Written by The Business Journal Staff
(AP) — A Northern California police department has announced it started disciplinary action against a dozen officers implicated by a teenage prostitute in a wide-ranging sex scandal.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wednesday that the city’s police department started dismissal proceedings against four officers, but noted some may have previously left the department. The department earlier announced that two officers implicated in the scandal previously resigned. A third killed himself last year.
In addition, seven officers will serve a range of unpaid suspensions before being allowed to return to duty. Another officer will be required to attend training classes.
“I am deeply sorry for the harm this scandal has caused,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf declined to identify the officers. It’s unclear if any of the officers were represented by lawyers. The officers’ union said previously it wasn’t representing most of the implicated officers because the alleged misconduct occurred while they were off duty.
The 19-year-old woman at the center of the scandal said she has had sex with about 30 law enforcement officials throughout the San Francisco Bay Area over the last two years. She said she had sex with four officers before she turned 18 and sometimes traded sex for protection from arrest or tip offs to planned prostitution stings.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify sex crimes victims.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has launched a criminal investigation. Her office didn’t respond to requests for comment late Wednesday.
“We are being very sensitive to the young woman who has been exploited and been hurt,” O’Malley said on Aug. 9 when activists arrived unannounced at her office and demanded officers be charged criminally. “We are working diligently.”
Most of the implicated officers work in Oakland, which has placed three other officers on leave. In June, the department cycled through three chiefs in 10 days after the teen’s allegations were first reported in the media.
Six Richmond police officers and several others working for other law enforcement agencies have also been implicated.