Home World Former Oakland police chief LeRonne Armstrong to run for City Council

Former Oakland police chief LeRonne Armstrong to run for City Council


Fifteen months after he was fired as Oakland’s police chief, LeRonne Armstrong said Wednesday he would run for a City Council seat in November.

The ex-chief, a 24-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department, will run for office in the city that he is currently suing for wrongful termination — a lawsuit filed in February that also names Mayor Sheng Thao.

“Armstrong brings unmatched knowledge and experience to this Council race,” read an announcement Wednesday morning sent by Sam Singer, a prominent public-relations consultant who has worked over the past year to maintain the former chief’s public profile.

“He successfully managed the largest city department and is the only candidate with the understanding of how to efficiently prioritize precious city resources without sacrificing public safety,” the announcement of Armstrong’s candidacy continued.

Armstrong, who most recently was working as an assistant basketball coach at Bishop O’Dowd High, has sent a steady stream of public statements commenting on Oakland’s politics in the year since Thao fired him for his response to a misconduct cover-up scandal among OPD officers.

Last fall, an independent arbitrator determined Armstrong probably shouldn’t have been fired for his role in the scandal, which involved an officer’s hit-and-run with a parked car and his commanding officers’ efforts to water down a subsequent internal affairs investigation.

But the mayor has long maintained that she fired Armstrong over his comments to the public that she was being heavily influenced by outside forces to discipline the chief instead of making her own decisions.

The ex-chief will run for a council office that doesn’t represent any one district — a seat designated as “at-large.”

The seat is currently filled by Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who hasn’t yet filed to run for re-election. Eight other candidates have filed initial forms signaling their intent to challenge for the office.

This story will be updated.

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