior agreement.

The Settlement Agreement

Yesterday’s phone calls to city attorney Molly Stump and Donald Larkin for comments were not returned.

Molly Stump
File photo of City attorney Donald Larkin
Tony Ciampi








Up-date: 08/18/11 The terms regarding monies owed to Mr. Ciampi’s former attorney David Beauvais is very clear.

What can be best described as a muddy puddle of water is that city attorney Donald Larkin is attempting to withhold monies due from Mr. Ciampi on a claim which has not been filed in any[actionable order to withhold ] court of law.  See Retainer Agreement

11 EXH DECL Where’s the lien beaf?

Now city attorney Donald Larkin is pulling a CYA (cover-your-ass) by seeking direction from the court by filing a motion seeking legal direction on the validly of Mr. Beauvais’s claim to the monies due Mr. Ciampi.  Larkin’s negotiated settlement agreement is as clear as mud!

See: Larkin’s supplemental status report
See: Larkin’s support of supplemental status report

What is equally odd is that I spoke with city attorney Molly Stump today as a follow-up and I asked her concerning the dispute raised by Mr. Ciampi and any monies owed Ciampi’s former attorney David Beauvais.  Mr. Beauvais is out on vacation and unavailable for comment.  Stay posted…….

She was totally unaware that Palo Alto Free Press. com had published the settlement agreement and or the dispute.  It would also appear Ms. Stump on the left, had know idea what the right, Mr. Larkin is doing.

Up-date: 08/19/11 David Beauvais NOTICE OF LIEN DAVID BEAUVAIS FILED 11-09-09 found.

We continue to question the validity of this lien only because the prior legal retainer between Mr. Ciampi and Mr. Beauvais clearly states if any dispute arises those dispute are to be arbitrated.  

“In the event of a disagreement concerning the terms of this agreement the parties agree to submit the matter to the Alameda Bar Association for arbitration.”

Surely, Mr. Larkin based on the evidence submitted had to have prior knowledge of this lien.

Further confusion is added to the mix only because the law offices of Ferguson Praet &  Sherman contracted by the city of Palo Alto to defend itself against Mr. Ciampi have now cost the city taxpayers over 90 thousand dollars based on a California Public Records Requested submitted by police watchdog and attorney Aram James.  Perhaps Mr. Larkin’s logic is to shift the costly burden back to the city of Palo Alto in order to save money.

We doubt this only because Mr.Larkin has amassed huge legal expenses picked-up by the taxpayers in another famous case involving the city’s efforts to prosecute panhandler Victor Frost.  We beleive that case now exceeds 3 million. See Panhandler Victor Frost Case – Approaching 3 million

Up-date: 08/20/11  Larkin’s mud puddle settlement agreement clears up with PAFreePress filtration systems.  The Open Government and Transparency filter.

We now understand why the settlement agreement is such a low amount based on other nationally reported tazering settlements.  Most settlements are in the six figure range.  In this case, Larkin was hoping not to involve city council in the negotiating of a higher amount.

(See settlement claims and actions)

The city attorneys office is authorized without council approval to provide settlement payments not to exceed 35k. Smart move on the part of chief negotiator Donald Larkin but we feel the agreement falls short of important details which were excluded.

Tax implication and liabilities to Mr. Ciampi and Larkin’s failure to properly administrate just who should be the proper recipients of the settlement check.

Both parties? Or Mr. Ciampi and David Beauvais Mr. Ciampi’s former attorney.  A call to David Beauvais was not returned.

City of Palo Alto Settlement Claims and Actions 35K

City of Palo Alto City Ordinance 5023 Settlement Claims and Actions

Up-date: 08/21/11 Mr. Ciampi throws email darts at city attorney Donald Larkin.

