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Gary Cloutier is a politician elected mayor of Vallejo, California on November 21, 2007, sworn in on December 4, 2007, but replaced by Osby Davis on December 8, 2007. His opponent, real estate attorney Osby Davis, requested a recount that showed Davis had won the election by fewer than five votes. However, on December 8, 2007, Cloutier said he would be taking legal steps "soon" to challenge the recount. Both candidates represent a first for Vallejo: Cloutier would be the first openly gay mayor of Vallejo, whereas Davis would be its first African-American mayor.
Gary Cloutier is the former law partner of pioneering gay civil rights lawyer Paul Wotman. Wotman and Cloutier were among the first lawyers in the State of California to make new law under the Americans with Disabilities Act for same- and opposite-sex couples who had been discriminated against due to the HIV status of one partner in seeking life insurance.
In one of the first refusal to treat cases to go to trial since the United States Supreme Court ruled that people with asymptomatic HIV are protected by disability law, he won a significant verdict against a University of California surgeon who refused to operate on an HIV positive patient with avascular necrosis.
In the more recent San Francisco Superior Court case of Gohstand v. Leibert, he obtained a large and highly publicized settlement in behalf of a straight man who was beaten outside a gay bar by two students from UC Berkeley who believed the victim was gay.
Cloutier grew up in Rhode Island and received a BA in Political Science from Brown University where he was an all-Ivy defensive tackle and the winner of the Eugene Swift award, and a law degree, from Suffolk Law School. He is a former staff member to Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI), and he served on the Vallejo City Council for eight years.
Just days after his win of the election for mayor, Cloutier was arrested for public drunkenness as he sat in the driver's seat of his Cadillac in the early morning hours of November 18, 2007 in Palm Springs outside a gay bar.
He spent five hours in jail and was released. At a press conference outside Vallejo City Hall, Cloutier said he "...Made a mistake that I deeply regret... I had too much to drink...[and] I make no excuses, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I have embarrassed myself, concerned my colleagues and disappointed my supporters. I deeply regret my actions, and apologize to the people I've let down, especially those who have worked so hard on my campaign." Cloutier also said it would never happen again.
He was sworn into office November 21, 2007.
After the Vallejo mayor's race, he worked as an aide to the Mayor and Commission of the City of Miami Beach, published a book, "Rough Point" on his experience as an athlete, civil rights lawyer and politician, and started a blog, "Among The Hogs", a website dedicated to the art of living well in a great democracy.
In 2009 and after 20 years of practicing law and politics, he became ambitious and left the United States to live in Guatemala, read books and regained his physical and mental health. For nearly a year, he lived without technology, and resided on the roof of a hotel in the center of Guatemala City, a village outside Antigua, and a tin shack on Lake Atitlan. He did nothing but climb volcanoes, read books scrounged up in second hand bookstores and contemplated the meaning of life. During this period, he met his eighth enduring companion, Luis Pedro Duran, the son of an old established Guatemalan family.
He was inducted in the Westerly High School Athletic Hall of Fame in March 2012.
In May 2012, he was named Executive Director of Groundwork Providence. Groundwork Providence is an environmental and community development trust in Providence, Rhode Island. The non-profit trust provides EPA funded job training in sustainable landscaping, cleans polluted industrial lots, manages the two largest private tree planting programs in Providence, and sponsors youth "Green Teams." In conjunction with the City of Providence, Groundwork Providence has established a goal of 40,000 new trees planted in Providence by 2020. In June 2012, Groundwork Providence was one of only six non-profits trusts in the nation awarded a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to conduct job training in brownfields remediation. In January 2013, Citizens Bank awarded Groundwork Providence its "Champions in Action" award which is given to the best non-profit in the State of Rhode Island.
- Christopher Heredia (2007-12-08). "VALLEJO Mayor, on job a week, to challenge recount". SFGate. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "Who is Gary Cloutier", GaryForMayor07.com, retrieved 2007-11-23
- "Among The Hogs", AmongTheHogs.com, retrieved 2012-03-07