Ever since the Martin Tracey fiasco, city officials in Atascadero have remained very tight-lipped on his whereabouts or his status.
Tracey, the townâ€™s besieged deputy director of redevelopment, was asked to resign on Oct. 31, but was quickly reinstated on Nov. 8 due to what the city called â€œanticipated litigation.â€? Since then, heâ€™s been impossible to contact. The mayor, the city administrator, and the city attorney refuse to say where he is or what he is doing.
Even the cityâ€™s receptionist claims that she canâ€™t find Tracey.
In a story first reported by the New Times, Tracey came under fire for allegedly threatening downtown property owners Pat and Sue Gaughan with eminent domain litigation if they refused to sell their property.
Meanwhile, community members have voiced concerns that the city council broke the law by violating the Brown Act when it voted in closed session for Traceyâ€™s resignation. The Brown Act is a law that provides rules for elected officials to follow regarding open or closed meetings.
â€œWe didnâ€™t want to give the appearance of violating the Brown Act, said City Council member George Luna. â€œWe had to rescind our action and will investigate Tracey.â€?
An investigation is already underway. In a two-hour meeting on Nov. 18, Ronald Scholar, an attorney representing the city, questioned Pat and Sue Gaughan regarding the alleged strong-arm tactics of Tracey.
â€œThe investigation is expected to go quickly,â€? Luna said. â€œWe want to find out if there was any lying and exactly how things went with Tracey.â€?