By the Numbers: $83,024
He claimed to have tripped and fallen on the sidewalk on Morse Avenue. Because he was never able to point out where he stumbled, even after visiting the site a few times, a judge tossed out the lawsuit after two years of legal wrangling.
While the case got dismissed, the back and forth racked up a hefty tab for the city. Billing documents from San Francisco-based law firm Bertrand, Fox & Elliot show Sunnyvale is on the hook for more than $83,000.
The invoice offers even more fodder for the citizen-led campaign to recall the rancorous Meyering from office. Critics say the councilman bullies his colleagues and refuses to work collaboratively.
Last year, the first-term city official was censured by the council for his bellicose behavior, including yelling on the dais and accusing his peers of accepting “sweetheart deals.” Meyering’s critics accuse him of having scared away city manager Gary Luebbers, who retired a couple years early, and city attorney David Kahn, who took a job elsewhere.
During the legal battle over his personal injury suit the city set up a couple of mediation sessions to work things out. Meyering skipped the second meeting, saying that instead of getting anything settled he wanted to just “tear it all down.”
“The whole thing is, I think, indicative of the type of character he has,” Peter Cirigliano, who’s among the group spearheading the recall campaign. “Rather than being collaborative, he shows a propensity to look for someone to accuse, blame and sue.”
It will be interesting to see how a man who never misses a chance to harp on the city for what he deems wasteful spending will react to the legal bill when it ends up on the consent calendar.
Calls to Meyering’s law office were met with an automated recording, then disconnected. But a website supporting his voice on the council paints him as an embattled minority waging war against special interests.
“Pat is greatly outnumbered and consequently some council members and ex-members have ganged up on him,” the website states. “He has been censured by the council for speaking the truth regarding the appearance of conflicts of interest. They don’t want his comments heard publicly in council meetings. … Curiously they want to completely silence Pat just as they contemplate the largest city development project in many years.”
Below the text is a row of photos: Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Meyering, each stamped with the word, “Censured!”
The recall effort has culled about 2,200 signatures to date, including several from former mayors, council members and other local leaders. It needs 8,284—15 percent of registered voters—to move forward. The “Recall Sunnyvale Council Member Pat Meyering” Facebook group recently reached more than 200 “likes.”