Oakland City Council to Consider Censure for Desley Brooks
Update: The Oakland City Council voted Thursday night not to censure Councilwoman Desley Brooks for alleged ethical violations in establishing a teen center.
OAKLAND (Bay City News) The Oakland City Council will hold a hearing tonight on a motion to censure Councilwoman Desley Brooks for allegedly interfering with the construction and operation of two city recreation centers in her district in East Oakland.
A letter that City Council President Patricia Kernighan wrote to the council recommending that Brooks be censured cites a recent Alameda County civil grand jury report that found that city contracting, purchasing and hiring rules were circumvented for the teen center projects.
Kernighan said Brooks personally hired staff to work in the centers and paid them from her City Council office budget for many months before another source of funding was found.
“Her hiring of staff was in violation of the city charter, which requires that city staff for city operated recreation centers, and almost all other city jobs, must be hired through the civil service system,” Kernighan said.
In addition, Kernighan said, the staff started working for the teen centers before they had been fingerprinted and had background checks completed, as is required by law.
“In order to maintain public trust in the integrity of city government, I believe it is incumbent upon the City Council to publicly take a position on council member misconduct that violates the city charter and council code of conduct when that misconduct has become known and has been well-documented,” Kernighan wrote.
Brooks couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.
The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. today in City Council chambers at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.