21 thoughts on “Deborah Edgerly update

  1. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    Wow, the comments on SFGate are pretty harsh… and the photo of her that they used isn’t so great. It looks like she has a black eye.

    I think it’s her actions that should be discussed – not what she looks like.

    V – have fun in Big Sky country. I’m off to the penninsula redwoods for a summer solstice weekend party!


  2. Max Allstadt

    If she’s innocent, I’ll feel pretty silly about letting the press lead me into conclusions.
    If she’s guilty, there should be no graceful exits. There should be laws that ensure people who abuse their office cannot make graceful exits.

    I believe people who abuse the public trust are often worse than murderers. A murder violates our social contract and takes a life. A corrupt official violates our entire society. Who did more damage to America: Hans Reiser or Jack Abramoff?

  3. Joanna/OnTheGoJo


    Like you, I’m attempting to not let the current accusation sway me one way or the other. But as an overall view, her moves have not been good (imho) for the City overall. I’ve wanted her gone for some time.

    I’ve been told that certain people have gotten to keep their job (Parking’s Francine Lakryth-Thompson) because of a certain church or family they belong to. I don’t know exactly what church or family, but Ms. Edgerly’s family seems to have a high number of city emps. And honestly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing if they’ve gone through the proper channels and have the proper qualifications. But if it does turn out that waivers were given or special treatment, then so long. I have zero proof that she hired any emps that were not qualified.

    To be honest, I tell a lot of young people that they should try to get a job with the City. With bennies – health, pension, holidays – it’s a great opportunity for someone that doesn’t want to join the military, but might not be college material. You can work your way – honestly – up the ladder. To be fair, that’s how I think Ms. Edgerly got to where she is. But at some point – my theory is that it happened in the Jerry Brown days – the power got to her head and she didn’t have anyone there to tamp down the problems. Then it was free reign.

    As for the nephew, I don’t really care whether he was guilty or innocent. He’ll have his day in court. But regardless of the situation, if his auntie showed up at the scene, she had no business throwing around her city power – if that’s indeed what she did.

    In her denial of charges, she says that she and Mayor Dellums will talk again in several days (Monday?) to figure out the resolution. My bet is that she’ll resign and keep all her bennies. Otherwise, if they fire her, she’ll sue and it will just be another lose-lose for the City.

  4. Max Allstadt

    Here’s another update on this, from the tribune’s article:

    “She was at work Friday, but saw her power stripped when Dellums sent out an e-mail just past 2 p.m. saying: “Effective immediately, all departments and agencies are to report directly to me regarding city matters. This directive is to remain into effect until further notice.”"

    That doesn’t make it look too likely that she’ll stick around much longer.

  5. Corrupt Oakland

    Kudos to Mayor D for finally putting a stop to this! But if he lets her off with her full benefits and pension, rather than firing her, we will all be paying — for a very long time — to reward her for apparently rampant nepotism and abuse of power. Make the terms of the departure fit the findings of the investigation! She’s not paying me a pension and I don’t want to pay hers!

  6. Ethan

    Another on of Edgerly’s nephews was at the center of controversy 2 years ago- he was the animal control officer who killed animals without putting them to sleep first and tossed half-alive animlas ontop on dead animal carcasses in the freezer. He was pulled off duty — then a new animal control director from Florida was hired in response the the demoralizing crisis. He quit without notice when Edgerly unilaterally re-instated her nephew back into contact with animals.

    Suffice it to say, we have a new Shelter Director and it is my understanding that Rashon McLarty, the nephew in question, is no longer in contact with animals. But that whole mess was in early indicator of Edgerly’s protecting and promoting relatives who were no on the up and up.

    Chris Kidd: just got back into town and its past midnight. I’ll post the tree stuff manana.

  7. Chris Kidd

    Yikes, that animal control stuff is chilling. It cuts to the heart of what really bothers me about this whole thing. I don’t care if a bunch of her relatives were hired by the city as long as they were qualified and were subject to the same application process as everyone else. I know it’s all hearsay right now, but it certainly looks like corners were cut multiple times. I wonder if we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg on this type of practice.

    And as for Edgerly being allowed to walk out the door with her pension intact: you could argue that the city’s actually being practical rather than idealistic. If she’s fired and stripped of all her accumulated benefits, you know she’ll take the city to court and drag proceedings out for a huge expense to the city. By letting her resign and take her benefits with her, the city is avoiding a huge legal headache. I personally would want to nail her to the wall if everything being reported turns out to be true, but it might be that the city’s done the math and letting her keep her benefits might actually be cheaper than a huge legal battle.

  8. Max Allstadt

    In the long run, setting an example would be worth the legal expense, even if the court costs exceed her pension by a bit. I wonder what our better behaved version of Spitzer thinks about how much it will cost to fight this.

    That said, I fully expect the city to let her exit gracefully. My money is on a retirement within a week, along with a statement from Edgerly maintaining her innocence. I expect that statement will be uncontested by the Mayor’s office. This isn’t a dig at the Mayor, but at all politicians. Nobody likes a mess. I think other mayors would do the same. Doesn’t make it right, though.

  9. Robert

    Unfortunately, even in private industry, even being fired for cause would not strip her of her vested benefits. And this is without the additional protections that civil ‘servants’ get. It would most likely take a criminal conviction to be able to reduce her retirement benefits, and can you really see a jury of her ‘peers in Oakland convicting her of anything? A quick, uncontested retirement is probably the best that we can hope for.

