Oakland Councilmember Pat Kernighan (District Two) has elected to push an agenda identified by many as racist, in the action of first, singling out, then calling for the punishment of Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks and for requesting City of Oakland staff to do work in such a way as to allegedly violate the Oakland City Charter Section 218, when the Oakland City Auditor’s Report that made the claim against Brooks, also accused the entire Oakland City Council – each and every councilmember – of the same action.
Yet, the Oakland City Auditor’s Report singled out just two people: Councilmember Brooks, and Councilmember Vice Mayor Larry Reid.
The report has been considered a hit-piece against two Oakland black councilmembers, when the same claims can be made against all of Oakland’s white and Asian Councilmembers throughout history, and during the past four years.
Now, in an effort to generate support for Brooks and against Pat Kernighan’s actions prior to the Thursday, July 25 Oakland City Council Meeting, Iris Merriouns of Councilmember Larry Reid’s Office has issued this email note:
Please attend and get the word out!!!!!
At the City Council’s Rules and Legislation Committee meeting on last Thursday, Council President Pat Kernighan requested a special council meeting to censure Councilmember Desley Brooks for allegedly violating the City Charter.
Brooks, along with Councilmember Larry Reid, have been under fire since the City Auditor Courtney Ruby released a report in February citing wrongdoing on both members alleging they had attempted to steep a public contract to a local construction firm.
Citing City Auditor’s Report and a recent similar Alameda County Grand Jury report, Kernighan asked for a Motion to Censure Councilmember Brooks to be placed on the agenda “regarding certain of her actions pertaining to the Rainbow Teen Center,” located in Brooks’ district.
However, District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaff, in an email to City Administrator Deanna Santana, also discussed city business and exactly what she was going to ask a staff member to do. This action directly violates section 218 of the Non-Interference Clause of the city’s Charter, according to some observers.
Schaff’s email was included in the City Auditor’s “Non-Interference in Administrative Affairs Performance Audit,” but action against her has not been taken possibly because it falls into “grey areas,” according to a spokesperson from the City Auditor’s office.
According to a source at city hall, Ruby “chose to ignore” Schaff’s violation because it was outside of the scope of time she was looking at.
The Post has received inquiries, asking: what constitutes a gray area? Is this a case of selective enforcement of the charter, or is this a move seeking to find fault with minority members of the council? How can the council censure a member when it does not even have a censure policy?
The special meeting to discuss Kernighan’s censure motion is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m in the city council chambers.
Meanwhile Councilmember Pat Kernighan and the dreaded Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby has sent out email letters asking their supporters to come to the July 25th Oakland City Council Meeting and speak against Councilmember Brooks.
Why Pat Kernighan would continue such a racially divisive effort, especially just over a week after the George Zimmerman Trial, boggles the mind. Whatever the reason, it’s way out of line, and seems to support a racist agenda against Brooks.
Oakland City Council’s Selected Choices Of Who To Punish And When
The overall effort by Councilmeber Kernighan makes this blogger recall her bragging about her role in the completed 12th Street Bridge Project (I still have the video tape around here) – something she did during her last Oakland City Council re-election effort. Just drawing from my talk with her, there are various instances where Council President Kernighan has had interactions with city staff that could be construed as a violation of the Oakland City Charter.
And that’s the whole point about this attack on Desley Brooks: its really just using the legal system to punish a person that some on the Oakland City Council don’t personally like.
Moreover, the July 25th meeting on Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks would seem to imply that no other Councilmember or Mayor Quan has ever had a finger pointed at them. But they have, just not by other councilmembers.
Just ask Anthony Moglia who, in 2009, filed a complaint against Oakland Mayor Jean Quan that alleges that Quan violated Penal Code Section 424(a) and Government Code 8314 by using public funds for campaign purposes.
The Public Ethics Commission looked not at Quan’s email account use, or the development of her email list, but at the use of hyperlinks, which is an indication to me that they were trying to find some way to exonerate Mayor Quan, rather than seeking the truth.
To this day, Mayor Quan uses the same email that this blogger gets City of Oakland-related press releases from, as is used to solicit campaign contributions for her 2014 Mayoral run.
It’s weird that such an unethical process on the part of Mayor Quan is of no concern to Pat Kernighan.
It’s also weird that this Brooks matter isn’t before the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. But then, the PEC is the same group that Mayor Quan first blasted Don Perata for saying he wanted to defund it – then Quan turns around and votes to do the same when she’s Mayor of Oakland.
In 2011, The Oakland City Council budget vote was dead locked at 4-4, so in comes Mayor Quan broke the tie and did so by casting a vote in favor of a budget plan which weakened the funding base of the Public Ethics Commission.
UPDATE: Councilmember Desley Brooks Responds Via This Report: