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Former OPD Chief says new report proves his wrongful termination

Downtown Oakland Police headquarters
Russell Mondy
Flickr / Creative Commons
Downtown Oakland Police headquarters

Former Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong says a new report proves he was wrongly terminated by Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao.

The mayor said she lost confidence in Armstrong after he dismissed allegations of two separate infractions by the same police sergeant. The first incident was an alleged hit-and-run vehicle collision; and the second was the alleged accidental firing of a gun in the freight elevator at police headquarters.

These allegations led to an investigation by the department's internal affairs division.

The new report’s author, Maria Rivera, is a retired California judge who now works as an administrative hearing officer. She was hired after Armstrong asked for a chance to respond. The city is required by state law to provide a “neutral” arbiter in cases like this.

Mayor Thao emphasized that the 55-page report does not legally COMPEL the City of Oakland to take action. However, it issued a number of recommendations, including removing Armstrong’s initial 30-day suspension from his personnel record.

Rivera also recommended that the city meet with Armstrong to discuss steps toward resolution, including his possible reinstatement. However, Thao has indicated that she will not reinstate him.

Alastair Boone is the Director of Street Spirit newspaper, and a member of KALW's 2024 Audio Academy.