Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong files official appeal to dispute firing

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Friday, February 24, 2023
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OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong filed an official appeal to his termination on Wednesday, according to his attorney.

Last week, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announced during a news conference she was firing Armstrong after he was suspended and placed on paid administrative leave due to his handling of misconduct allegations involving one of his officers in 2021.

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Thao cited her decision on Armstrong's termination as no longer having confidence in his ability to effectively lead the department and stressed that this was not a disciplinary action based on the active investigation.

Armstrong's attorney sent a letter to the city initiating the appeal process to dispute his firing.

The process will be handled by the city which will appoint a hearing officer to review Armstrong's case and make a recommendation to the city on whether or not to uphold his firing.

"This action is the first step towards litigation by Chief Armstrong and his attorneys against the City of Oakland for his retaliatory and wrong termination by Mayor Sheng Thao. It should come as no surprise to the public that when Chief Armstrong came within inches of removing federal oversight that Federal Monitor Robert Warshaw concocted false and misleading allegations to keep his lucrative contract in place," said Sam Singer, a spokesman for Chief Armstrong.

RELATED: Former Oakland Police Chief Armstrong fires back at mayor, federal monitor after termination

During a news conference last Friday, Armstrong said he was wrongly terminated for standing up for the City of Oakland.

"My termination was never really about the facts or my ability to lead the Oakland Police Department - my termination was about Federal Monitor Robert Warshaw and the mayor's failure to fight for the Oakland community," Armstrong added.

Community advocates and faith leaders rallied for Armstrong, demanding he be reinstated and that Mayor Thao be recalled.

"Chief Armstrong has been loyal to families. He's been loyal to the community. Today we're saying we're going to be loyal too," said Oakland advocate Brenda Grisham. "The main thing we want done, to clear his name. Nothing in those reports say he was a bad person."

RELATED: Oakland community advocates rally for fired police chief LeRonne Armstrong

Armstrong's firing came hours before Oakland Police Commissioners were set to hold a disciplinary meeting on the chief, its chairperson saying in a statement:

"We respect the Mayor's decision to release Chief Armstrong without cause. We are sorry to lose an effective reform-minded chief who led the OPD into compliance in 51 out of 52 tasks of the negotiated settlement agreement."

The OPD has been under federal oversight for two decades.