No confidence vote expected for Oak. chief

January 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The mayor of Oakland gave his State of the City address on Monday night with a focus on budget problems and crime. However, those issues were not the sole focus of the media and the city council since attention shifted quickly to the Oakland police chief.

"Is there any truth to you stepping down?" asked a reporter.
"Will you take it out of my face. Don't hit me with that," said Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker.
"No one hit you sir," said the reporter.

After the mayor's address to the city, Police Chief Wayne Tucker dodged questions about his job status which have been fueled by efforts to remove him. Councilmember, Jane Bruner has pushed a vote of no-confidence for the police chief.

"You have a corrupt police department, and that's what needs to be addressed out here right now," said a protester.

Mayor Ron Dellums was interrupted twice during his address to the city of Oakland. Both protestors complained about the police.

"We, we, we... they scared of your police officers. They scared of them," said a protester.

The mayor spent most of his one-hour speech agreeing with the protesters.

"So I feel your pain and I hear your rage. And so we have to say, 'Police Department, we've got to do things a different way,'" said Mayor Ron Dellums.

The Mayor's call to change the culture of the Oakland Police Department turned the spotlight on police Chief Wayne Tucker.

"The police chief has not offered his resignation to the Mayor. The Mayor has not asked the Police Chief for his resignation," said Acting City Administrator Dan Lindheim.

Lindheim offered his perspective.

"I think it's a continual debate in his mind, that is he more effective by being the chief or is he more effective by getting out of the way?" said Lindheim.

The vote to calendar a no-confidence vote for the police chief is scheduled for this Thursday. Only the mayor has the power to hire and fire, so it would be largely symbolic, but it could weigh heavily on the mayor's mind.