FBI agents raid home of Oakland, California Mayor Sheng Thao

Oakland CA Mayor Sheng Thao speaking at the Talking Transitions Community Event at Castlemont High School. Oakland^ CA - Sept 23^ 2023.

FBI agents conducted a raid on the home of Oakland, California Mayor Sheng Thao early Thursday morning. Agents served warrants at Thao’s house on Maiden Lane in the city’s Lincoln Highlands neighborhood at around 5:30 a.m.

Three black and gray SUVs were seen outside the home, along with an agent wearing blue gloves who asked reporters to stay away from the vehicles. Agency spokesperson Cameron Polan said in a statement: “the FBI is conducting court authorized law enforcement activity on Maiden Lane. We are unable to provide additional information at this time.”  Just after 10 a.m., several FBI agents emerged from the home carrying boxes as news crews staked out positions across the street. It was unclear what the agents were seeking or what was seized, however, sources cited by San Francisco’s ABC7 News said the case involves the IRS and the US Postal Service.

The raid on Thao’s home was one of several federal raids on other properties in the city of Oakland. The FBI searched another home in the 4300 block of View Crest Court in Oakland also on Thursday morning.  Federal agents also served warrants at a nearby home on Viewcrest Court in the city’s Ridgemont neighborhood and at the offices shared by the Vietnamese American Business Association (VABA) and recycler California Waste Solutions on the city’s Embarcadero. The owner of the Viewcrest Court house is listed as Andrew Duong, the son of VABA chairman David Duong. The elder Duong is also CEO of California Waste Solutions. Both VABA and California Waste Solutions count on multiple members of the Duong family for their leadership teams.

Thao didn’t immediately respond to phone calls from the news media, with her spokesperson referring reporters to the FBI. Thao was a no-show Thursday morning at a scheduled press conference in San Francisco on affordable housing with the mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley.

The raids come two days after the Alameda County Registrar of Voters announced there were enough signatures on a petition to recall Thao from office to move the process forward.  The petition blames the mayor for not doing enough to fight crime which has led many businesses to close down in the city, and also state that Thao is responsible for the city’s failure to apply for millions of dollars in state money to fight retail crime. Thao has also been criticized for firing former police chief LeRonne Armstrong and not hiring a replacement for more than a year.

Editorial credit: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

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