Friday Must Reads: Oakland Police Overseer Sides with Police Union; Judge Rejects Big Banks Suit Against Richmond



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. In a surprise move, Oakland police Compliance Director Thomas Frazier, who was appointed to oversee court-mandated reforms of OPD, unilaterally overturned a key reform measure that had been approved unanimously by the Oakland City Council, the Trib reports. In his decision, Frazier sided with the Oakland police union — which has steadfastly resisted reforms of OPD for years — and blocked a plan that would have transferred complaints of police officer misconduct to an independent civilian commission. Frazier instead ruled that the complaint process must remain solely within the police department.

Judge Charles Breyer
  • Judge Charles Breyer
2. Federal Judge Charles Breyer rejected a lawsuit filed by big banks against the City of Richmond over its anti-foreclosure plan, saying the case was premature because the city had not yet carried out its proposal to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain, refinance them, and lower payments for homeowners, the LA Times$ reports. However, large banks may refile their suit after Richmond actually launches the program.

3. The BART board of directors rejected a proposal to steer $5.7 million in surplus funds toward employee raises, choosing instead to spend the money on maintenance and repairs, the Chron reports. BART management and employee unions remain at an impasse in negotiations.

4. The state legislature sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016, and the governor said he would sign it into law, Bay Area News Group reports. The legislation will give California the highest minimum wage in the nation.

5. And the legislature decided to rename the western span of the Bay Bridge after Willie Brown, a former Assembly speaker and mayor of San Francisco, who is now a Chronicle columnist. However, it remains to be seen whether Governor Brown, who opposed the renaming, will order Caltrans to put up new privately financed signs that contain the bridge's new name, the Mercury News reports.

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