Monday, April 15, 2013

Former Oakland Blight Official Admits to Breaking Law

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

State investigators disclosed Monday that they plan to fine former Oakland blight enforcement official Antoinette Renwick $6,500 for approving and signing public contracts with her former brother-in-law after he loaned her $50,000. Gary Winuk, chief enforcement officer with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), also stated in public records filed with the FPPC that Renwick has admitted to violating state conflict-of-interest laws and has agreed to pay the fine.

Renwick was at the heart of a scandal that rocked Oakland’s Building Services Division, a deeply troubled agency that was sharply criticized by the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury. Building services was accused by numerous residents of overzealous blight enforcement in the city.

According to the FPPC, Renwick, who was a blight inspection manager for the city from 2002 until she was ousted in 2010, has stipulated to approving and signing six contracts for Arthur Young Debris Removal for blight enforcement actions totaling $118,545 without disclosing that Young was her former brother-in-law and that he had loaned her $50,000. Renwick also failed to publicly disclose the $50,000 loan as required by law. The FPPC is scheduled to take up Renwick’s stipulation agreement on April 25.

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