A little more than a day after his private law practice was torched by what investigators now say was the work of an arsonist, Vallejo's mayor on Monday vowed not to be intimidated.
At a news conference, Osby Davis called the work of the arsonist "cowardly" and he promised to set up shop again after his office on Tuolomne Street across from the Solano County Courthouse was set ablaze. The two-alarm fire was reported Saturday about 1:30 a.m.
"Although I believe that the latest criminal act is part of an escalating attempt to intimidate me, let me make it clear that it has failed," he said.
Almost immediately, the city's fire chief, Page Mayer, called the blaze suspicious, and by Sunday, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were advised on the case.
Davis also acknowledged that he had been the victim of another recent crime. The Vallejo Times Herald reported that on May 18, the mayor's 11-year-old motorcycle was stolen from the Vallejo City Hall parking lot.
At the news conference, Davis said that he would wait until the investigation was complete to make any further comments as to who would do this to him and why, though he did say, the crimes against him seem very "political."
He said it's possible that the fire and the stolen motorcycle are related, but he wasn't prepared at this point to officially say the two were linked.
Davis has 38 years of law experience, after having graduated from California State University at Fresno, and Boalt School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. His expertise is in foreclosure, eviction and landlord-tenant relationships.
Davis has been in the spotlight before. Three years ago, he made an insensitive remark about gays not getting into heaven, which he later apologized for. The comment came after Davis' 2007 mayoral opponent, Gary Cloutier, who is a civil right attorney and openly gay, won on election day, but Davis demanded a recount. After the recount, Davis eked by with just three votes. The entire drama captivated, and polarized, the city.
More recently, Davis has been embroiled in a city that has just emerged from bankruptcy and in a community where many have demanded more accountability into Vallejo's five fatal officer-involved shootings since May.
His term expires in 2015.