OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An exclusive report from KPIX 5 Thursday on fallout from the Ghost Ship Fire has revealed what one Oakland city leader called a lack of leadership at city hall.
According to recently-released documents, before the ghost ship fire, police responded to a complaint that people were illegally living in the warehouse. At the time, police didn’t do anything about it.
So it made sense when Oakland Assistant Police Chief David Downing ordered officers to report any unpermitted living spaces or parties in warehouses by email before the end of a shift. The emails would be required to document the time they saw it, the address and what exactly they saw.
A few hours after KPIX 5 made the exclusive reported about the chief’s directive, Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth rescinded that police order.
Landreth issued a statement that said the order was distributed prematurely and has been retracted.
On Friday, City Councilman Noel Gallo says what the city administrator did was wrong.
“For the administrator to step in and say something is questionable to regarding his directive clearly shows the lack of leadership and the lack of oversight and knowledge in how to do the job,” said Gallo.
KPIX 5 waited for hours at City Hall Friday afternoon, trying to get answers. Reporter Melissa Caen asked to speak with Landreth, but was told she was unavailable.
Caen walked over to Mayor Libby Schaff’s office, but she too was unavailable.
A spokesman for both women couldn’t say whether the mayor or administrator were at city hall Friday and — even if they were — they had no additional information to share at this time.
For now, it appears Oakland police still won’t be required to report dangerous warehouses for some unknown reason
The San Francisco Chronicle reports other cities — including San Francisco, San Jose and Richmond — do require police to report hazardous living conditions.