Time to probe corruption in Oakland City Hall

Here I was, thinking that the city of Oakland has been doing a great job ‘cleaning up the streets’ and improving our quality of life. This most recent gang sting, ‘Operation Nutcracker’ is now muddled by corruption. Not on the streets, or in big business, but in the police, city hall and even the mayor’s office.

The saddest part is, that our attorney general, Jerry Brown, was the one that hired our offending city administrator, Deborah Edgerly, I am not sure that there will be impetus enough to oust her.
Mrs. Edgerly has surrounded herself with people (police, attorneys, city workers) who owe her their jobs and have been involved in kick-backs and other nefarious practices so that the whole organization is in a sink or swim situation. They’ll circle the wagons before throwing the book at anyone.
This requires some civic pride and state intervention.
The article, written by an Oaklander appears here in the SF Gate

link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/06/24/BAV811DSGR.DTL

0 thoughts on “Time to probe corruption in Oakland City Hall

  1. Update from the SF Gate. Edgerly will be stepping down in July. She and Dellums SAY that it has nothing to do with the probes into her actions….Do they think we’re stupid? Anyway, they are currently looking for replacements.

    the article:
    Embattled Oakland City Administrator Deborah Edgerly will retire at the end of July, Mayor Ron Dellums said Tuesday, in the wake of an investigation into allegations that she interfered with a police investigation of a notoriously violent West Oakland gang.

    A search for her replacement has begun, Dellums said at a news conference in his office, with Edgerly by his side. The mayor did not discuss terms of her departure, such as severance and retirement pay, other than that he and Edgerly agreed in January that her last day would be July 31. He declined to answer questions.

    [Related story: What led to Edgerly’s downfall. Matier & Ross.]

    “This is about an announcement of a decision that was made several months ago. This is not a reaction to anything,” Dellums said.

    Dellums’ decision to let Edgerly go on her terms comes after city sources said he issued her an ultimatum last week to resign, retire or be fired.

    Edgerly, 56, will have no authority over the Police Department, Dellums said later through a spokesman. Police Chief Wayne Tucker will report to Dellums. All other department heads will report to Dellums and Edgerly, a departure from the mayor’s e-mail to leaders last week instructing them to report directly to him.

    The announcement came after a private meeting Tuesday morning between the mayor, Edgerly, her lawyer and City Attorney John Russo.

    Oakland’s top nonelected official, Edgerly, who was appointed as city administrator in 2004 by then-Mayor Jerry Brown, will continue to earn her $255,000-a-year salary until she leaves next month.

    Edgerly faces possible criminal charges, city sources say, for showing up on an Oakland street June 7 and demanding to know why officers were towing the vehicle of a man she identified as her nephew, who works for the city as a parking meter repairman.

    According to a police report, Edgerly told officers she was calling Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan as well as the department’s Internal Affairs Division to express her concern about how officers were handling the situation.

    Her nephew, William Lovan, 27, of Concord, was among 56 suspected members of a violent street gang arrested last week when police and agents from state and local law enforcement agencies raided several locations in Oakland and across the East Bay.

    Lovan posted $50,000 bail after being arraigned last week on illegal weapons charges with a gang enhancement clause. On Monday, he returned to his city job.

    “It was time for me to go home,” Edgerly said Tuesday, referring to her decision to retire July 31. She added that she will carry out her duties in the coming weeks.

    “I want to make it clear the understanding the mayor and I have: I am the city administrator and when I walk out this door, I will be the city administrator with all the duties and responsibilities that come with being the city administrator via the charter,” she said.

    One city official said it was probably fiscally prudent to let Edgerly leave on her own terms rather than to face her legal wrath had Dellums tried to fire her.

    “This is a graceful way for everybody to end it,” the official said.

    Edgerly has declined requests for interviews. She has retained well-known San Francisco criminal defense attorney Doron Weinberg.

    Weinberg, who hasn’t spoken with Oakland police about the June 7 incident, said the situation is being overblown. He said Edgerly didn’t know her nephew had a loaded gun in his vehicle that night, nor that he was a suspected gang member.

    Weinberg said Edgerly told him Lovan called her to say he’d locked his keys in his van and left the motor running and the police were about to tow the vehicle.

    Edgerly was nearby and went to speak with officers. When she didn’t get a satisfactory answer from them, she called Jordan, who told her “she shouldn’t be involved … and she immediately backed off,” Weinberg said.

    “You don’t lose your rights as a citizen when you hold a public office,” Weinberg said. “She did not make threats. She was trying to figure out what was going on and when she was told it was not appropriate to proceed, she immediately stopped.

    “Whatever people are projecting onto the situation, I don’t think Deborah intended to abuse her power, nor did she abuse her power.

    “She is entitled to remain at her post until her retirement that she previously announced.”

    Edgerly has worked for the city since 1987, starting as a budget analyst.

    City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente said it is Dellums’ decision to let Edgerly work through July. He said he was reserving judgment about the allegations in the police report, pending the outcome of their investigation.

    “He has the authority and responsibility for making that decision,” De La Fuente said. “We don’t have a vote on that. There’s no question these are serious allegations, but there’s an investigation going on. Whatever the results are on that decision, the mayor is responsible.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *