East Bay Express: Oakland's latest mess

Aug 31, 2012

The troubling saga of the Oakland Police Department took an ugly turn last week with the news that City Administrator Deanna Santana has accused Robert Warshaw, the independent court monitor overseeing OPD, of making inappropriate advances toward her earlier this year. The revelation has already threatened the integrity of the oversight process of OPD and could delay a decision on whether the department should be put in federal receivership. In short, it's a big mess.

A recap: The San Francisco Chronicle, quoting anonymous sources, was the first to report that Santana had made the explosive allegations against Warshaw. The Oakland Tribune, also citing anonymous sources, then confirmed theChron's story. Sources also confirmed to the Express that both the Chron and Trib stories were accurate.

The Oakland City Attorney's Office said that it has launched an investigation into Santana's complaint. And attorneys John Burris and Jim Chanin, who are also involved in monitoring OPD, are now demanding an investigation into who leaked Santana's allegations to the press. They note that the timing of the allegations is suspicious because Warshaw and his team are also close to releasing new progress reports on the department, and, so far, he has been highly critical of OPD and its failure to implement the reforms it agreed to make.

Santana's allegations, meanwhile, may never be provable because sources say that the alleged incidents occurred in private, and that no one else witnessed them, according to the city administrator. Moreover, there's no evidence at this point that Warshaw has made inappropriate advances to any other public officials in Oakland during his tenure monitoring OPD. In other words, this may become a classic she-said-he-said.

Read more at EastBayExpress.com.