Thursday Must Reads: Feds Launch Investigation Into Oakland City Attorney; Protests Costing Oakland $100,000 a Day in Police Overtime



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

Barbara Parker.
  • Barbara Parker.
1. Federal officials are investigating whether Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker improperly steered a legal contract to a law firm that made large campaign contributions to her 2012 campaign, Reuters reports. The legal contract went to the law firm Nossaman, which then lost a key arbitration case in which the city was forced to rehire disgraced cop Robert Roche after he had fired a teargas canister at people trying to help the injured Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen during an Occupy Oakland protest. Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, who was angered by the fact that OPD had to rehire Roche, ordered the probe of Parker. The city attorney has denied wrongdoing, saying the Nossaman firm was well qualified to handle the Roche case. Parker and Nossaman, however, have come under intense criticism for losing the Roche case, and the city attorney has lost numerous other cases in which OPD attempted to discipline officers accused of misconduct. Parker also has refused to turn over sensitive legal documents from the Roche case to the court, arguing that they’re protected by attorney-client privilege.

2. The anti-police-brutality protests that have roiled the East Bay for the past two-plus weeks are costing the City of Oakland about $100,000 a day in police overtime, the Trib$ reports.

3. Hackers from the group Anonymous shut down the City of Oakland’s website yesterday in an apparent mistake. The group thought that OPD was responsible for firing less-than-lethal weapons at protesters on Tuesday night when it was the California Patrol that had done so.

4. Berkeley High School students protested against police brutality yesterday, joining with a UC Berkeley group on campus, the Trib$ reports.

5. The Oakland City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday night to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants in 2018, the Trib$ reports. Ringling Brothers circus immediately announced that it would stop performing in Oakland when the bullhook ban goes into effect.

6. The big storm moved into the Bay Area this morning, causing power outages and flooding in certain areas. The storm also prompted numerous school districts to close schools today.

7. And the Golden State Warriors have redesigned their planned new arena in San Francisco so that it no longer looks like a giant toilet bowl, the Chron reports.