Calls grow for Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao to resign following launch of FBI investigation

Anser Hassan Image
Sunday, June 23, 2024
Calls grow for Oakland mayor to resign following FBI investigation
The lawyer for Mayor Sheng Thao spoke about the pending federal investigation into possible public corruption.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's house showed no signs that anyone was home as of Saturday evening.

But on Friday, the lawyer for the embattled mayor spoke about the pending federal investigation into possible public corruption.

"I would point out that the search warrants are for the address," says Tony Brass, a formal federal prosecutor, who is now representing Thao. "Again, we don't have any information indicating that Mayor Thao is the target of this investigation."

RELATED: FBI raids Oakland mayor's home, several other locations in political corruption probe: source

There is no official word about the reason for the investigation, but sources tell the ABC7 I-Team it involves a political corruption case against the mayor and some of her supporters.

Early Thursday morning, FBI agents raided Mayor Thao's home and hauled away boxes of evidence. Brass points out that the warrants were for the address where the mayor Thao lives and did not name the mayor specifically.

"The mayor has not been arrested. This is a search warrant only. There are no restriction on the mayor," explains Brass.

The feds also targeted two homes related the Duong family, who are big donors to Oakland politics.

RELATED: Recall organizers call on Oakland mayor to resign after measure garners enough signatures for ballot

Although Brass states that Mayor Thao doesn't face any restrictions with regards to her duty as mayor, there are growing number of voices in the community calling for Thao to resign.

"Resign now! Let November 5 be the election day for a new mayor!" Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte told a crowd on at a rally in front Oakland City Hall on Wednesday, the day before the raid.

RELATED: Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is not 'target' of federal investigation, lawyer says

The lawyer for Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says she is not a "target" of a federal investigation.

The group Oakland United to Recall Sheng Thao, or OUST, held the rally to announce that city officials approved the number of signatures they submitted, which were necessary for the recall of Mayor Thao to qualify for the November ballot.

"The FBI is never going to tell you that you are or not a target of an investigation. They don't have to tell you that until the impanel a grand jury, and they call you to testify. They will let you know then," says Harbin-Forte. She is a former Alameda County Superior Court judge, and leads OUST.

The judge says Thao is entitled to the presumption of innocence, acknowledging that Thao hasn't even been charged. But she believes the investigation will be a distraction, especially as city council has to tackle a historic budget deficit in the coming weeks.

"And I think it's time to step aside and let others lead, let others lead Oakland," says Harbin-Forte.

RELATED: Oakland mayor's former chief of staff details what she shared with FBI during 2023 meeting

Mayor Thao's former chief of staff described an office filled with confusion and chaos - much of it centered around the mayor's partner, Andre Jones, and that finally led her to resign.

The Oakland chapter of the NAACP issued a statement sharing that same sentiment. It reads in part: "Oaklanders deserve a mayor who is not distracted, fully committed, and able to lead the city."

Legal experts say this current federal investigation could take months if not longer.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here