Alameda County Grand Jury Receives Statewide Excellence in Reporting Award

Sacramento, Calif., November 3, 2019. The California Grand Jurors’ Association has granted one of two annual Grand Jury Reporting Awards to the 2017-18 Alameda County Grand Jury for its report "Oakland's $860 Million Crisis: Unfunded Retiree Healthcare. [Click on the report title to access]

The grand jury found that the city of Oakland faced hundreds of millions in future liabilities for retirement benefits, including pensions and healthcare. There were no plans to adequately address this funding gap. The report concluded in stark terms: “The city must immediately develop a long-term, multifaceted plan to address unfunded retiree healthcare benefits or accept that municipal bankruptcy is an option in the future.”

After the grand jury report was published, many press outlets commented on the story. Following recommendations from the report, the Oakland Finance Department commissioned an actuarial report that confirmed the report’s findings. City, police and fire union negotiators reduced liabilities by over a projected $350 million. The Oakland City Council approved the contract, citing the grand jury report as an important catalyst. A deal, including reductions in police officer benefits totaling over $300 million and concessions to the city, was put to 750 Oakland police officers. No one voted against these concessions.”

The annual Grand Jury Reporting Award recognizes a grand jury report that is of high quality, has a positive impact on the community and increases awareness of the California grand jury system. The award was presented on November 2 at the association’s 38th annual conference held in Sacramento. Rod Guttierez, a member of the 2017-18 grand jury, accepted the award on behalf of the Alameda County Grand Jury.

The California Grand Jurors’ Association is a statewide nonprofit organization of former grand jurors with the mission “to promote, preserve and support the grand jury system through training, education and outreach.”


Rod Guttierez, accepting the award from Barbara Sommers, chair, CGJA Excellence in Reporting Subcommittee


CGJA Press Release


Jim Ragan, public relations director, California Grand Jurors’ Association

(805) 927-2723,