Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced on Friday that Oakland Police Chief Paul Figueroa, who had been at the job for all of two days, has decided to step down. Figueroa is the third Oakland police chief to resign in the last eight days.
According to Schaaf, Figueroa’s decision to leave is unrelated to the two department scandals currently under investigation—at least 14 Oakland police are embroiled in a sexual misconduct case involving a teenage sex worker, and new allegation emerged Friday that officers exchanged racist text messages, including images of the KKK.
Schaaf clarified her job description to the press: “As the mayor of Oakland, I’m here to run a police department, not a frat house,” she said. Schaaf acknowledged there are some “bad apple” cops in her city and promised to root them out and end the “toxic, macho culture” in the department.
On June 9, Sean Whent stepped down as chief of police, a job he’d held for about two years (the East Bay Express has previously reported that Whent was forced out of the position by Oakland’s Independent Police Monitor Robert Warsaw as a result of the sex scandal).
Schaaf immediately appointed Ben Farrow as interim head of the police force, then abruptly removed him from the position on Wednesday, citing “unspecified information” that caused her to want to fire him. Clear enough.
Things have gotten so rotten in the Oakland police department that the exasperated city government has announced they are done appointing interim or acting police chiefs. Now there will be no Oakland police chief. Not until City Administrator Sabrina Landreth finds a new one and who knows when that will be.