A day after a Clayton city councilman was convicted on embezzlement charges, city leaders must now consider if he should be promptly removed from office or whether to leave the issue up to voters on Nov. 6.
A San Mateo County jury Thursday found Clayton Vice-Mayor Joe Medrano, an insurance broker, guilty on charges that he collected nearly $160,000 in insurance premiums from one of his clients, Redwood Shores-based firm IPass, but never sent the money to the insurance agency.
Medrano, who is running for re-election next month, is one of five candidates vying for three open Clayton City Council seats.
He could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.
Clayton Mayor Howard Geller called news of Medrano's conviction"shocking" for the tight-knit community.
"I'm really concerned for the family and his daughter," Geller said. "It's always a tough situation in a small town when everyone knows everybody."
The mayor said today that he and his fellow council members had not yet been directed by city attorneys about how to proceed.
"I'm just hoping Joe Medrano does the right thing...to not drag Clayton through the appeals process," he said.
The vice mayor, who is not in custody, is set to return to court for sentencing on Dec. 12.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.