Flying email darts
from Tony Ciampi
date Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM
subject PA Assistant City Attorney Don Larkin Violates Calif. Penal Code 1054.1 and his own policy
Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.
hide details 5:10 PM (14 hours ago)

City Council Of Palo Alto

James Keen, City Manager of Palo Alto

Molly Stump, City Attorney of Palo Alto

Mrs. Stump,

I have not heard from you regarding the attempted fraudulent act committed by Assistant City Attorney Don Larkin by misleading the Court and me during the Settlement Conference.   Would you please confirm regarding my previous inquiry.  Additionally, I should add that Mr. Larkin intentionally violated Police Department Policy and Calif. Penal Code 1054.1 by refusing to provide the Taser Gun Activation Data during my criminal case which further demonstrates Mr. Larkin’s deceptive nature.

Given these acts I think it best that Mr. Larkin not participate in the Settlement Process of this case.  If the City is not capable of addressing these issues with someone other than Mr. Larkin internally, I suggest the City contact former Palo Alto City Attorney Ariel Calonne to help facilitate a Settlement.  Mr. Calonne is a person and an attorney who has integrity and a conviction to always do the right thing.

Mrs. Stump, now that you know that Assistant City Attorney Don Larkin has violated a CA Penal Code, Palo Alto City Policy, and State Bar Rules, how do you intend to discipline Mr. Larkin?

Tony Ciampi


Up-date: 08/23/11  “Ass. City Att. Don Larkin misleads about securing evidence?

from Tony Ciampi
date Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 12:52 AM
subject Ass. City Att. Don Larkin misleads about securing evidence?
Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.

Molly S. Stump

City Attorney

City of Palo Alto

Mrs. Stump,

Thank you for your reply.  I too have informed the Court about the necessity of intervention.

Your response still does not include whether or not Mr. Larkin is going to be disciplined for knowingly and intentionally violating City policy and other laws.

Please correct me if I am wrong.  City policy states that the taser gun activation data is supposed to be submitted along with the ORIGINAL police report.  The PAPD did not do that and Mr. Larkin continued to refuse to submit the Taser gun activation data in direct contradiction to the City’s policy.

1)   Did Mr. Larkin violate PAPD/City policy by refusing to submit the taser gun activation to the DA and me?

2)   Did members of the PAPD violate PAPD/City policy by NOT submitting the Taser gun activation data along with the original police report?

3)    Has the City Manager whom the Police Chief reports to and or the City Attorney who is supposed to enforce all of the local laws and City policies take any kind disciplinary action against the responsible personnel for failing to adhere to PAPD/City Policy?

Since we are on the topic, in 2009 I attended a “Meet the Police Chief Meeting” in which some of the PAPD officers from the computer/cyber-crimes unit were there informing citizens on how to erase and over-write the data on “used and unwanted” computer hard drives in order to destroy their personal information and thereby keeping it out of the hands of criminals.  The Officers pointed out that “Over-Writing” a hard drive is the best way to destroy information on a hard drive.

I was also informed during that meeting that the tamper-proof MAV hard-drives were not kept in evidence according to Department policy but downloaded and re-issued to be re-used and thereby overwriting the videos so that they could not be recovered in the future.

I sent an email to the City council and the City Attorney’s office requesting that all evidence be retained.  On April 7, 2009 Mr. Larkin sent an email to a mutual friend stating the all of the evidence was secured.

However the CPU and hard-drive in which the Taser Videos were downloaded onto was not kept in evidence/property as asserted to by Mr. Larkin or Mr. Burns.  I requested in Discovery requests to view the original videos on the original CPU 2UB424055T which Mr. Burns placed under lock and key and was granted that permission.

On October 19, 2010 when I showed up for the first inspection I was informed that CPU 2UB424055T was being used in “Traffic,” where it was being over-written thousands of times in an effort to make it virtually impossible to recover the original taser video downloads.

Can you explain why Mr. Larkin and Mr. Burns never informed me before October 19, 2010 that the CPU 2UB424055T was removed from evidence/property and used thousands of times.

I do believe that act would constitute a direct violation of PAPD Property  Procedures 610.

At the very least, Mr. Larkin, the City and Mr. Burns knowingly kept facts about the evidence from me in order to mislead me.

Do you think that kind of conduct represents what the people of Palo Alto and California expect of the PAPD and the City Attorney’s Office?

