Now that Ron Dellums has apparently decided to let embattled City Administrator Deborah Edgerly stay at her job until July 31, East Bay columnists Chip Johnson and Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor couldn't have drawn more different conclusions about the end of the affair.
Let's start with Chip Johnson's offering. Johnson claims that Dellums' own staff, as well as the city attorney's office, urged the mayor to get rid of Edgerly in short order, but Dellums agreed to let her stay on. In addition, Edgerly has reportedly refused to cede any authority over the Police Department, even though she may have interfered with a major gang investigation in order to protect her nephew. Johnson also claims that Edgerly has allegedly requested a nice, fat severance package, and suspects that Dellums will give it to her. "Dellums' refusal this week to discipline Edgerly in any way has cost him the respect of many Oakland residents and scores of city employees," Johnson writes. You can feel the sting of Johnson's contempt in every word.
Meanwhile, Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor reserves his contempt for the news media who, he writes, has acted no better than a crazed mob: "And the mob - like the crowds at the old Roman Coliseum - is only interested in blood and spectacle, and grows surly when neither is provided." The media, you see, are all ganging up on poor Deborah Edgerly, who did "nothing more than any other parent or relative might have or would have done under the circumstances." Of course, most parents aren't the most powerful nonelected public official in town. According to the Tribune account of the police report, Edgerly told the cops "she was on the phone with Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan and that she would be contacting the department's Internal Affairs Division over the matter." As for Dellums, Allen-Taylor just sighs and wonders why the mayor won't open up a little and deploy some of his famous charm to defuse the whole situation. We're starting to wonder when Allen-Taylor will just take the job as Dellums' press secretary and get it over with.