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Shoe falls—Howard Jordan out as Oakland police chief*

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Did the first shoe just drop in the federal government’s takeover of the Oakland Police Department? Police Chief Howard Jordan is out. He announced yesterday he’s taking “medical retirement.” (Cynics insert “wink, wink” here.) Jordan’s departure after just 19 months on the job comes a week after federal court-appointed police overseer Thomas Frazier, the former Baltimore police commissioner, openly criticized OPD leadership (read: Jordan) for failing to make much progress in police reforms while hinting that big changes were in order. Conventional wisdom: Jordan jumped before being pushed.

Mayor Jean Quan says a “national search” will begin immediately to replace Jordan, but what she didn’t say and what Oakland’s leaders don’t like to talk about is that whomever becomes the next chief must answer to Frazier. Oakland Tribune

*Noted: Robert Gammon at East Bay Express, meanwhile, cites city councilwoman Libby Schaaf as saying that Jordan really does have a “serious medical condition,” that factors into his departure: “He really is sick.”

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