Crime

Oakland mayor says she has ‘done nothing wrong’ following FBI raid

Democratic Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said on Monday that she has “done nothing wrong” and promised to be “100% transparent and cooperate fully” with an FBI investigation. “I want to be crystal clear: I have done nothing wrong,” said Thao, who had been missing in action since her home was raided by federal authorities on Thursday. […]

Democratic Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said on Monday that she has “done nothing wrong” and promised to be “100% transparent and cooperate fully” with an FBI investigation.

“I want to be crystal clear: I have done nothing wrong,” said Thao, who had been missing in action since her home was raided by federal authorities on Thursday. “I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao makes remarks to the media at Oakland City Hall in Oakland, California, on Monday, June 24, 2024, following an FBI raid on her home and three others last week. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Federal agents hauled numerous boxes and duffel bags stuffed with items from Thao’s Oakland Hills house. Thao lives at the home with her partner, Andre Jones, who, like Thao, is a former chief of staff for an Oakland council member.


Wiping a tear from her eye, she took aim at her detractors, vowing that she is “not going down like that — we’re not going down like that.” 

The mayor has not been arrested nor charged with a crime.

However, her silence since the June 20 raid had given her political opponents an opening to criticize her. One group held a rally over the weekend at Oakland City Hall, with protesters waving signs that read, “Where’s Mayor Sheng Thao?” 

There were also pictures of milk cartons with “missing” captions about the mayor, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

It’s been a rough few days for the mayor. 

Thao did not take questions after her comments. 

Last week, the Oakland chapter of the NAACP called on her to resign, claiming the city “has a cloud hanging over it today” and that Thao should step down ahead of recall efforts to oust her. 

Dylan Qin, 8, holds a sign as Seneca Scott speaks during a Coalition for Community Engagement’s protest outside City Hall in reaction to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao’s absence since the FBI raided her home, in Oakland, California, on Sunday, June 23, 2024. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that enough signatures had been collected for a recall question to qualify on a November ballot. 

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Thao defended herself against the recall effort on Monday, and she wondered aloud why the raids happened so soon after the recall question qualified for the November ballot, the Mercury News reported

The same day Thao’s house was raided, federal agents also showed up at the homes of David Duong and his son Andrew Duong, whose family owns California Waste Solutions, a recycling company that has a lucrative contract with the city.

A third raid was carried out at offices shared by the company and the Vietnamese American Business Association, led by multiple members of the Duong family.

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It is still unknown why the raid was carried out.

The FBI has not released a comment. 

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