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Oakland mayor removes police chief five days after appointment in midst of sex scandal

June 17, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Oakland mayor removes police chief five days after appointment in midst of sex scandal

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Just five days after entering into his position, Oakland Police’s new interim chief Ban Fairow has been removed, according to Mayor Libby Schaff.

Paul Figueroa, Assistant Chief, will now take over as the leader of the department.

In a statement, Schaff said: “The information I received raised concerns for me whether he can actually lead this department at this particular moment in time and during the critical transition.”

Schaff failed to provide details as to why Fairow was removed from his position so suddenly, citing that the law prohibits her from elaborating on factors leading to the decision.

She also said that she received critical information that led her to lose confidence in the man’s ability to lead the police department during such a critical period. She added that “OPD staff, members of our community and city leadership, deserve to have complete trust and confidence in our chief, especially during this critical transition.”

When attending a meeting at Castlemont High School on Wednesday, Figueroa said, “We’re just focused on just getting the operations in the department stabilized.”

The surprising news arrives not even a week after Schaaf announced to the public that Sean Whent was leaving his post after serving 19 years in the Oakland Police Department.

Although Schaff noted Whent’s resignation was for “personal reasons,” it happened to be coincidental during a time where a growing sexual scandal within the department became public. Celeste Guap, an 18-year-old prostitute, engaged in sexual relationships with at least 28 cops across multiple counties, some of which occurred when she was a minor.

Guap admitted that sometimes she would partake in relations with the cops in exchange for money, but sometimes it would also be to obtain confidential information from the officers that would keep her from getting arrested.

At a news conference, Schaaf did not give any indication that Fairow was linked in some way to the scandal. However, she did say that following the controversial events, she needs to send out a strong message as does the chief who is assisting her.

Schaaf said, “That the culture of this department does not tolerate unethical behavior, sexual misconduct or lying.”

According to NBC Bay Area News, Fairow received heat back in 2014 when he was the focus of a lawsuit filed by a widow of a Bay Area Rapid Transit cop who was killed during a search. The suit accuses Chief Kenton Rainey and Deputy Chief Farrow of failing to use trained SWAT teams for high-risk probation and building searches.

After the announcement had been made of Fairow’s removal from the Department, Rainey released a statement that enthusiastically welcomed Fairow back: “The BART Police Department welcomes back Deputy Chief Ben Fairow to his role commanding the Support Services Division.

Fairow is the sixth person since 2011 to be named as Oakland Police Chief.

Before Fairow held the position, for no more than a week, Whent held the title for three years. Prior to Whent’s appointment, Anthony Toribio was also the interim police chief for a short time, who replaced Howard Jordan, who needed to leave the post due to an undisclosed medical issue.

When Jordan held the interim title for approximately 19-months, Oakland saw a significant rise in crime. In 2011, Anthony Batts also resigned from the position citing a substantial lack of resources to fight crime and too much bureaucracy within the department.

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