Tony Ciampi




Stump, Molly (
Sent: Mon 8/22/11 11:03 AM
To: Tony Ciampi (; Keene, James (; Council, City (; Larkin, Donald (; Espinosa, Sid (internal) (;

Mr. Ciampi,

The City of Palo Alto has asked the federal court to assist the parties to finalize the settlement we have reached in this matter.  It is our understanding that the matter has been assigned to Magistrate Judge James.  We expect to hear from her shortly regarding how she wants to proceed.  Assistant City Attorney Donald Larkin is and will remain the city’s assigned counsel in this matter.

If you have concerns, I encourage you to raise them with the court, copying the city on your communications.


Molly S. Stump

City Attorney

City of Palo Alto

(650) 329-2171

2 attachments — Download all attachments

Destruction of Taser Videos.doc
343K   View   Download


property procedure.doc
415K   View   Download

Up-date 8/24/11

Ciampi motion-Brief filed exposing fraud committed by Larkin

Plaintiffs request for clarification and direction regarding settlement agreement

Up-date 09/1/2011

The ink is not even dry on a newly negotiated deal which took place at the Federal building today in San Francisco there appears to be some remaining issues to settle by the sound of Mr. Ciampi’s latest email sent to city council as noted below.

This much we know. Twenty thousand of the thirty-five thousand previously negotiated will be held in escrow with the Alameda Bar Association to be settled at a later date.

What stalled the negotiations early on was that the city of Palo Alto, attorney Donald Larkin, wanted to arbitrate a previous contact between Mr. Ciampi and his former attorney David Beauvais of attorney fee’s of twenty thousand dollars.  City attorney Donald Larkin originally had the settlement check made payable in both parties names.

Mr. Ciampi strongly objected to Mr. Larkin’s shenanigan to that of withholding any monies.   So, as it stands this evening, a check will be prepared for fifteen thousand going in Mr. Ciampi’s name only and the remaining balance of twenty thousand to be held in escrow.


Up-date: 09/09/11 C09-02655 City refuses to pay the settlement sum / Email exchange

Dear Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinoza and Honorable City Council,

Pleased be advised that a settlement was reached today between me and the City of Palo Alto.

The City of Palo Alto is no longer liable for any damages.  However I should inform you that I intend to sue Taser International, Andrew Hinz, Kustom Signals, and Warren Page and if possible Michael Gennaco.

These individuals and entities were not included in the Settlement Agreement, however Assistant City Attorney Don Larkin is attempting to have the City indemnify them, Mr. Larkin is attempting to have the tax payers of Palo Alto take on the financial and other liabilities of private citizens and companies for their own actions not associated with the City.  This could cost the City hundreds of thousands of dollars more in legal fees.

It should be noted that the City’s contract with Michael Gennaco explicitly removes any liability for any work product that Mr. Gennaco performs for the City.

I find Mr. Larkin’s attempt at placing the financial burden of private individuals onto the tax payers an exceedingly mis-use of the City’s money and completely contrary to what the City normally does when contracting out.

Tony Ciampi
RE:  C09-cv-02655



Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinoza and City Council

The City Attorney’s office, Molly Stump and Don Larkin, refuse to uphold the Settlement Agreement that we entered into on August 9, 2011 and September 1, 2011.

Would you please direct City Attorney Molly Stump and Asst. City Attorney Don Larkin to uphold the agreement.  I have provided them a signed Settlement Agreement however they refuse to pay me the monies owed me.   Please direct them to give me my check.

Thank you.

Tony Ciampi




Donald Larkin

Assistant City Attorney of Palo Alto


It is really straight forward.  Had you defined what the City meant and included when you bound the City to settle the lawsuit has you have done after the fact, I would not settled the case.

Do you understand that Mr. Larkin?  Had you stated, “the City, including any of their past and present agents, servants, employees, directors, contractors, and representatives of the City” when you identified the City as binding itself to settle the case, I would not have settled the case.

Had you stated that Andrew Hinz and Warren Page would be included with the City when you bound the City to Settle the case I would not have settled the case.

If you wanted to include third party claims, you should have stated so on the record.

Therefore, I did not, I have not and am not settling any third party claims.  

