The Latest: Mayor: deadly fire distracted from sex scandal
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on report criticizing Oakland mayor, city leaders response to police scandal (all times local):
Oakland’s mayor says she agrees with a report concluding that city leaders failed to adequately monitor a police sex misconduct investigation.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wednesday her primary focus shifted away from the investigation in December and January when she and other city officials were tied up dealing with a fire at an illegally converted warehouse that killed three dozen people. Then, she said, her primary focus was on hiring a new police chief.
Schaaf was responding to a report filed by a court-appointed investigator who concluded the mayor and city administrator failed to stay on top of the internal probe of a teenage prostitute’s claim she had been sexually exploited by several officers. City Administrator Sabrina Landreth said she regretted the investigation took as long as it did, but said city officials had to take care to not interfere with the criminal probe of the implicated officers.
The report said top police failed to properly investigate the teen’s claim until a judge who oversees the department ordered an in-depth review of the case.
A court-appointed California investigator has blamed Oakland’s mayor and the city’s former police chief for mishandling and downplaying a sexual misconduct scandal in the city’s police department.
Investigator Ed Swanson in documents filed in court Wednesday puts much of the blame on former Police Chief Sean Whent but also singles out Mayor Libby Schaaf for failing to monitor the case after she vowed dramatic reforms.
Swanson’s report faults police for failing to launch a serious investigation into a teenager’s claims she had sex with as many as two dozen officers starting when she was 16.
The city paid the victim almost $1 million to settle her legal claims. Seven current and former officers face criminal charges.
Schaaf’s spokesman Michael Hunt did not immediately return a telephone message left Wednesday.