Apparently, Mayor Dellums decided he didn't want to allow Oakland City Manager Deborah Edgerly to delay her retirement. The Oakland Tribune is reporting he fired her today.
As indicated previously, I intend to tread very lightly here. It is not surprising to me that Edgerly immediately retained a high-profile attorney when this episode began. And I view significant risk in talking too openly about what's happened here.
I would, however, like to take a moment to point out how poorly Dellums has handled this situation. It was a grave error for him to presume Edgerly's hands were clean and jump to her defense at the initial press conference.
Any reasonably intelligent person could see at the outset that this situation was likely to end this way. Dellums' job is to defend the city, and he should have jumped to our defense, not Edgerly's. Now, he's set up a situation where we as a city are almost guaranteed to be sued for multiple millions of dollars.
All of this leads me to question why Dellums defended Edgerly so vigorously in the first place. It seems he views situations like this one through an "us versus then" lens.
This is particularly odd to me, considering Oakland is essentially a one-party town. There is no real political opposition, so there's no "them" to fear.
The only other "us versus them" element I can think of in this situation is some sort of racial one. But, well-versed as I am in 2008 political correctness, I'll stop right there.
In any event, if you read the Tribune article, you'll see that the supposed reason for Dellums action is some problem with a particular statement Edgerly made to the media.
How wonderfully petulant and whimsical. Our mayor appears to care nothing for defending our city; rather he appears to make purely emotional decisions based on who has "crossed" him.
It's hard to think of a single good thing to say about Dellums. Such a shame.