The mess in Oakland's law enforcement community only deepens with each day, and Monday there was a brief dustup between Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the California state commission on peace officer standards and training (POST) about the legality of Schaaf's move to put a civilian city administrator in temporary charge of the police department. As KRON 4 reports, Ralph Brown, the spokesman for CA's POST agency, issued a statement saying the move violated state law, but Schaaf insisted he was wrong and only creating further "confusion."
Schaaf turns out to be correct, and as the Chronicle reports, Brown backed down after it was explained that, as a charter city, Oakland legally, per case law in 2011, has the authority "to constitute, regulate and govern police departments."
Also, Schaaf says she has put City Administrator Sabrina Landreth in charge of overseeing personnel and administrative decisions, while Deputy Chief David Downing has been made Acting Assistant Chief of the department, meaning he is the city's POST designee in charge of day-to-day operational and tactical decisions for the force.
Two acting chiefs have stepped down or been removed over the last ten days as more details about a sex scandal involving a formerly underage sex worker made headlines, and cost Chief Sean Whent his job and as still other highly questionable actions by Oakland police came to light last week.
We found out late last week that veteran Oakland homicide detective Sgt. Mike Gantt was on administrative leave and under investigation for allegedly allowing a girlfriend (and he is married) to ghost-write homicide investigation paperwork for him in the high-profile 2013 murder of 66-year-old Judy Salamon. Gantt potentially has compromised evidence in that and other investigations after leaving it at the girlfriend's house overnight, and she apparently published confidential information about that case on a social media site.
Now the East Bay Times reports that Gantt was previously fired from the department ten years ago for obstructing the investigation of a sexual assault. Apparently, according to internal affairs documents, Gantt tipped off a rape suspect that a warrant was about to served to search his vehicle for a gun used in the assault.
Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods is now launching a review of all past and present cases in which Gantt was an investigating officer.
And getting back to the sex scandal involving 18-year-old Celeste Guap, the Examiner reports that SFPD Deputy Chief Mikail Ali was contacted directly by Guap several times on Facebook, though he denies ever meeting her in person or having sex with her. Guap appears to have made it a mission of sorts of sleep with as many local cops as she could, and Ali was among those she reached out to, briefly flirting via Facebook Messenger and saying things like, "Hi daddy how are you?" Ali says he un-friended Guap as soon as she called him "daddy."