“I have informed the Mayor and the City Administrator that I can not fulfill the functions of the Acting Chief of Police for the City of Oakland and I am stepping aside to take leave”, Figueroa said in a statement. He became interim chief after Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent abruptly resigned last week.
Making matters more complicated, there have been reports questioning the police department’s investigation of the death of O’Brien’s wife.
In a news conference Friday night, Schaaf said that for now, the police department would be run by Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, who had previously served as city manager of the neighboring community of Emeryville.
Schaaf said the department was in need of a strong, moral leader to address the “macho culture” within the department, though she said such problems were widespread beyond Oakland as well.
Schaaf revealed another source of embarrassment for the department Friday, when she said an investigation was underway regarding racist texts exchanged by officers. He replaced Ben Fairow who was sacked after five days due to reports he had an extra-marital affair over a decade ago.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf answers questions during a news conference at City Hall Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Schaaf removed the interim police chief Wednesday after appointing him less than a week ago amid a widening sex scandal involving several officers.
Guap, the daughter of a police dispatcher, told KPIX 5 that three of the sexual relations with Oakland police officers occurred while she was a minor.
Schaaf did not explain Friday why Figueroa made a decision to step down, but she said the former acting chief “resigned from his duties” and asked to go on leave. And it involves several incidents of misconduct, including at least one alleged murder, an alleged cover-up of said murder, a police suicide, an underage sex scandal and racist text messages.
She said Figueroa has taken a leave of absence and asked to return to the force as a captain, not as an assistant chief.
She said the racist communications that were “wholly inappropriate and not acceptable for anyone who wears the badge of the Oakland Police Department”.
The mayor acknowledged that the appointment had been rushed, but said she felt comfortable inviting him to take the job temporarily because she knew him from his previous work in Oakland, which included stints in internal affairs and overseeing the police department’s vice and narcotics unit. The scandal has led to the resignation of two officers and the placement of another three on administrative leave while the sexual misconduct case is being investigated. Former Oakland Police Chief, Sean Whent, led the department since May 2013 and had received praise from Schaaf for tackling gun-crime and murders in the city. In all, Guap claims to have had sex with two dozen police officers from five Bay Area police departments, she told the East Bay Times.