First, I got wind of this Thursday night at the gym, and looked into the article. The person who told me about this was right. The comments in the Tribune article are as distasteful as the way Mr. Carey reportedly came after Phil Tagami. I've captured both below. And as a word of warning, I do not publish anonymous comments. Don't try.
As to where I was during all this? The MLB All Star Game, happily.
Oakland business leaders in near-brawl at City Hall
By Cecily Burt, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE
Article Last Updated: 07/12/2007 12:58:35 PM PDT
OAKLAND — Two men known to blow off steam at city meetings from time to time nearly came to physical blows outside City Hall Tuesday afternoon, although the only casualty appears to be Councilmember Larry Reid's bad back, wrenched while trying to keep the peace.
The near dust-up happened in the middle of Tuesday's Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. The room was packed because comedy film mogul Keenen Ivory Wayans was in the gallery.
It wasn't exactly Oakland's shining moment; then again, it could provide fodder for Wayans' next movie.
Darrel Carey, president of the East Bay Small BusinessCouncil, criticized Rotunda developer Phil Tagami's efforts to award contracts on the Fox Theater restoration to small, minority-owned businesses. Carey, who was paid by Tagami to do outreach to those very businesses, admitted he had previously spoken glowingly of the project, before doing an about-face and saying Tagami put them "through hell," stretching out the last word as 'hay-ell."
Tagami, co-owner of California Capital Group and project manager for the Fox Theater restoration, bristled at Carey's remarks, calling his story "fiction." He told the committee he had exceeded his own goal of hiring 50 percent local businesses and 20 percent small local businesses for the Fox project, and that he had even raised millions of dollars for a program to help small contractors who weren't yet qualified or lacked licenses and insurance.
But the real fireworks started when Reid publicly thanked Carey for being a watchdog to make sure developers were hiring small minority businesses on their projects.
"That's a shakedown!" Tagami yelled, annoyed that Reid's comments somehow validated Carey's point.
"You've been (shaking down) the city for years," Carey shot back from across the room.
At that point Tagami announced he was leaving. Carey called him outside to fight. Both men stormed up separate aisles and out the door.
Reid rushed after them and held Carey back while Tagami walked to his office across City Hall plaza.
"Darrel was just so angry at Phil, and you know he was ready to fight," Reid said. "I'm trying to keep Darrel from going after him, but he just threw me aside and said 'Get off me,' and I slipped and hurt my back a little bit.
"I think Phil has done an outstanding job with the program he's put together," Reid added. "It's a program other developers should be able to emulate."
Carey and Tagami used to be on pretty good terms, and Tagami had hired Carey to do outreach to small local and minority contractors for the Fox restoration, for which Tagami said Carey "did a fine job." The East Bay Small Business Council hosted a construction outreach and bidding conference at the Rotunda more than a year ago, and Tagami's company was a sponsor and a presenter.
But Carey is known around City Hall for getting hot under the collar and being pretty loose with his threats. He confronted Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown) outside a meeting last year after she voted to award a contract to a business he didn't favor, yelling and swearing at her until her chief of staff intervened.
Tagami is also not afraid to speak his mind and tell the council members — sometimes loudly and vociferously — when they are making what he thinks are mistakes. But he hasn't challenged anyone to a fight.
Councilmember Jane Brunner (North Oakland), who was chairing the meeting at the time and tried unsuccessfully to quell the outbursts, told the people in the gallery not to worry, noting that the men and their personalities were well-known. Carey returned to the meeting and apologized for his behavior.
Tagami said he called police after Tuesday's incident, during which he said Carey threatened him and his family. He said he's not sure whether a police report will suffice or he needs to take it a step further and file for a restraining order. "He didn't hit me. He wanted to start an altercation. ... He had four or five people holding him back. I just kept walking, I had nothing to say," Tagami said. "My level of disgust is at an all-time high."
COMMENTS ON TRIBUNE WEBSITE:
Oakland is still a whupAss town and you liberals from SF who are flocking over here for your dream loft need to know the rules:leave MOFO's alone, don't diss anyone,and you'll be just fine Oakland.
