Judge Excoriates Oakland for Mishandling of Police Sex Scandal
The City of Oakland was forced to answer for the explosive scandal that rocked its police department last year.
On Monday, Judge Thelton Henderson ordered Oakland city attorneys to appear in court to explain the “severe” mishandling of a sexual misconduct investigation involving cops and an underage prostitute. The scandal ensnared two dozen Bay Area officers and resulted in the resignation of the city’s police chief.
This is the first time in five years that Judge Henderson has ordered the city to court. He was chosen to oversee the department in 2003 as a result of an unrelated corruption case. For nearly the entire hearing, city officials found themselves on the hot seat.
“We’re still not finished with this case after 14 years,” Henderson said. “These are not arbitrary orders we’re trying to enforce. ... I’m not just an inconvenient bump on the way to a settlement.”
If civil rights advocates get their way, Judge Henderson will hold Oakland in contempt. It could then face a steep fine.
Anne Kirkpatrick, who took over the city’s police department in the wake of the scandal, personally apologized on behalf of OPD Monday.
"It's certainly my vision and mission for OPD that not only do we heal and apologize but move forward," the police chief said.
The judge is expected to hand down a set of recommendations for the city soon.