The Oakland City Attorney may have some insights into what’s being investigated after the FBI raid on the mayor’s home, and Sheng Thao’s partner has been named. Oh, and a karaoke club with alleged drug sales and human trafficking just entered the scandal.  

Two-and-a-half weeks after the shocking FBI raid on the home Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, we still do not have official word on why the raid happened, or whether Mayor Thao herself is even a target of the FBI investigation. But when Thao gave her fiery and combative press conference four days later to deny any wrongdoing, our reporting on that referenced remarks from Thao’s former chief of staff Renia Webb, who served in that role when Thao was a city councilmember and through the mayoral race.

"I had found out that Andre, her boyfriend, was promising people jobs in our administration, promising people appointments on different commissions and boards." Webb told KPIX a couple weeks back. "I definitely believe that, out of the mouth of the people that told me, they were promised positions, they were promised board positions. And [they would always say] Andre, you know? That's who they would say, 'Andre promised me this.'"

She refers to a gentleman named Andre Jones. And she may have been onto something, as the Chronicle now reports that the Oakland City Attorney’s Office sent a memo to scores of city employees demanding they not delete any communications relating to Jones, nor to Oakland’s recycling collection contractor Cal Waste Solutions, nor to that company’s father-and-son top executives David and Andy Duong, who happen to be very prolific political mega-donors.

The Chronicle obtained the email, sent last week to an unknown number of Oakland city employees, alerting them that they “need to preserve all electronic and paper documents” regarding a number of topics “relating to a federal grand jury subpoena.”

So it’s new news that there is a federal grand jury subpoena, though not surprising news, considering there’s already been an FBI raid. The Chron reports that the Oakland employees were instructed to retain all communications about Thao’s partner Jones, the Duongs, Cal and Waste Solutions, as well as a proposed tiny-homes-for-the-homeless project at the Oakland Army Base.

That tiny homes project also involved an apparent suspect in the Duongs’ alleged “straw donor” scheme, Oakland real estate agent Mario Juarez. The Duongs have since reportedly had a falling-out with Juarez, and whether it's related or not, Juarez claims he was beaten up and had gunshots fired at his home in the last two months.      

This all gets even seedier. Oaklandside reported last week that the younger Andy Duong had allegedly been laundering campaign donations through the manager of an Oakland establishment called Music Cafe. That report also indicated that Duong was the real owner of Music Cafe, though manager Charlie Ngo presented himself as such.

Why is this interesting? Because state ABC agents shut down Music Cafe in 2018 after undercover agents found the place was selling ketamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and the services of sex workers.

According to follow-up reporting by the Bay Area News Group, Music Cafe closed in 2018, four months after the ABC raid. But Ngo was an alleged straw donor to the campaigns of one-time Oakland city councilmembers Desley Brooks, Larry Reid, and Rebecca Kaplan, and other Milpitas and San Jose councilmembers. This despite Ngo often having less than $10 in his bank account, yet receiving mysterious cash infusions just prior to the donations.

None of those aforementioned elected officials are suspected of any wrongdoing in the scheme.

Related: We’re Getting Clues On Why the FBI Raided Sheng Thao’s Home, and Other Oakland Politicians Might Be Worried Too [SFist]

Image: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao arrives at the opening night premiere of "Stephen Curry: Underrated" at 66th San Francisco International Film Festival at Grand Lake Theatre on April 13, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)