OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick will receive a $1.5 million settlement from the city of Oakland, according to the Oakland City Council meeting agenda.
The settlement is part of a wrongful termination suit that the former Chief filed after being fired. In 2020 KRON4 reported the initial filing of the suit which alleged 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.
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The case went to trial back in May, when Kirkpatrick originally sought over $3 million in economic damages and payments for emotional distress. The jury split their verdicts, finding in favor of Kirkpatrick on the whistleblower claim; the jury’s verdict was in favor of the City for the First Amendment claim. The jury awarded Kirkpatrick one year’s salary, or $337,635. The remaining part of the $1.5 million settlement was due to Kirkpatrick’s lawyer fees.
The City of Oakland clarified in the settlement agreement that it denies any wrongdoing or liability and “does not admit any of Kirkpatrick’s allegations.” The City Council authorized final settlement of this case in a closed session last Thursday, July 21. The councilmembers voted as follows:
- 5 Ayes (Bas, Gallo, Taylor, Reed, Kaplan)
- 1 Abstention (Thao)
- 2 Excused (Fife, Kalb)
I feel vindicated by the jury’s conclusion that I was fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on wrongdoing at the Oakland Police Commission. I hope that the agreement in my favor is a signal to all who are witnesses to misconduct, especially those in law enforcement: do not stay silent. Our system depends on people who will do the right thing, even when it is the hard thing. I look forward to putting this chapter behind me and to continuing my career in public service.Chief Anne Kirkpatrick