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Police commission releases list of candidates for new OPD chief

Oakland Police Department's downtown headquarters
Russell Mondy
Flickr / Creative Commons
Oakland Police Department's downtown headquarters

The list, published on the commission's website Tuesday evening, is the second attempt by the commission to provide Thao with a group of candidates she finds acceptable.

In December, Thao rejected all three original candidates presented by the commission from a list that included Armstrong, whom Thao fired last year after a 30-day suspension, which followed an outside investigation into alleged police misconduct in the department.

This week's list doesn't include Armstrong, but does contain one name from the commission's first, rejected attempt: Abdul Pridgen. The former San Leandro police chief was put on leave last September, for allegedly violating department policies. His last day with his old department was Feb. 20.

The list also includes former Lubbock, Texas Police Chief Floyd Mitchell, Cincinnati Police Department Investigations Bureau Commander Lisa Davis and Louis Molina, New York City's Assistant Deputy Mayor for Public Safety.

In an email Wednesday, Thao said she "looks forward to receiving the list of finalists and conducting her due diligence in reviewing the candidates."

According to the charter, the commission has the responsibility of presenting the mayor with at least three candidates, from which she can either select a new chief or reject in its entirety.

Thao also sent a letter to the commission saying she wouldn’'t participate in its public forum, which was planned for Thursday night via Zoom, because she believes that publicly vetting applicants is counterproductive.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.