  10. Joanna/OnTheGoJo


    I have to say that those comments about her looks are inappropriate. It makes NO difference what she looks like. It’s what she’s DONE. I just finished reading Chip Johnson’s latest column and it gives even more examples of questionable acts.

    Even Zennie Abrams, Oakland Focus, has an article quoting an April 2008 Chip Johnson column where it seems the once fan of Ms. Edgerly might be coming around.

    DE might very well have been a good egg for many years of her public service. But based on all that I’ve read, I see that her downfall started once she was named City Administrator. Maybe the power went to her head.

    In any case, I’m saddened for other workers in City Hall that still see her coming in to work and getting paid as if nothing is happening. I know that these things take time, but the longer it drags out, the worse it is on morale – both within City Hall and within the City as a whole.

  11. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    And so she goes at the end of July retiring.

    But not at all because of anything that happened with OPD. She had always planned to retire July 31. Always. That’s what she said in the news conference, and I believe her.

    One can hope that this will be the end of the story and that she’ll go on her merry way and we’ll get a new City Administrator…

  12. Ken

    Where is city council on this?

    Why are they all so meek?

    And one- Delsey Brookes – even came out supporting her? Just because she’s probably related to her.

  13. V Smoothe Post author

    Annoyingly, the City Council has NO power or authority on this issue due to our City Charter, which I believe is in serious need of reform.

  14. Ethan

    “Annoyingly?” Good God, V, Council gave Yusef Bey a million dollars while he was kidnapping, raping and urinating on under age girls. You really expect they are going to act as if they collectively found their moral compass all of a sudden? Of course they are going to look the other way. Powerlessness is NOT the issue.

    If they had a ethical back bone they would be shocked in public, while decrying Dellums’ inaction and demanding the Grand Jury slap her with a criminal indictment.

    Ah… but this is Oakland, where our tax dollars go to support Measure Y community groups that side shows and where powerful men get City money to support their right to have sex with teenagers.

    And piss on them.

    V, for Christ’s sake, don’t cut ANYone at City Hall any slack.

  15. Max Allstadt

    V – they may have no power to act on this, but they do have the ability to speak out. So far, they’re a little too quiet.

  16. V Smoothe Post author

    Honestly, I don’t know what people expect the Council to do here. Under the City Charter, they literally have zero power to take any action against Edgerly. Readers know that I’m highly critical of elected officials when I believe they’ve done wrong, but I certainly don’t see this as a case where the Council has. It seems that people are upset and want to vent, which is understandable, but that doesn’t make it okay to be angry at the City Council over something they have no control over.

    As for making a public stink – has it occurred to anyone that they have to work with this woman for the next month? Business has to get done, the City still has to function. You think that’s going to happen while they’re off calling for grand jury investigations and demanding her retirement in the press? I wrote a post last week about the structural imbalance that totally cripples the City. Based on the comments, I don’t think I did a very good job making my point, so maybe I’ll try again, but seriously, the Council is in a terrible position here and literally cannot do anything.

    What’s the appropriate reaction, then? Send your ire to the Mayor and ask the Council for Charter reform. I’m sure if there was ever a time they’d be willing to get that conversation going, it’s now.

  17. Colin

    V, you did make your point. You’ve made it before, as well. I don’t like the idea that the most powerful person in our city isn’t elected. I only sort of understood the way the charter allots power based on an interview with Robert Bobb way back when, but looking at this current fiasco has really driven the point home – as well as caused me to go back and look at Edgerly’s well-documented history of nepotism and corruption.

    I don’t like the idea that the most powerful person in our city isn’t elected. If I had needed to see why that doesn’t work, well, here we are.

    I for one think this is exactly the time to deal with this problem, and have sent letters to the city attorney, city council, and will send one to the mayor just for laughs as well. I would encourage everyone here to do the same. This has to change.

    How the city charter restructures the power… that’s going to be the issue. I’m not an attorney, and I don’t know enough about effective city charters, but there have to be models out there that would make more sense.

  18. Chris Kidd

    Colin, I hope you’re not suggesting that the city administrator should be an elected position. That’s the one position we should try to keep as de-politicized as possible. And how much would the running of the city suffer when election season rolled around? I want my admin in the office, not on the campaign trail.

    But we might be on to something with re-examining the city charter. I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve taken a look-see for myself.

  19. Jerry

    Why not let the investigation run its course. Edgerly didn’t know her nephew had a loaded gun in his vehicle that night, nor that he was a suspected gang member.
    A source said Edgerly told him Lovan called her to say he’d locked his keys in his car and left the motor running and the police were about to tow the vehicle.
    Edgerly was nearby and went to speak with officers. When she didn’t get a satisfactory answer from them, she called Jordan, who told her “she shouldn’t be involved … and she immediately backed off,”
    You don’t lose your rights as a citizen when you hold a public office. Deborah did not make threats. She was trying to figure out what was going on and when she was told it was not appropriate to proceed, she immediately stopped. Deborah did she abuse her power.
    She is entitled to remain at her position until her retirement that she previously announced and she is entitled to depart with grace and dignity. She is an intelligent, honest and descent woman that does not deserve all the hatred that seems to be surrounding her.
    By the way Delsey Brookes is not related to her nor is the Edgerly that worked in animal control.

  20. Dick Robinson

    Just wondering how many friends/relatives of city council members and other city officials
    are also on the Oakland city payroll? I noticed that William Lovan, purported member of
    the Acorn gang and nephew of Deborah Edgerly, managed to pay a fairly high bond to get
    out of jail and return to his job in Oakland’s parking meter department. Is it true that
    he paid the bail amount all in quarters?