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Oakland NAACP calls on Mayor Sheng Thao to resign following FBI raids

FBI raids home of Oakland mayor Sheng Thao
FBI raids home of Oakland mayor Sheng Thao 04:59

The Oakland chapter of the NAACP is calling on Mayor Sheng Thao to resign following the federal raids on her home Thursday and on properties associated with a politically influential family.

FBI agents conducted an early-morning raid on Thao's house in the Lincoln Highlands neighborhood with about a dozen agents removing boxes from the property. Federal agents also raided the homes of David Duong and his son Andrew Duong, whose family owns California Waste Solutions, a recycling company that provides curbside recycling in Oakland. Another raid happened at offices shared by the company and the Vietnamese American Business Association (VABA), led by several members of the Duong family.

In a statement Thursday evening, the Oakland NAACP said the city "has a cloud hanging over it today" and said Thao should step down ahead of the recall effort to remove her from office. 

Sheng Thao
Mayor Sheng Thao delivers her first State of the City address at City Hall in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.  Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

"While the public should refrain from a rush to judgment, the leadership of the NAACP and its members are calling on Mayor Sheng Thao to resign immediately and spare the city the cost of a recall," the statement said. "Oaklanders deserve a mayor who is not distracted, fully committed, and able to lead the city. Clearly, Mayor Thao cannot focus on the needs of the residents of Oakland while she addresses the major challenges posed by the FBI raid and investigation."

The Oakland NAACP also cited what it called the city's public safety crisis, noting the most recent incident the day before the raids, a mass shooting during a Juneteenth celebration at Lake Merritt that injured 17 people.

"The city is also facing a massive budget deficit including the freezing of positions and loss of critical city services," the Oakland NAACP said. "Businesses are closing every day, and this incident only contributes to the decline in the city's reputation and makes it harder to attract new businesses to Oakland. The mayor should resign and give the city an opportunity to heal and move forward. We are asking everyone to please keep those impacted by violent crime and the safety of all the residents of Oakland in their prayers."

Thao has not made any public statements following Thursday's raids, and federal officials have not offered any details on the raids or what is being investigated. 

Renia Webb, a former chief of staff for Thao has also said the mayor should resign, repeating allegations she has made since February of last year that Thao's administration is mired in pay-to-play schemes.  

California Waste Solutions has previously been investigated for its contributions to Oakland politicians, including Thao when she was a city councilmember. VABA was part of a delegation led by Thao to Vietnam last year to promote business ties between Oakland and the southern Vietnamese city of Long An.

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