Vallejo mayor talks about fire, vandalism against him

October 1, 2012 7:54:28 PM PDT
In the North Bay, someone set fire to the private law office of Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis over the weekend and police are calling it a case of potential domestic terrorism. ABC7 News obtained exclusive video inside the burned out office.

Davis has faced challenges during his tenure as mayor of Vallejo, ushering the city through bankruptcy, facing off with the LGBT community over controversial remarks, and a recent increase in officer-involved shootings. But this arson might be the toughest, though in his words, "this, too, shall pass."

"The attempt to intimidate or instill fear has failed," said Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis.

He calls the torching of his law office "a malicious and cowardly act." The fire occurred around 1:30 Saturday morning, leaving the building a burned out shell. According to Davis this is the latest in a string of attacks at this office and at his home, including someone breaking windows, dumping trash and stealing his motorcycle from City Hall.

"I will say that the number of acts of vandalism which I have been subjected to over the recent past causes me to believe that this incident is related to my position as mayor and not my position as an attorney," said Davis.

Neither the mayor nor investigators will publicly speculate about why he's being targeted. Davis has recently been confronted with anger over several officer involved shootings in the city and he's called on the attorney general to investigate the shootings. Residents we talk to support him.

"I think he's resilient. So I'm hoping that things will go well," said one Vallejo resident.

"I think it's unfortunate that a criminal element is running rampant in our city," said another resident.

Police officers have provided extra security for Davis and his family. The Lieutenant in charge of the investigation says the possibility of domestic terrorism hasn't been ruled out.

"It's serious. Anytime you have violence against someone in public office, that's serious," said Vallejo Police Lt. Jim O'Connell.

But Davis says he doesn't fear for his safety and told me he considers the arson a bump in the road, a diversion.

Tyler: Mr. Mayor, to know someone is out to get you has to be unsettling at the least.
Davis: It is, but it's a part of the territory.

Evidence from the fire is being sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for processing and the FBI has also been called. There is reportedly some surveillance video taken from the county court house across the street from the mayor's law office and that could provide valuable clues.


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