The City as defined in the lawsuit, only pertains to the defendants who settled the lawsuit and were identified in the the lawsuit, C09-02655. The Settlement was strictly between the City in its capacity of being liable for the actions of its employees who are apart of  this lawsuit which is Officers Burger, Wagner and Temores.  Andrew Hinz and Warren Page were not parities listed in the lawsuit, and therefore any claims regarding them or anyone else were not settled.

Derek Souza is a Palo Alto Police Officer.  I did not settle any claims that I might have with Derek Souza because he was not named in the lawsuit.  He was not identified as being a part of the lawsuit or of the settlement.

Mr. Larkin the supposed section you are referring to was not placed on the record.  I did not bind myself to anything that was stated after the moment I Bound myself.  The statements you are referring to were stated after I bound myself and therefore do not apply.

Further more you have taken them out of context and applied your own interpretation as to what they mean in an attempt to include third party claims which I never agreed to.

Mr. Ciampi:  “Okay.  The — I guess, some clarification on “without prejudice.”

Mr. Sherman:  With prejudice.”

The Court:  Yes?

Ciampi:   So there’s nothing that will arise as to the City placing a counterclaim on me for anything?

The Court:  No.  You’re done.  This is it.  Everything ends today, arising out of this incident.  Nobody can do anything to anybody anymore.

Ciampi;  Okay

Lines 2-13 of pg. 5 of the Settlement Conference.

I interpret this to mean in the context of the question I asked the court, “can the city file a counter claim for damages caused to City, Wagner, Burger and Temores.  Burger and Temores claimed that they were injured in the incident.

I also interpreted this statement and clarification to include Steven Sherman in thathis rights to sue me for defamation were NOT settled during the settlement conference.  Mr. Sherman has stated to Eduardo that he intends to sue me for defamation.  This settlement in no way settled Mr. Sherman’s rights against me and vice versa.

I most definitately do not interpret “City” to mean any other companies or individuals than the “City,” itself regardless of their relationship with the City.  The “City” itself has defined third parties associated with this and other incidents in Michael Gennaco’s contract, to which the ‘City” has no liability or authority to settle any claims for or against Mr. Gennaco.  

As such your attempt to include third parties is completely contrary to the contract you already have in place with third parties.

Judge James stated that you were to write up a settlement agreement using the exact language of the settlement agreement.  You have not done that.  You have included statements and meanings of statements that were not placed on the record.

I took the initiative and wrote up an agreement using the very transcript of our agreement yet you refuse to uphold it.

I will seek court intervention in order enforce the agreement as we agreed to.

I will be filing a state bar complaint against you for attempting to deceive me into waiving my rights to go after third parties for you have been well informed of my position from the moment that I realized that your were deceivingly attempting to add them to the agreement against my desires, yet you persist in attempting to include the third parties.

Joseph (Tony) Ciampi



Unfortunately, I am unable to accept your settlement agreement as drafted.  At the August 9, 2011 settlement conference, the City agreed to pay $35,000 in exchange for a full dismissal of the entire case with prejudice, a general release with a waiver of Civil Code section 1542 and no admission of liability.

You asked Judge James about the meaning of these terms on the record in court.  She explained that these terms mean, “You’re done.  This is it.  Everything ends today, arising out of this incident.  Nobody can do anything to anybody anymore.”  You replied, “Okay.” Your proposed agreement does not adequately reflect this understanding.

Further, a dismissal of the City means a dismissal of all of the City’s agents, servants, employees, directors, contractors, and representatives.  As a municipal corporation, the City only acts through its agents, servants, employees, directors, contractors and representatives who are acting in the course and scope of their duties.

A dismissal of the City necessarily includes each of these individuals.  Finally, as attorneys for the City, Mr. Sherman and I are the authorized representatives of all of the City’s agents, servants, employees, directors, contractors, and representatives.  As such, while not all of the potential defendants were present in the room, they were all represented by counsel and would be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

I would again ask that you sign the settlement agreement that I provided yesterday so we can finally resolve this case.


Donald Larkin

Assistant City Attorney

City of Palo Alto

(650) 329-2171