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Former Oakland mayor being investigated for running a PACs

Former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff
Thomas Hawk
Flickr / Creative Commons
Former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff

The Oaklandside report confirmedthat Oakland’s watchdog is investigating the case of an unnamed politician, who raised large amounts of money to undermine current Alameda County Supervisor Rebecca Kaplan, a political rival of Schaff.

According to the news site, Schaff helped raise nearly two million dollars to help pass Measure AA, a tax dedicated to funding expanded access to pre-school and childhood education.Schaff, who served two terms as Oakland’s mayor from 2015 to 2023 – she was termed out last year – allegedly kept her involvement with the committee’s work a secret from the public.

If true, that would violate a law aimed at preventing PACs from raising money from city contractors.The Oakland Public Ethics Commission has not named the official under investigation, identifying them only as “Candidate A.” Oaklandside reported that it obtained documents confirming that official as Schaff.

The news website was also able to confirm that Schaff controlled both the Measure AA PAC, as well as the Committee for an Affordable East Bay. She is also being investigated, according to Oaklandside, for controlling a PAC aimed at unseating Councilmember Desley Brooks in 2018.

Simon Russell, the ethics commission chief investigator, declined to discuss the specifics of any of the cases.

Schaff announced her candidacy for state treasurer in 2026. She did not respond to The Oaklandside’s attempts for comment.

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