Apparently the family that conspires together, stays together.
Last week, the Hercules City Council agreed to urge state and county prosecutors to investigate the dealings of former city manager, Nelson Oliva. Oliva is accused of awarding multiple city contracts to his family company, NEO Consulting Inc. (DBA Affordable Housing Solutions Group) and thus, contributing to the city’s financial woes of the late 2000s.
Last fall, Oliva and his company settled a lawsuit with the city for $3.2 million—an amount equivalent to all the contracts Oliva secured for NEO Consulting Inc. during his stint as city manager.
The settlement “serve[s] to vindicate the public interest in enforcing the violations of [the[ Government Code… that occurred in this case,” Mayor John Delgado proclaimed at a city council meeting last fall. The council gallery erupted into applause when the settlement was announced.
The settlement was in addition to the $70,000 levied by the California Fair Political Practices Commission against Oliva for failing to report gifts and conflicts of interest while serving as Hercules’ top public official.
According to a 2010 report in the Contra Costa Times, Oliva divested his stake in the operation prior to becoming city manager in 2007. However, financial reports indicated that two of his adult children each owned half of the company shares and Oliva’s administrative assistant at City Hall also served on the company’s board of directors.
Read more about the situation here.