Former Oakland police chief fired for exposing corruption within police commission: lawsuit

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was fired for exposing the corruption and abuse of power of the Oakland Police Commission.

“Rather than address the serious issues Chief Kirkpatrick raised, the City of Oakland, through Mayor Libby Schaaf and the members of Police Commission, fired the most progressive police chief in the city’s history for blowing the whistle on the Commission’s misconduct,” attorney R. James Slaughter of the law firm of Keker Van Nest & Peters said.

The suit alleges that members of the Oakland Police Commission abused their power, corruptly looked for special treatment from OPD, frequently abused and harassed OPD staff, interfered in day-to-day police operations and sought unlawful access to confidential documents.

The suit also says Kirkpatrick was wrongfully fired for standing up to the commission’s misconduct and reporting its unlawful actions.

Kirkpatrick’s suit seeks monetary damages that include lost pay, benefits, and damages for loss of future earnings.

On Feb. 20, members of the Oakland Police Commission and Mayor Libby Schaaf voted to terminate Kirkpatrick without cause. According to an internal memo, Oakland Police Commissioner Ginale Harris demanded she be reimbursed for towing fees, but Kirkpatrick said she refused to provide any special treatment.

“The refusal of Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to fix tickets for a police commissioner is just one example of retaliation and other factors that the Chief believes led to her unwarranted termination by the Police Commission and Mayor,” said a statement provided by Kirkpatrick’s representation, Sam Singer.

Kirkpatrick became the city’s first female police chief when she was appointed by Mayor Schaaf in 2017.

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