Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao sheds tears in fiery speech responding to FBI raid, recall effort

Bay City News logo
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Oakland Mayor Thao speaks for 1st time after FBI raid of her house
The public heard from Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao for the first time on Monday since her house was raided by the FBI last week.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The public heard from Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao for the first time on Monday since her house was raided by the FBI last week.

Mayor Thao delivered a passionate, fiery and emotional at times speech, where she addressed the investigation, saying it is not about her and she has done nothing wrong.

A defiant Mayor Thao said that she had been wrongly targeted by federal officials and was being undermined by "radical right-wing forces" trying to remove her from office.

Watch full speech from Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao delivered a passionate and emotional speech, where she addressed the FBI investigation, saying it is not about her and she has done nothing wrong.

"I want to be crystal clear. I have done nothing wrong. I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me," Thao said in a short statement to the press at Oakland City Hall.

The mayor's address was held just as organizers of a recall were gathering outside city hall for a rally calling for her to step down.

Thao blasted the recall effort, saying it was being directed by a "handful of billionaires from San Francisco and from Piedmont who are hell-bent on running me out of office."

RELATED: 'Where is Sheng Thao?': Oaklanders rally, question mayor's whereabouts as city budget looms

The mayor noted that the FBI raid at her home on June 20 was carried out the day after recall supporters turned in signatures to qualify for the recall election. She also targeted Fox News and Breitbart in her remarks.

"I want to know how the TV cameras knew to show up on my sleepy residential street so early in the morning to capture footage of the raid. And I want to know why Fox News and Breitbart were so prepared to fan the flames and to tell a story that they want to tell, to bend the facts to shape the narrative."

The FBI raid at Thao's house in Oakland's Lincoln Highlands neighborhood was conducted simultaneously with raids on the homes and an office associated with David and Andy Duong, who, along with other family members, operate California Waste Solutions, Oakland's contracted recycler.

While the FBI didn't release information about the raid, Thao, the Duongs and Cal Waste are all under investigation by the Oakland Public Ethics Commission, which is looking into alleged illegal campaign finance contributions.

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

The mayor didn't take questions, on the advice of her attorney, during her brief address on Monday.

Sources tell ABC7 News I-Team reporter Dan Noyes that Tony Brass, the attorney hired by Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao after the FBI raid on her home, had no idea there was going to be a news conference Monday morning.

She also deplored violence at a recent Juneteenth gathering near Lake Merritt that injured more than a dozen people last week.

"My heart goes out to all of those who are battling injuries, their families and our whole city," she said.

When federal agents showed up at her home the morning after the shooting, the mayor said that at first she thought they were there to protect her from violence or a threat.

With her voice shaking and wiping away tears, the mayor said she wasn't going to back down.

"I will not be bullied, I will not be disparaged and I will not be threatened out of this office," Thao said.

The mayor also commended city staff for staying focused during the tumult of the last five days.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here