Alameda County agent placed on leave amid misconduct investigation

Kimberly Veklerov/Senior Staff

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An unnamed investigator within the Alameda County District Attorney’s office was put on administrative leave Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation concerning the alleged misconduct of multiple police officers with an underage woman.

The unnamed investigator was one of several law enforcement agents that have either been placed on leave or resigned from their positions within the last month, but no departures have been officially connected to the investigation. The departure of Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa on Friday represents the third time the Oakland Police Department has been without a chief since June 10.

The investigation is currently one of the major investigations looking into the Oakland Police Department for alleged misconduct by officers. In a Friday press release, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Chief Figueroa’s leave of absence and reiterated actions being taken by the Mayor’s office to provide oversight of the police department.

“I am cleaning house, bringing in outside agencies to ensure the integrity of our investigations and will be merciless in punishing those who are found guilty,” Mayor Schaaf said in the statement. “At a time when communities across the country are questioning police culture, it is critical that our officers operate ethically.”

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley released a statement Wednesday about the investigation, which confirmed the leave of the investigator.

The DA’s office is taking a large part in this investigation, as it claims to be one of the leading departments in the country in fighting human trafficking.

“I can firmly state that we do not and will not turn a blind eye to human trafficking or the sexual exploitation of a minor, whether the offender is a civilian or a law enforcement officer,” O’Malley said. “The alleged conduct of the officers in this matter is not in line with what our office and the wider community feel is acceptable for those who are sworn to protect and serve.”

According to East Bay Express, the underage woman, who goes under the name Celeste Guap, was 17 when the incidents took place last year. Guap shared text conversations between her and multiple officers with the Express.

The DA’s office said it will not comment further on the investigation while it is still active.

In a June 11 press release, Mayor Schaaf spoke about the incident and discussed which actions her office will perform after the investigation is complete.

“We continue to be disgusted and outraged by the idea that anyone could abuse an underage victim of sexual exploitation – particularly those who have sworn to uphold the law and protect our communities,” said Mayor Schaaf. “Our highest priority is to hold those responsible for wrongdoing fully accountable and remove them from positions where they are offending the public trust.”

Mayor Schaaf added that while many news reports have released details on the investigation, some facts may not be correct. The mayor’s office will disclose information after it has been confirmed from the investigation.

Law enforcement agencies outside of the DA’s office have participated in the investigation and “several layers of independent review” are also being used to ensure unbiased information.

It is unknown when the investigation will be completed. Any administrative or personnel decisions will be made by the city administrator while the chief of police position remains unfilled.

Contact Vera Esail at [email protected].