Oakland City CouncilwomanDesley Brooks
Oakland City Council members Larry Reid and Desley Brooks broke city laws prohibiting interference in the city's administrative affairs and bidding process, according to a report released by City Auditor Courtney Ruby today.
According to Ruby, Brooks and Reid both told city employees to contract with Turner Group Construction on a $2 million demolition project at the Oakland Army Base.
In addition, Ruby reported 14 City Charter violations - 12 made by Brooks, one each by Reid and his aide, who pressured parking officials to dismiss the aide's tickets. The report is based, in part, on interviews with more than 40 city employees and on a review of councilmember emails and phone records going back to 2008.
Reid said Ruby's allegations were "a flat-out lie." Brooks said her comments about Turner took place at a public meeting and told the San Francisco Chronicle that Ruby had a "biased agenda that was about self-promotion."
Ruby's report also details Brooks' involvement with construction and hiring of staff at the Rainbow Teen Center, a project that led to Brooks staffing it with her own employees, swelling her City Council payroll for 2012 to almost $1 million.
According to Ruby, "This report strikes at the very integrity of city government. Employees should be able to do their jobs without being subjected to undue influence from council members and citizens, and businesses should be able to live and work in a city where they know everyone plays by the same rules."
The city charter states that a council member who is convicted of violating the non-interference law must forfeit his or her seat.