Acting chief Paul Figueroa said Friday that he is stepping down after only two days the latest casualty of disarray in a department that is now on its fourth head in a little over a week.
Samsung GC200 Galaxy Camera 2 – 16.3 Megapixel CMOS, 21x Optical Zoom, Android 4.3, WiFi and 4.8-inch Touchscreen LCD Display – Black (Certified Refurbished)Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said that he had offered his resignation and that assistant chiefs will report to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth while a new replacement is found.
There was no immediate reason for why Figueroa is withdrawing from his position, though a KTVU reporter said that it involved racial texts and emails.
Memo from Mayor Scheaf, announcing the departure of Chief Fiueroa
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Schaaf started off her press conference by saying that an investigation into the texts would be concluded in a few days, but would not discuss any possible connection to Figueroa.
A visibly frustrated mayor told reporters that she and her city administrator will “root out what is clearly a toxic macho culture.”
Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth
“I am here to run a police department, not a frat house,” Schaaf said at the beginning of her conference, later saying repeatedly that she was not giving details because she does not want to jeopardize getting the “strongest punishment allowed.”
A racist text scandal previously rocked the force in the city across the bay, San Francisco, during a span of a few months where top police officials in the area have not been not long for their jobs.
Oakland’s trouble started last month, when an investigation into the suicide of an officer last year revealed his and other officers’ involvement with a teenage prostitute known as Celeste Guap.
At the center: OPD has been rocked by a scandal involving prostitute Celeste Guap, who claims to have slept with 14 men from the dept.
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The scandal widened when the sex worker, now 18, told the East Bay Times that she had sex with two dozen officers from Oakland and other nearby departments, including three while she was underage.
Guap, the daughter of a police dispatcher also claimed that officers would give her inside information about anti-prostitution raids and that she would talk to the wife of Oakland chief Sean Whent about “dating an officer.”
Whent resigned last Thursday, after what local outlets reported was criticism of the way he handled the investigation into wrongdoing by his officers.
Ben Fairow, an assistant chief of the police for the BART mass transit system, was picked as a replacement by Schaaf and was originally supposed to hold the title for six months.
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However, he was fired on Wednesday after the mayor said she received information that caused her to lose confidence in her choice. She said then that she had made a mistake in not vetting him properly.
BART chief Kenton Rainey said in a statement that Fairow had admitted to having an affair with a woman a decade ago when he was married.
He his former employee would go back to his old position at the transit system, and that Fairow had done anything that would disqualify him from doing his job.
Schaaf said that Figueroa was not involved in the sex scandal, which now appears to be another commonality that San Francisco and Oakland’s departments share in addition to racist texts.