The mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, has fired the city’s interim Police Chief, Ben Fairow, just six days after hiring him. This happened amid a growing prostitution scandal that had forced Fairow’s predecessor to resign.
“I have received information that has caused me to lose confidence in Ben Fairow’s ability to lead the Oakland Police Department at this particular moment in time.”
The Mayor did not give any particular reason behind firing the Fairow, claiming that it was a ‘police personal matter’, which state law barred her from discussing in public. Fairow was hired as Oakland’s interim chief last week following the sudden resignation of the former police chief during an ongoing investigation where a young woman claimed that she had sex with multiple officers in the department.
However, it has come to light that the reason behind Mayor Schaaf firing Fairow is an affair he previously had while working in a different department. Fairow was on loan from BART police, where he was the deputy chief. The news of Fairow’s earlier affair comes from multiple sources and could have influenced Mayor Schaaf’s decision. Speaking of her decision to relieve Fairow of his duties, the Mayor said that she had made a mistake hiring Fairow.
“I own the mistake I made. The important thing is that I’m fixing it, and I’m fixing it quickly.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf answering questions during the news conference at City Hall on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. [Photo by Eric Risberg/AP Images]
Fairow, who joined the department 21 years ago, is widely believed to have had a sexual affair with one of the department’s employees during his earlier days in the Oakland Police Department. BART Police Chief, Kenton Rainey, spoke of the matter, claiming that Fairow was welcome to rejoin the BART force.
“Fairow had an extramarital relationship with a consenting adult more than a decade ago, none of which precludes him from serving as a sworn law enforcement officer or as one of my deputy chiefs.”
Chief Rainey has since confirmed that Fairow would in fact be reassigned to the BART department.
The Oakland Police Department has had to deal a fair amount of scandals in the past. The latest scandal involves 14 officers of the department. Two of those have already resigned, and another three remain in a paid leave following accusations of a sexual misconduct. An 18-year-old woman, Celeste Guap, has told to multiple sources that she has had sex with more than two dozen officers from five different cities during her time in the streets. Following this scandal, the OPD is currently under federal
The Oakland Police Department has been under federal oversight since 2003 for failing to hold its officers responsible for past misdeeds which included cases such as robbing residences, planting evidence and sexual misconduct. Following the OPD scandal, other law enforcement agencies are said to be conducting investigations on their own officers, for sexual misconduct involving Celeste Guap, or for other violations of policy.
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