Thursday, October 22, 2009

Edgerly's Daughter Invited Back to Oakland Police Academy

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Erin Breckenridge, the daughter of fired City Administrator Deborah Edgerly, has been invited back to the Oakland police academy even though she failed to complete it three times previously, according to an investigation of city hiring practices (see page 60 of the report). The decision to re-invite Breckenridge came despite objections by academy staff who said she wasn't a suitable candidate. In previous academies, Breckenridge displayed "deficiencies involving academics, manipulative tactics, and physical training exercises," according to the report.

Both Edgerly and former Police Chief Wayne Tucker came under intense criticism previously for allowing Edgerly's daughter to repeat the academy several times, even though she kept flunking out. The new report also indicates that training academy staff recommended against allowing her to repeat the program. And yet even though Tucker and Edgerly no longer work for the city, Breckenridge has been invited back to the academy for its next recruit session, which has not yet been scheduled.

According to the audit, which was conducted by an outside consultant hired by City Auditor Courtney Ruby, the Oakland Police Department asserted that the City Attorney's Office required that Breckenridge be invited back "in order to provide the appropriate medical accommodation." But the report also states that the City Attorney's Office maintains that it merely advised OPD that Breckenridge be allowed to go through the academy for a fourth time "as a result of her request for a reasonable accommodation for a disability." However, it's not clear from the report what disability Breckenridge has that would result in her coming up short in both academics and physical training and yet still allow her to be considered a suitable police officer candidate.

The revelation about Breckenridge was just one of many findings in the 96-page audit. However, much of the audit focused on questionable hiring and promotion decisions made during Edgerly's tenure before she was fired by Mayor Ron Dellums. Edgerly was promoted to city administrator by former Mayor Jerry Brown.

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