TIMELINE: FBI political corruption investigation involving Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, Duong family

ByKate Eby KGO logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 12:31AM
TIMELINE: FBI political corruption probe involving Oakland Mayor Thao
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.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Federal agents raided the home of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and three other locations on June 20, 2024 in a political corruption probe that's raising questions about power, influence, and fundraising in East Bay politics. The investigation also targeted a garbage recycling company called California Waste Solutions and its owners, the Duong Family.

Here's a timeline of events that followed those early morning federal raids.

July 2, 2024

In a five to three vote, the Oakland city council passes a new $2 billion budget. There was the possibility that the fire and police departments would be forced to make reductions. Mayor Sheng Thao says today's vote will at least hit pause and preserve public safety initiatives. "This means that we are going to be able to continue to keep ceasefire, our CRT (crisis response team), our walking officers. So this means that Oakland will be safe," Thao said. A lot of the budget hangs on the city's sale of its stake in the Oakland Coliseum site. This would bring in over $100 million but it is not clear when that sale will happen. If the sale doesn't go through by September, the city will be forced to slash millions of dollars in services.

Also today, the city council adopted the resolution to recall Mayor Thao and there was a first reading of an ordinance to hold the recall on November 5th. The second reading will be on July 16th. Oakland voters could be voting on two recalls in November if it goes through -- the recall of Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price was already approved for the county's ballot.

June 28, 2024

The Oakland City Council meets again to work on passing a budget. They do not vote.

June 26, 2024

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao spent the morning in San Francisco at a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. She serves as a commissioner on the board and voted on several measures during the meeting. This is her second public appearance since the federal raid on her home less than a week ago. She refused to take questions from the media and left the meeting early.

At a special Oakland City Council meeting, council members reviewed budget amendments from the city's Finance Department. They are trying to pass a budget by Friday, June 28.

RELATED: AG Bonta, Trump among politicians who received most from Oakland family tied to FBI corruption probe

June 25, 2024

The Mayor's Chief of Communications, Francis Zamora, announces that he has resigned in the wake of the FBI raids on the Mayor's house. Zamora had been in the position for nine months.

Meanwhile, the Oakland City Council holds a special meeting to tackle the budget deficit. "If we don't balance this budget, we will go bankrupt," explains Councilmember Noel Gallo.

June 24, 2024

On Monday morning, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao broke her silence and spoke publicly for the first time since the FBI raided her home four days before. "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.

Just hours after Thao's press conference, her recently hired criminal defense lawyer, Tony Brass, announced he will no longer represent her. Brass says her press conference was a complete surprise to him.

June 23, 2024

Mayor Sheng Thao hasn't been seen in public since the raid on Thursday. A rally at Oakland City Hall was organized by community activists who are calling for answers and accountability from the mayor.

RELATED: Report alleges 'campaign contribution laundering scheme' involving Oakland mayor, city officials

June 22, 2024

Mayor Sheng Thao continues to be absent from the public eye, two days after the FBI raided her home.

June 21, 2024

The day after the raids, the City of Oakland issued a statement Friday morning, saying that business is running as usual amid the controversy:

"Under the City Charter, the City Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and fiscal operations of the City under the policy guidance of the Office of the Mayor. In his capacity as City Administrator, Jestin Johnson directs City agencies and departments to ensure the goals and policy directives of the Mayor and City Council are implemented."

Sheng Thao's partner, Andre Jones, was seen briefly returning to their home on Maiden Lane around 11 a.m. The Mayor has not been seen since yesterday's raid. But we learned she is being represented by Tony Brass. He tells ABC7, "Mayor Thao is ready, willing and able to cooperate fully with federal investigators. She has nothing to hide."

June 20, 2024

Soon after the sun rose, FBI agents raided the home of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. One person staying nearby heard a man yelling "Open the door. Open the door" around 6 a.m. More than a dozen agents were seen moving in and out of the home. Four hours later, they left without speaking, but with several boxes, bags, and tubs. The FBI released a statement that read simply, "The FBI is conducting court authorized law enforcement activity on Maiden Lane. We are unable to provide additional information at this time." Once the FBI left, ABC7 News went to Thao's door to check reports it had been kicked in or rammed through. There was no damage to the door or sill.

The mayor lives with her partner and father of her two children, Andre Jones. She was not spotted during the day but he was seen several times. He returned to the house around noon to move garbage cans and drop off a dog, believed to be Thao's Beagle named Shiloh. Jones left a short time later, wearing different clothes, carrying a duffle bag. He did not respond to questions. Jones was later seen at Oakland City Hall.

EXCLUSIVE: First-hand account of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao donor paying to help her 2022 campaign

ABC7 News I-Team has learned Loren Taylor is preparing his campaign staff to take another run for Oakland mayor after FBI raid at Mayor Thao's home.

Supporters of the recall effort against Sheng Thao gathered at her home in the evening, demanding her resignation.

Agents with the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Postal Service also raided three other locations in Oakland: the offices of California Waste Solutions on the Embarcadero, the View Crest Court home of Andy Duong, and the home of Linda and David Duong on Skyline Boulevard. The Duong family owns California Waste Solutions, a garbage recycling company, and are huge political donors.

California Waste Solutions released a statement in response to these raids:

California Waste Solutions is fully aware that federal agents executed search warrants at a number of locations in Oakland related to CWS.

The company is fully cooperating with the government's investigation and is confident that government officials will conclude that CWS was not involved in any unlawful or improper activities.

A neighborhood security guard says they saw about a dozen agents at Andy Duong's View Crest Court home around 6 a.m. U.S. Postal Inspectors left around 4:30 p.m. and carried out about a dozen boxes, including three computers. FBI and IRS agents spent hours at the Embarcadero offices of CWS and loaded up vehicles with several boxes. They didn't leave until nearly 6 p.m. U.S. Postal Inspector agents were seen going in and out of the Skyline Boulevard home which belongs to Linda and David Duong.

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