On the other hand, you roll around Oakland on your SF Bike that you are so proud of because you are protesting green house gas, and as you roll round lake merritt and bump pedestrians,and forget to say sorry, your ass gets penalized.That's Oakland. No different on the civic level. Tagami was going to get his ass whupped. Respect begats Respect. Oaktown Boy | Homepage | 07.13.07 - 1:25 am | #
Such public spectacles are an 'Oakland treasure' and part of Oakland's celebrated diversity resulting in some well deserved national recognition. There's no place like Oakland and no business like show business. What a source of inspiration for comedy film mogul Keenen Ivory Wayans as he gets ready to sink his teeth, and investment money, into the stupidest little place on earth! Guytoe | 07.13.07 - 1:11 am | #
Shame on the city officials who enable this thuggishness through their tolerance. Shame on Larry Reid, Shame on Jane Brunner and most of all shame on the Tribune for turning a blind, uncritical eye to the damage being done to this city by this stable of feckless politicians, known as the city council. Bubba | 07.13.07 - 12:30 am | #
The usual Oakland. Business men are the REAL city officials. He's so mad. Must be because the man keeps on keepin him down. I think we should get the city officials in the ring. Anonymous | 07.12.07 - 11:10 pm | #
"Councilemember Jane Brunner...told the people in the gallery not to worry, noting that the men and their personalities were well-known." What an idiotic thing for Ms Brunner to do-condoning this behavior. She and others need to stand up to this kind of aggression and condemn it. mc | 07.12.07 - 9:01 pm | #
I noticed that the Tribune doesn’t write about the 3 murders last night. UFB. But I’m sure most of you know that the free press is controlled by the mayor’s office. The tribune is sitting on a story right now that would blow Oakland up. The story is about OPD Harry knows and so does Brenda but Ch. 5 will scoop them. Oakland is a Joke, the mayor is a Clown and Tucker is a puppet. Mike | 07.12.07 - 7:24 pm | #
Wow, I noticed the Trib deleted my comments speculating whether dude in photo has ghetto neck tattoos. I also suggested that he take his meds, that got deleted to.
If you are almost getting in fights at City meetings you have a big fat issue with yourself.
What is is this, be nice to miscreant's day courtesy of the Oakland Spitoon? Mike Spencer | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 4:44 pm | #
I noticed the title on this article has changed since this morning from "city officials" to "business officials." Which way does it read in the print edition?
Not good Tribune. Anonymous | 07.12.07 - 2:55 pm | #
The photo of Carey is the same look I see from our wonderful drug-dealing citizens out on the streets of Oakland. Such nice boys.
In fact, well no, it could'nt be........could it??
Smile everybody (if you know how)!!! Mean Mugged | 07.12.07 - 1:30 pm | #
i have no special love for tagami, who has made some good money off of sweet-heart deals (remember the downtown parking lot jerry brown sold him for $1), but this carey guy reminds us that gangster politics pervade oakland's government contracting (and that of many other cities, too). this is what the FBI is investigating Ignacio de la Fuente for, this has been the story at the School District over the years, and apparently this is still going on today.
i'd say we need to throw the gangsters out, but then i remember this is america, where gangsters rise to the top (see: dick cheney, G.W...) mike shades | 07.12.07 - 12:49 pm | #
Carey needs to go to anger management classes...yelling & threatening a female is so unprofessional, especially if she's someone elses woman then your crossing the lines. wtf is really going on?! | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 12:30 pm | #
this is sad. what a poor role model for the youth of oakland. i suppose we can't complain about violence in the streets when it eminates from city government! david | 07.12.07 - 12:00 pm | #
I am so proud of my city government. Raider Rich | 07.12.07 - 12:00 pm | #
This story, along with the continuing stream of questionable news coming out of Oakland forces me to ask myself, "why did I choose to buy a house(s) in this City, work hard to improve property values in my neighborhood(s), and most of all subject my children this void of leadership, competence, and principle". No confidence! Immanuel Kant | 07.12.07 - 11:56 am | #
Good thing I moved to Tracy...he he... Just kidding in reality sometimes I wonder if this city is just cursed... So much potential but it just always seems to get bad press... I also agree The headline is misleading it should say "Developer And Past Partner Take It To The Street Outside City Hall" LOL Enrique | 07.12.07 - 11:37 am | #
Be careful, Carey I'm sure would boast that he "knows people". This is ghetto talk for doing harm.
Oakland is a messy mess. The Long Drink of Water | 07.12.07 - 10:40 am | #
If Phil Tagamai thinks he's disgusted, he ought to try living in the mess people like him have made out of this town.
