Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Must Read: Oakland Councilmembers Brooks and Reid Could Be Censured; A’s Plan to Move to San Jose Hits New Snag

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland City Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Larry Reid could be censured by their council colleagues as a result of an independent audit that found that they had broken city laws. The Chron reports that Council President Pat Kernighan plans to develop a process for censuring councilmembers who’ve engaged in wrongdoing, noting that the council apparently has never before censured one of its own. A censure would not automatically result in Brooks and Reid’s removal from office, but it would be a public rebuke of their behavior. Brooks and Reid maintain that they’ve done nothing wrong, but City Auditor Courtney Ruby said the evidence against them is conclusive. Ruby has also forwarded her findings to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Lew Wolff
  • Lew Wolff
2. The plan by Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff to move the team to San Jose hit a new snag when state Controller John Chiang ruled that the City of San Jose had illegally transferred land that is intended for a new A’s ballpark, the Merc and Chron report. Wolff downplayed the significance of Chiang’s decision, but it could prove to be expensive for the A’s. San Jose had planned to sell 4.88 acres of land to the team for $7 million, but the property was previously valued at $29.1 million. Any sale of the land must now be approved by the state.

3. An Oakland police officer who shot and killed Derrick Jones, an unarmed barber, later told an investigator that he “wanted to get lethal” during the incident, the Trib reports. The recorded statement by Officer Omar Daza-Quiroz was played to jurors yesterday during a civil trial in Oakland. Jones’ widow is suing the city for damages.

4. An Alameda County Superior Court Judge accused of swindling his elderly neighbor resigned from office yesterday, the Chron and Trib report. Judge Paul Seeman of Berkeley is facing grand theft and other felony charges.

5. More than one in six gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in California are bullied because of their sexual orientation, the Inland Daily Bulletin reports (via Rough & Tumble), citing a new study. In addition, 37 percent of bullied students reported being physically assaulted.

6. Environmental groups and California beekeepers have sued federal regulators for their failure to ban two pesticides that are lethal to bees, the AP reports (via Rough & Tumble). Bee colonies in California have collapsed in recent years.

7. The Chron has an excellent piece today on an organic, grass-fed cattle ranch — Eel River — in Northern California.

8. And don’t forget that this Sunday is the annual Running Festival in Oakland. It’s expected to attract 10,000 participants and numerous streets will be closed, the Trib reports.

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