BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
Andi Jordan, the executive director of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County, said she was subject to years of targeted harassment from two Los Altos councilwomen — Anita Enander and Lynette Lee Eng — because they didn’t like her husband, former Los Altos City Manager Chris Jordan.
Andi Jordan is threatening all 15 Santa Clara County cities that comprise the association with a lawsuit.
In a legal claim, she calls out several council members individually for creating a hostile work environment. She is seeking four years’ pay for harassment and retaliation. The Post obtained her claim from the city of Monte Sereno after a California Public Records Act request.
Jordan said Lee Eng tried to stop her from being hired in 2017 with no justification.
After Jordan took the job, she had a social event at her home. Enander told her not to finish remodeling her home because she “wouldn’t be around long enough to enjoy it,” according to the claim.
None of the council members named in Jordan’s claim would address it because of a potential lawsuit.
Marital status discrimination alleged
Jordan said she was discriminated against based on her marital status. She said she asked the board for health care benefits in April 2019 because she has rheumatoid arthritis, and Cupertino Councilman Rod Sinks said she “did not need benefits because her husband had them,” the claim says.
Chris Jordan involuntarily resigned as Los Altos city manager in November 2020. The city didn’t say why he was forced out, but council members were upset after he didn’t act on their requests.
Andi Jordan said her husband’s resignation forced her to sell her house and leave California, and her arthritis got worse. She went on medical leave in November 2021.
Jordan submitted a formal complaint to the cities association regarding harassment in February 2021, and the association hired a law firm to look into it. Jordan said city representatives in the association immediately retaliated against her for filing the complaint.
• The association removed her from working on a roundtable with Santa Cruz County that she created.
• The association stripped her of managerial authority over the new association attorney, Gary Baum. Baum used to be Palo Alto’s city attorney.
• Board members refused to communicate with her directly.
• Baum blamed Jordan for creating “this mess,” referring to the investigation into her harassment claims.
• Palo Alto Councilman Eric Filseth and others improperly demanded information about the confidential investigation.
• The association unfairly said she needed to improve on “dealing with a difficult group of people, elected officials and city staff” in an August performance evaluation.
• Saratoga Councilwoman Mary-Lynne Bernald had Jordan prepare a report and then didn’t use it. Bernald said Jordan didn’t follow procedure with the budget or public meeting laws.
• Sunnyvale Councilman Glenn Hendricks said he would direct his city to conduct an unwarranted investigation into Jordan’s management.
The investigation wrapped up in November 2021. Jordan said the investigator found that Enander, Lee Eng, Matichak and Cupertino Vice Mayor Liang Chao “engaged in unlawful harassment.” Jordan said these women were supposed to be banned from the association but were not.
Jordan, who made $110,000 last year, then went on medical leave, and the association appointed an acting executive director.
Unlike San Mateo’s City/County Association of Governments, the Santa Clara County group is not a joint powers authority. A JPA is a legal body that allows two or more public agencies to exercise common powers,
Jordan said she tried to convert the cities association into a JPA. She claims that failing to do so leaves individual cities open to liability. Now she is using that view to bring legal action against each city. She is asking for $441,000, which is four years’ pay.
Los Altos’ role on the board
In December, Los Altos City Council battled over who should be appointed to the association. Councilwoman Neysa Fligor, who was the 2021 representative, pleaded for another year over the wishes of Enander, who said she should get the appointment because she was the new mayor. The council voted 3-2, with Lee Eng and Enander voting no, to give Fligor another six months.