Sean Whent, the chief of the Oakland Police Department, has resigned from his post just as the office is under investigation for sexual misconduct by some of its officers. In a statement delivered last week, Chief Whent announced his retirement but did not divulge why he was doing so.
According to the Associated Press, the statement was released last Thursday with Whent plumping up his work by saying he’s worked to make Oakland safer and adding that the department has strengthened its connection to the community. Whent went on to say that his officers mirrored his ideals as well.
Last Friday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told reporters that Whent left on his own accord. Mayor Schaaf did not elaborate on the split, but did thank Whent for his two years of service.
A report from the San Francisco Chronicle reveals that Whent may have been fired for pushing back against a federal monitor assigned to review and reform the department. According to the Chronicle, Whent was considered one of the best police chiefs the city has seen.
The East Bay Express suggests in a report that Whent was fired due to a gross oversight and that the sexual misconduct allegations stretch much further than Oakland and involve high-ranking officials from across the Bay Area region.
Oakland’s beleaguered force has been under intense scrutiny in related and separated matters. Two officers have resigned and two others are on paid leave in connection to the sexual misconduct claims.
Since 2003, the force has been supervised by federally-appointed monitors after a civil case was settled related to the alleged actions of four Oakland police officers and news they beat up and robbed residents while planting incriminating evidence.
Photo: Oakland Police Department