Oakland mayor says she won't rehire LeRonne Armstrong as OPD chief

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Mayor says LeRonne Armstrong can't lead OPD out of federal oversight
ABC7 News asked Oakland Mayor Thao about her search for Oakland's new police chief after firing LeRonne Armstrong back in February.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland has been without a permanent police chief since February, but the mayor's short list is getting shorter. Mayor Sheng Thao told ABC7 News on Wednesday that she will not be rehiring former Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

Oakland's Police Commission sent a list of the top seven candidates for police chief to city leaders and it includes Armstrong, who the mayor fired eight months ago after an investigation found he mishandled two misconduct cases.

MORE: Search for Oakland police chief officially includes LeRonne Armstrong

Oakland Police Commission has sent a list of the top candidates for police chief to city leaders - and one of them is former Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

Armstrong was later cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent investigation.

But when ABC7 News asked Mayor Sheng Thao if she would consider rehiring Armstrong as chief, here's how she responded:

"My direct answer in regard to Mr. LeRonne Armstong is that I am determined to get us out of the federal oversight, which we have been under for the last 20 years, that is not only costing us dollars that we could be spending for our parks and libraries, but it's also about time we get of it so we can actually do policing work.

"With that being said, the next police chief is going to have to be able to work with the monitor and with the federal judge as well. And I do believe that, in this case, it will not be LeRonne Armstrong in this case. I do not have the belief that he can lead this city out through that process."

Armstrong's spokesperson, Sam Singer, released the following statement in response: "Chief LeRonne Armstrong led the Oakland Police Department into its NSA Sustainability Period in 2021, something no other chief was able to accomplish. He also lead OPD to be in-compliance with 50 of the 51 NSA tasks. It's clear that the Oakland Police Department would not be nearing the end of Federal Oversight without the hard-work and leadership of Chief LeRonne Armstrong."

You can watch the full interview with Mayor Thao in the video player above.

FULL VIDEO: Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao delivers 1st State of the City Address

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao gave her first State of the City Address as she faces a dwindling budget, no permanent police chief and a damaging crime reputation.
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