The Oakland City Council made good on at least two pledges in the wake of the embarrassing Edgerlygate nepotism scandal this summer.
Last night, the Trib reports, the council voted to spend $150,000 to audit hiring practices going back to 2003, and $250,000 to set up a program to protect whistleblowers who come forward with evidence of malfeasance. Readers may remember the case of Larae Brown, the city controller who reported that in 2006, the city had $172 million less than it reported to the public, that city leaders had illegally commingled general fund and bond money accounts, and that City Administrator Deborah Edgerly enjoyed $243,000 in benefits that no other city employee was eligible for. Brown was fired shortly after this report, and has sued the city. It's to keep allegations like this from recurring that both measures were sorely needed. You're a little late to the picnic, councilmembers, and how Oakland can afford this with a $50 million budget deficit is still a mystery. But thanks anyway.