Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby is out for blood, it seems, or perhaps just widespread reforms in the corrupt "culture" she sees in Oakland's city government. In a scathing new report, Ruby alleges that two City Council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, violated city law multiple times in regard to the negotiation of contracts, the processing of those contracts, and pressuring city staff.
Much of Ruby's report centers on the building and opening of The Rainbow Teen Center in East Oakland, a.k.a. The Digital Arts & Culinary Center, a pet project of Brooks' that opened in 2011; and on a contract process connected to the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base, which is being redeveloped for regional shipping uses. The report alleges that both Brooks and Reid favored a company named Turner Constuction for an Army Base bid, and directed city staffers to issue an RFP when they had previously been treating the project as a sole-source contract with another company.
In the case of the teen center, Ruby alleges that Brooks interfered with city staff in the hiring of staff for the center, directing staff to process contracts, and pressuring staff to pay vendors quickly all of which violate the City Charter.
Reid and Brooks both deny the charges there is also another charge levied against Reid's aide, Iris Merriouns, who's accused of pressuring city staff to waive some unpaid parking tickets. Brooks calls the report biased and says that Ruby is out for self-promotion.
Meanwhile, a city staffer who tattled to Ruby and who spoke with the Chron under condition of anonymity said the audit was "a rare opportunity to confront inappropriate behavior by council members or their staffs."