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Council member seeks restraining order against Lathrop manager
Diallo also pushing to get rid of Salvatore as city manager

Former Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely and his wife Rozelle won’t be on the only ones that find themselves facing off with Lathrop City Councilwoman Minnie Diallo in a San Joaquin County courthouse next week.

It looks like Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore is also going to join the party.

According to court documents posted to the San Joaquin County Superior Court’s online case management index, Diallo unsuccessfully filed for a temporary restraining order against Salvatore before she did so – and was granted a TRO – against Neely.

The documentation posted online – which is listed as being “sealed” according to the index – show that the documents submitted for a temporary restraining order were scanned into the database on Oct. 20. Those same scans weren’t completed for the Neely documents until Oct. 22. The documents in the file also show a filing date of Oct. 20 against Salvatore, compared to a Oct. 22 filing date for Neely.

The Neelys were formally served with a notice to appear and a copy of the temporary restraining order by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 29, and Salvatore was served on Nov. 1 with “hearing only” paperwork – not with a restraining order like the ones issued in the Neely matter, which was attempted unsuccessfully by Diallo.

While the judge in the Salvatore case – listed as Tony Agbayani, who is assigned to the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court – denied Diallo’s initial request for a temporary restraining order, Diallo and Salvatore are slated to step before Agbayani on Nov. 9 at 10:30 p.m. on the matter for a hearing.

And according to a letter written by Diallo the members of the Lathrop City Council and released by her attorney, Allen Sawyer, Diallo doesn’t just want Salvatore to stay away – she wants him gone completely.

After outlining a number of offensive comments and one that she claims was racially charged that she alleges Salvatore made to her on the phone the morning after the incident with Neely, Diallo went on to ask for a public apology from Salvatore before requesting for his full and complete ouster from the position that he has occupied within the City of Lathrop for more than a decade.

“As an African American woman, this unwelcome and racially offensive conduct in the workplace at city hall has caused much angst in my daily life. I have had sleepless nights and anxiety due to the concerns of retaliation and harassment,” Diallo said in the concluding remarks of her letter. “I am requesting that the City of Lathrop Mayor and Council, have City Manager Steve Salvatore provide a public apology and be removed from his position as City Manager of Lathrop. I am requesting the City of Lathrop Mayor and Council act swiftly and respond to this letter by the end of business day Monday, Nov. 1.”

According to city officials, the council drafted a letter in response, and it has been delivered to Diallo.

The conversation between Diallo and Salvatore took place the morning after an incident inside of the council chambers at Lathrop City Hall where former Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely and his wife Rozelle confronted Diallo at the conclusion of the meeting last month. Diallo had voted against appointing Neely – the lone applicant for the open position – to the Measure C Oversight Committee, and the ensuing conversation ended shortly thereafter. The acting chief for Lathrop Police Services was not in attendance at the meeting, and no other representative from Lathrop Police Services attended the meeting in his stead.

When Diallo called Salvatore the following morning, she claims that she was met with the “worst verbal assault possible” in a rant that ranged from the Sheriff’s Office to a traffic study that was before the council earlier this year.

A phone call to Salvatore for comment was not immediately returned.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.