For the second time in two months, a federal judge has accused city officials of not cooperating with the man he hired to clean up Oakland's troubled police department.
If city again obstructs the work of former Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote that he will appoint a lawyer to represent Frazier and charge the fees to the city.
In a three-page order released Thursday, Henderson accused city leaders of excluding Frazier from meetings as well as delaying Frazier's hiring of a personnel expert and quibbling over to whom the expert would report. Henderson wrote that all experts will report only to Frazier and that no city official "has any authority to direct (them) or to demand copies of any of the experts' reports."
Henderson also gave Frazier authority to circumvent the city in hiring experts and ordered the city to deposit $50,000 with the court to begin paying for their work. Frazier has proposed spending $400,000 on four experts to deal with racial profiling, the use of force, investigations and personnel management.
Henderson's sharply-worded order was similar in tone to an April statement in which he warned city officials to stop challenging the scope of Frazier's authority over the police department.
City officials did not comment on Henderson's audit Thursday afternoon.
Oakland agreed to accept Frazier's authority last year rather than risk Henderson placing the entire police department under federal control for failing to implement reforms stemming from the decade-old Riders police brutality scandal.