4 Oakland Officers Fired, 7 Suspended In Sexual Misconduct Investigation
OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Officials in Oakland announced Wednesday that four police officers would be terminated and an additional seven officers would be suspended in the wake of the now completed investigation into the teen sex scandal that rocked the department.
The press conference held by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth late Wednesday afternoon announced that the investigation into the underage sex scandal surrounding Celeste Guap, the teen daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher, had reached a conclusion.
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Schaaf said notices of discipline to 12 Oakland police officers relating to offenses connected to the case.
"I am deeply sorry for the harm that this scandal has caused, particularly to community trust, which for many was already so tenuous," said Schaaf. "The discipline we have announced today sends a loud and clear message that we will hold our officers to nothing but the highest standards of professionalism and integrity."
Landreth said he city issued notices to terminate four members of the Oakland Police Department who were under investigation, but noted that some of the individuals might have already left the department. Still the findings would be placed on the permanent records of all those officers.
"Each individual was found to have committed one or more of the following offenses: attempted sexual assault, engaging in lewd conduct in public assisting in the crime of prostitution, assisting in the evading of arrest for the crime of prostitution, accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain, being untruthful to investigators, failing to report a violation of law or rules by not reporting allegations of a minor having sexual contact with Oakland police officers, and bringing and disrepute to the Oakland Police Department," said Landreth.
Additionally, seven other officers were suspended without pay. Those officers will also be provided with remedial training for accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain, being untruthful to investigators, failing to report a violation of law or rules by not reporting allegations of a minor having sexual contact with Oakland police officers, and bringing and disrepute to the Oakland Police Department.
Landreth also said counseling and training was ordered for one officer for bringing disrepute to the Oakland Police Department.
The discipline decisions are all subject to due process and grievance procedures, according to Landreth.
In interviews, Guap said she had sex with 14 officers from Oakland police department, as well as five from the Richmond police department, three Alameda County Sheriff's deputies and a Livermore cop. She says she only had sex with three officers -- all from Oakland PD -- while she was underage.
Schaaf noted that she could not identify the officers involved in the investigation because of state law.
Officials said the year-long investigation entailed hundreds of hours of interviews with 50 witnesses beginning in September of 2015. The investigation included 11 different police interviews with Guap.
The Oakland Police Department reviewed over 78,000 pages of social media postings and 28,000 text messages as part of the process, according to officials. It was led by five members of the OPD Internal Affairs Unit and two members of the City Attorney's Office.
Officials also noted that the investigation evaluated whether officers engaged in misconduct, but also whether there was evidence that any member -- particularly supervisors or commanders -- knew or should have known about misconduct and failed to report it.
The mayor thanked the public for their patience during the investigation and said "to victims of sexual exploitation -- we see you, we hear you, and we are here to help you."
Guap was arrested last week in Martin County, Florida, where she allegedly bit a security guard at a drug rehabilitation facility.
Schaaf addressed allegations that the Richmond Police Department paid to send Guap across the country, saying "we're not happy about this" and that Oakland officials made multiple offers to Guap to seek help that was locally based.
Schaaf said District Attorney Nancy O'Malley is still completing her criminal investigation into the case and said "we have reason to believe she will be making determinations relatively soon."
Earlier Wednesday, two Bay Area civil rights attorneys said they had been hired to represent Guap and have set up a trust fund and are seeking donations for her legal and medical care.
Oakland-based attorney Pamela Price wrote on her law firm's website that she and Sausalito-based attorney Charles Bonner are working on the case.
Price said Guap was allegedly withdrawing from heroin at the rehab facility but after allegedly biting a guard, she was taken to jail on suspicion of felony aggravated battery.
Price addressed the allegations that Richmond police or some other law enforcement agency paid to send her to Florida and said Richmond police have denied any involvement in sending Guap there.
"She has no family there or any ties to Florida, or any reason to be there, other than someone in a Bay Area law enforcement agency thought it would be a good idea for her to go there," Price wrote.
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