Bay Area/ Oakland/ Politics & Govt
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Published on June 20, 2024
FBI Raids Home of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Amidst Recall Campaign, Ranking as #2 Worst Managed U.S. CitySource: Google Street View (House)
Office of Mayor Sheng Thao, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Early Thursday morning, an FBI raid targeted the residence linked to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, as confirmed by the FBI. "The FBI is conducting court authorized law enforcement activity on Maiden Lane," stated the FBI. The raid on the house on Maiden Lane comes amidst calls for Mayor Thao's recall, following the accumulation of enough signatures to warrant a ballot. This also comes just two days after WalletHub named Oakland the #2 worst managed city in the country, just behind San Francisco.

Meanwhile, a related action by federal agents was taken at a second residence in the hills of Oakland, this time at a house owned by Andy Duong, linked to an influential recycling company formerly under scrutiny, as The San Francisco Chronicle reports; Duong's family business, Cal Waste Solutions, was investigated for contribution ties to Thao and other officials back in 2020, gathering particular attention now as law enforcement were seen searching vehicles and going through belongings at the scene, but no arrests or official statements regarding the nature of the ongoing investigations were made public at the time.

The revelations regarding the federal raids come on the heels of the approval of a recall election targeting Mayor Thao; the Oakland City Clerk's office validated over 40,000 signatures collected by the "Oakland United to Recall Sheng Thao" campaign, according to details provided by Hoodline. The report also mentioned Thao's controversial firing of the former Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong and other managerial decisions that have affected the stability of her administration. In response to the recall, Mayor Thao's campaign, "Oaklanders Defending Democracy, Oppose the Recall of Mayor Thao," is mobilizing to counter the efforts to unseat her.

As investigations and political forces seem converging on Mayor Sheng Thao, she's had to cancel a scheduled 10 a.m. appearance the day of the raid and her mayoral future being under question the City Council meeting set for July 2 appears as though it will be deciding, not just the matter of the recall appearing on the November ballot but potentially shaping Thao's and similarly embattled DA Pamela Price's political trajectories simultaneously.