Harbor board deals with grievance filed by its president, Sabrina Brennan

Daily Post Staff Writer

It appears that another grievance has been filed against the San Mateo County Harbor District by Board President Sabrina Brennan.

The board Wednesday (Feb. 20) met behind closed doors to discuss a series of anticipated and existing cases, including one titled: “Brennan v. San Mateo County Harbor District (DFEH No. 201807-03053228; EEOC No. 37A-2019-00873-C).”

The Post asked the district for a copy of the claim. But Administrative Services Director Julie van Hoff said that documents related to the case are “exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Public Records Act.” Van Hoff did not specify what exemption the district was claiming to withhold the records.

Since the Post did not receive a copy of the complaint, it is unclear whether this is a new complaint filed by Brennan or a continuation of one of the complaints she filed in 2017 and 2018. The 2018 complaint was against now former General Manager Steve McGrath that was dropped, and another against fellow board member Tom Mattusch.

Brennan had said in that she had been sexually harassed by Mattusch. However last February, it was revealed by an investigation done by an outside attorney, Mary Topliff, that in fact Mattusch emailed explicit photos to Brennan and 40 other people, but it occurred before he was elected to the harbor board, making her complaint about harassment null.

The Mattusch case brought the total amount that the district has spent in settlements and legal fees involving Brennan to $780,099. The figure includes investigations into complaints Brennan has filed and investigations into complaints about her, as well as settlements to employees.

Brennan had previously filed a complaint against former General Manager Peter Grenell. While former manager Scott Grindy and former finance chief Debra Galarza filed complaints against Brennan, both alleging harassment. The district paid $295,000 to Galazara to settle her complaint and $103,300 to Grindy.


  1. I’ve been following this for a few years and it stacks up this way. Sabrina is the perfect person, always behaving in the most professional and respectful manner. And every last person she comes in contact with is a sexual harasser. It’s simply uncanny how often she finds herself surrounded by harassers. She’s not the problem, of course. It’s everybody else in the world who is the problem!

  2. Brennan’s constant lawsuits will bankrupt the Harbor District. She’s got to go! The Board of Supervisors should start impeachment proceedings or dissolve the district and switch to an appointed board.

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