2nd investigator put on leave amid Oakland investigations

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A second investigator from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office was placed on administrative leave Monday amid a contentious debate among city and state officials.

According to district attorney spokesperson Teresa Drenick, the investigator was placed on leave because of “allegations of inappropriate text messaging” as part of a larger investigation into misconduct within the Oakland Police Department.

The DA’s office cannot comment further at the current time.

On June 15, the first investigator from the DA’s office was put on administrative leave. The unnamed investigator was one of several law enforcement agents who 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.

In a Friday press release, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf spoke about the major investigations and actions the city will take in resolving these issues.

“As a mayor of Oakland I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,” Schaaf said in the release. “While these reports of misconduct are disturbing, what is positive is that the measures and structures we have put in place to root out this type of behavior, are working.

Since the departure of Assistant Police Chief Paul Figueroa on Friday, Schaaf announced that she will not be naming an active interim chief. This decision was contested by the California Commission of Peace Officers Standards and Training, or POST — a standards commission for California law enforcement — which claimed Monday that the decision not to name an acting police chief violated state laws, according to mayor spokesperson Erica Derryck.

The mayor’s office released a statement in response Monday, saying its actions were not illegal.

“The leadership arrangement of the Oakland Police Department announced on Friday is proper, complies with POST regulations and remains in effect,” the release said. “The administrative duties of the Oakland Police Department rest with the city administrator Sabrina Landreth.”

The release added that the claim from POST cited a government code — which states the chief of police is in control of the city’s police department — that only applies to general law cities and not to charter cities.

“In a charter city like Oakland, it is the city charter that provides the legal structure of governance and assigns functional oversight of all city departments, including the police department, to the city administrator,” the release said.

Currently, Acting Assistant Chief David Downing is in charge of “tactical and operational matters” that do not go to the city administrator. The city is currently looking for someone to fill the position of police chief permanently.

Contact Vera Esail at [email protected].