About 500 Occupy Oakland protesters returned to Frank Ogawa Plaza at about 5 p.m. Monday night after it was re-opened by police but they didn't make any immediate effort to set up their tents again.
The protesters held a general assembly to discuss possible future actions but the atmosphere was calm and the crowd had thinned out to about 200 people by 7 p.m.
About 400 officers from the Oakland Police Department and seven other law enforcement agencies swooped into the plaza shortly after 5 a.m. Monday to remove tents that protesters had been living in for several weeks.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said earlier Monday that his
department would let protesters return to the plaza but would arrest anyone who tried to set up lodging, such as tents, sleeping bags or lounge chairs.
One of the speakers at the general assembly Monday night proposed what he described as "a reclamation of space" but no specific plans were announced.
Other speakers said the group would meet on Wednesday to discuss future actions.
Earlier Monday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's legal adviser, Dan
Siegel, resigned to protest Quan's decision to raid the Occupy Oakland encampment.
Monday night, Quan announced that Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu has also resigned effective immediately.
However, Quan didn't disclose the reason for Cornu's resignation
and Cornu, the former executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, couldn't be reached for comment.
Other Tuesday news from around the Bay from Bay City News service.
A California Department of Transportation technician who tested
seismic safety on the Bay Bridge's eastern span and his supervisor have been fired because of evidence of falsified safety testing on state structures, Caltrans officials announced Monday.
Duane Wiles and his supervisor Brian Liebich's firings come on the
heels of a Sacramento Bee report published Saturday that exposes Wiles'
fabricated safety tests in recent years on a San Bernardino bridge, a Los
Angeles freeway's retaining wall and a hanging sign on Interstate Highway 580
in Oakland, Caltrans acting director Malcolm Dougherty said.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Wiles also failed to check
whether his testing gauge was functioning properly while working on the Bay
Caltrans officials said assessments of Wiles' work on the Bay
Bridge's new span prove that the technician did not fabricate safety test
results for the multi-billion-dollar project.
Dougherty and Caltrans' toll bridge program manager Tony Anziano
Monday said Wiles' falsified testing was limited to three structures, and
that extensive re-testing has assured those structures' safety.
They insisted that Wiles' actions do not endanger the safety of
the motoring public.
A still-ongoing federal probe followed the internal investigation
into Wiles' work, he said.
Caltrans officials first learned of the technician's fabricated
safety reports in 2008, when he was placed on administrative leave.
Shortly after, Wiles and Liebich were assigned to
non-safety-related Caltrans tasks, and continued working for Caltrans until
Nov. 8, when they were notified they would be fired effective Nov. 18,
The Caltrans director said Liebich was fired because state
materials were found on his property, and not due to Wiles' fabricated tests.
Dougherty said he has not been made aware of Wiles' motive for
falsifying safety test results and that Caltrans officials have not
determined whether or not they will press criminal charges against the
Fielding questions from reporters Monday, the Caltrans official
said he would be open to an independent audit of the department's safety
A 51-year-old San Jose man fell to his death while paragliding at
Ed Levin County Park in Milpitas on Sunday afternoon.
Everett Greel III was paragliding above Monument Peak Trail when
his parachute collapsed about 80 feet above the ground at about 1:50 p.m.,
Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.
Emergency responders attempted to revive Greel, but he was
pronounced dead at the scene.
It is unknown what caused the glider to fail, Cardoza said.
A former San Francisco Giants payroll manager admitted in federal
court in the city Monday to embezzling $2.2 million from the team and pleaded
guilty to a charge of wire fraud.
Federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a penalty of two years and
nine months in prison for Robin O'Connor, 42, of American Canyon, when she is
sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Francisco on March 5.
O'Connor confessed in a written plea agreement that she diverted
$2.2 million from the Giants and unidentified Giants employees between June
2010 and June 2011 by transferring funds to her personal bank accounts.
She said in the agreement that she has thus far repaid $936,000 of
that amount, including $360,000 returned "during the course of the scheme"
and $600,000 returned after Giants officials discovered the fraud and fired
her on July 6.
O'Connor promised to pay an additional $1,457,000 in future
restitution to cover all remaining losses she caused, the agreement said.
She pleaded guilty before Ware Monday afternoon to one count of
wire fraud, which she carried out by arranging an electronic transfer of
$286,428 from a Giants account to one of her personal bank accounts on Sept.
O'Connor worked as the team's payroll manager from 2007 until she
was fired on July 6, she said in the agreement.
She said the money she embezzled included funds derived from
improperly reducing employee tax withholdings; funds intended to pay employee
salary and expenses; and funds from fictitious paychecks she created.
Property that she will forfeit to help pay the restitution
includes a 2011 BMW and a 2011 Ford Raptor, according to the document.
A group of University of California at Berkeley students and
community protesters who say they were victims of police brutality during a
Nov. 9 "Occupy Cal" demonstration announced Monday their lawsuit against the
university and multiple UCPD police officers.
Ronald Cruz, a lawyer with the Coalition to Defend Affirmative
Action, Integration and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality By Any
Means Necessary, or BAMN, said Monday that the organization is planning to
file the suit on behalf of seven protesters who claim to be victims of police
violence and false arrests.
In the lawsuit, which Cruz said BAMN plans to file later this
month, the plaintiffs will also call on Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to
University spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said Monday afternoon that
university administrators were unaware of the planned lawsuit and declined to
comment on any pending litigation.
Gilmore said Birgenau planned to issue a memo to the campus
community Monday related to the Occupy Cal movement.
"The police repeatedly beat students, especially women students,
in the ribs, stomach, arms, legs and face," UC Berkeley senior and BAMN
organizer Matt Williams said in the statement released Monday.
Yvette Felarca, a BAMN national organizer, said she was one of the
first women targeted by police during the Nov. 9 protest. A now-viral YouTube
video shows a police officer yanking her by the hair, Felarca said.
Felarca said she is still recovering from a beating she endured at
the hands of UC Berkeley police officers that day.
The number of plaintiffs in the lawsuit may grow as BAMN
organizers are considering finding more protesters who were victimized by
campus police on Nov. 9, he said.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit plan to join thousands of other UC
Berkeley protesters today in an Occupy Cal strike with a planned afternoon
march from Oakland to the UC Berkeley campus, Cruz said.