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Former City Manager Embroiled In Hercules’ Financial Meltdown Found Dead

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Hercules City Hall. (CBS)

Hercules City Hall. (CBS)

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HERCULES (CBS SF) — Former Hercules City Manager Nelson Oliva, who resigned in 2011 amidst the city’s deepening financial struggles, has died, according to city officials.

City staff received a call from the FBI on Tuesday saying that Oliva had died earlier that day, said Hercules interim City Manager Phil Batchelor.

Oliva was in his mid-50s. Further information about his death was not immediately available this morning.

The FBI had reportedly been investigating Oliva in recent years following his 2011 resignation in connection with murky financial dealings, including the investment of millions of redevelopment dollars in projects that never materialized.

Audits by State Controller John Chiang’s office reveal that close to $50 million in state redevelopment funds appear to have been misspent by Hercules city officials between 2005 and 2010.

Chiang’s office found that Hercules’ former city manager who also served as executive director of the city’s former redevelopment agency had an apparent conflict of interest when his own consulting company was awarded millions in contracts, contributing to a deficit of more than $8 million for the redevelopment fund.

The report also indicates that city council and other redevelopment board members failed to raise any concerns, “even though it was obvious that at least $7.1 million in unallowable expenditures were being charged to the RDA Operating Fund.”

No charges were ever brought against Oliva or any of his colleagues.

He served as city manager from 2007 to 2011.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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