Too bad Tagami, Carey and Larry Reid couldn't roll around in the overflowin' garbage. Oh, yeah, that's right, Waste Management picked up the trash outside City Hall. Now, the voters need to deal with the trash inside! Ms.Urban | 07.12.07 - 10:20 am | #
At least Phil Tagami does something around here. Developers may not be saints, but he works at improving the city. The downtown was neglected for years. Past mayors said there would be a shopping center there, nothing in twenty years. Blight all over the city, underused property, Fox Theatere in ruins, etc. People like Jerry Brown and Phil Tagami moved Oakland forward. The reason the people are so hot around here is the tit of graft dried out. Now if the rest of the clowns would take one small step for mankind..... Jim | 07.12.07 - 10:02 am | #
Whoaa, folks. For those who feel the need to continually put Oakland down, we don't hold a candle to San Francisco's shenanigans. Supervisors routinely denounce their mayor (Chris Daly accused Newsom of being a cokehead)while the mayor himself admits to sleeping with the wife of a staffer and goes into rehab. For pure entertainment value, we can't top SF! Pamela | 07.12.07 - 10:01 am | #
Since when is a private developer and a small business council president "City officials"? You headline is misleading and does a disservice to Oakland. Anonymous | 07.12.07 - 9:43 am | #
Welcome to Jokeland!! Enjoy your stay. Then get out as soon as possible. This city will always be "Oakland: The City of the Future".
Mayor Dellums is the joke!!! Model City? Thats funny. HA HA Tea Pinky | 07.12.07 - 9:39 am | #
Isn't this just typical Oakland? Don't you think that our neighbors (Emeryville, San Francisco, etc.)are just shaking their heads saying the same thing?
This city has SO much potential...from a deepwater port, to rail, to a booming air freight business-Oaklands biggest detriment isn't crime in the flatlands, or percentage of poor, but it's own governmental makeup. The City Council has too much power. Period. There are too many personal agendas from too many career politicians. And not your typical career politicians-the ones on Capitol Hill, but politicians who choose to play their entire career in Oakland, where their unprofessional behavior and idiotic antics are condoned and tolerated. I'd love to see the city charter changed to take the teeth out of these people, and a clean sweep made all the way up to (but short of) Dellums. The cycle needs to broken before ANYTHING constructive can happen in Oakland... Oaklander | 07.12.07 - 9:36 am | #
Hey, I didn't see any neck tattoos on him in the photo. Jee-zus, take some Paxil or Xanax before those meetings.
Get a restraining order against the jerk. Who would want to do business with such a hothead? Way to never let them see you sweat.
Maybe I just don't understand his "passion" for business. Mike Spencer | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 9:07 am | #
Tagami did not bring back the Rotunda; he raked a fortune off while he spent City money bringing back the Rotunda. For more on Tagami milking the City of millions of dollars, see http://www.orpn.org/LLAD8.htm Charles Pine | 07.12.07 - 8:58 am | #
read the article Don. Phil has an office across form city hall, not in city hall. it's in the rotunda which he brought back to its former glory. this once again demonstrates the problem with ghettOakland which is Black Folk don't know how to communicate or behave in an appropriate manner. from the mean thug-filled streets, to the surly service at black owned businesses (everett & jones anyone) to city hall. Black folks are keeping themselves down. Hagyl | 07.12.07 - 8:53 am | #
How embarassing! Surrounded by garbage with our city council tolerating such behavior. Will this city ever get its act together? Anonymous | 07.12.07 - 8:40 am | #
Mr. Carey's behavior was overboard but Phil Tagame has gone unchecked in Oakland for years. He has purchased the support of Reid, Kernighan, Russo and his projects are never questioned by the City. Notice in the article Tagame returned to his office at City Hall. A developer with an office at City Hall.
No LEADERSHIP + CORRUPTION = the same old OAKLAND! Don Mateo | 07.12.07 - 8:39 am | #
Get a restraining order against the Thug of City Hall. Way to set an example..... Mike Spencer | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 8:28 am | #
One may not agree with Mr. Carey's behavior, but it would have been nice for the Tribune to also display Mr. Tagami's photo in the article as well. Mr. Tagami is not a saint. Anonymous | 07.12.07 - 8:28 am | #
Lovely. vespucci | 07.12.07 - 8:22 am | #
Ghett-ooo Lame | 07.12.07 - 8:07 am | #
mr. carey IS A SHAKEDOWNDOWN ARTIST. Highly unprofessional, incompetent and an embarrassment to legitimate and qualified minority businesses in Oakland.
My question is this: why does the counsel continue to make excuses for this clowns immature behavior?
No wonder Oakland is a mess.
Shame on them too! jowilli | 07.12.07 - 8:05 am | #