Wednesday’s Briefing: Oakland Public Ethics Commission Investigating Desley Brooks; Fire Officials Urge Oakland Hills Residents to Prepare for Fire Season


Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks. - PHOTO BY STEVEN TAVARES
  • Photo by Steven Tavares
  • Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks.

The Oakland Public Ethics Commission confirmed yesterday it’s investigating whether Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks violated city ethics rules by allegedly failing to report money she received from the Millsmont Farmers’ Market. The investigation is also looking into whether the money exceeded the gift limit under the Oakland Government Ethics Act, whether Brooks misused city resources by allegedly having staff perform services related to the farmers’ market, and whether the councilmember allegedly used her office to “induce or coerce city staff to perform services related to the farmers market.” (East Bay Times)

Firefighting commanders from a dozen agencies throughout the East Bay gathered in the Oakland hills yesterday to ask for the public’s support in cutting down vegetation as fire season approaches. Oakland Fire Department’s vegetation management unit said it’s run out of money to clear vegetation after voters rejected a $65 parcel tax to pay for wildfire prevention in 2013. (SFGate)

Oakland failed to spend $2.2 million in funds set aside for anti-displacement and homelessness prevention services. A bookkeeping error and staffing shortages are to blame. (East Bay Express)

Berkeley Unified School District is considering renaming LeConte Elementary School, named after a co-founder of the Sierra Club and a slave owner, to Sylvia Mendez Elementary School, who, as a child was at the center of a lawsuit that led to desegregation in California schools. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Hoping to appeal to a growing Asian American population, the owners of the redeveloped Hilltop Mall in Richmond are marketing it as a “a robust and all-inclusive Asian-centric shopping and entertainment destination.” Their first tenant is Taiwanese grocery chain 99 Ranch Market. (East Bay Times)

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled today for a large mixed-use project at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. The 68-acre project will include 800 apartments, town homes, and condos, as well as 600,000 square feet of commercial space. (East Bay Times)

Members of a Bay Area animal rights activist group are facing felony charges and up to 60 years in prison for taking a pair of piglets from an industrial pig farm in Utah. (San Francisco Chronicle)

One of the men whose barbecue at Lake Merritt prompted a woman to call the police is now being recommended to Oakland’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. Kenzie Smith said, “I’m not going to let someone else have a ‘BBQ Becky.’” (East Bay Express)