After FBI Raid Staff Quitting One By One

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Mayor Sheng Thao "maintained her innocence regarding an FBI search at her home last week."

Ever since the FBI raided the home of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, her office staff have been walking out the door. They don’t care whether it was her, or her boyfriend, they were after. She’s unpopular to start with and they’ve simply had enough. On Monday, communications director Francis Zamora cleaned out her desk. The press notes that her departure “follows” that of Thao’s attorney Tony Brass. She followed him right down the hall. He quit earlier on Monday.

Mayor maintains her innocence

Even though her staff are quitting, one-by-one, Mayor Sheng Thao “maintained her innocence regarding an FBI search at her home last week.” What’s left of her office confirmed on Tuesday that Francis Zamora resigned Monday, June 24.

They would have had a hard time denying it because the former communications director released a public statement. “I resigned my position as Chief of Communications. I thank my colleagues for their professionalism and dedication. It was an honor to serve the City of Oakland beside them.” She pointedly didn’t mention the Mayor.

Attorney Tony Brass told the press he didn’t quit because of whatever it was Thao was going to babble at her press conference because he wasn’t even aware it was happening.

He tore up his retainer contract on general principles. “She received my request very cordially and thanked me for my work,” Brass informs.

Mayor Thao doesn’t mind his departure much because she “obtained new counsel over the weekend.” A lawyer who can help with whatever jam her boyfriend got her house raided by the FBI over. There’s a creepy “Ten Little Indians” vibe going on in her office, as everyone wonders who goes next.

The previous Thursday, “FBI agents carried boxes out of the home Thao shares with her son and partner.” At the same time, the feds “also searched two homes owned by members of the politically influential Duong family that owns the recycling company Cal Waste Solutions.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is unpopular to start with.

Not about me

The FBI investigation, Mayor Thao assured her constituents, had nothing to do with her. “I want to be crystal clear,” she began.

“I have done nothing wrong. I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me. I have not been charged with a crime, and I am confident that I will not be charged with a crime because I am innocent.

Her “partner,” on the other hand, seems to be involved in some influence peddling. It appears that Thao’s first official trip as Mayor last year was to to Vietnam. Andre Jones helped set it up, with the Vietnamese American Business Association sponsoring the travel.

The association was formed by a member of the Duong family. Campaign donor Andy Duong, who’s home and business were also raided.

For now, “Pati Navalta will temporarily serve as Zamora’s replacement until a permanent communications director is found.” We’ll be hearing from Thao’s new attorney shortly.

The mayor also happens to be fighting for her job. She’s facing a recall vote because she prefers liberal policies to law enforcement.