City of Oakland

Oakland Public Ethics Commission Complaint On Lane Partners Not About Lynette Gibson-McElhaney

This Oakland Public Ethics Commission Complaint comes under the subhead-line of ‘bone-headed reports by fake news folks with racist agendas” and refers to an Oakland Public Ethics Commission Complaint that was filed against a firm called Lane Partners, represented by Andrew Haydel. The matter was before the Oakland Public Ethics Commission, and in it’s agenda for October 5th 2020.

What happened was that Lane Partners was encouraged to make a contribution to the Lynette Gibson-McElhaney Legal Defense Fund, and not by anyone directly connected to Lynette, but by, according to PEC records, my friend (at least I think we’re still friends, but in this town shit gets weird for weird reasons) Greg McConnell, the founder of the Oakland Jobs and Housing Coalition. A 2018 email reported McConnell’s plan to get donations for her 50th Birthday.

And Now This Aside…

Now, if you go an assume that Lynette herself established that plan, then you know less about Oakland politics than you think, and are contributing to the crab-barrel, game-playing that causes Oakland to lose out big on matters like retaining sports teams. Oakland has a major-league loser mentality that has to be addressed. Character assassination is sport in Oakland and I find that it’s a proxy for professional competence. But that aside, there are any number of political players in Oakland and San Francisco wiling to, what we call on the streets, “run a game” on someone. Some of them rest in the media.

Seriously, there are some media-types who live for documents that make black Oakland elected officials look bad, but when the elected official is white, they look the other way. Want evidence? Go back to 2013 and the claims of Oakland City Staff Tampering that were leveled against Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid of District 7 and Desley Brooks of District 6 – claims that, as former Oakland City Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente will tell you, apply to every Oakland City Councilmember in history. But when the white media got involved, they didn’t want to see that, and just saw a chance to paint black elected officials as bad, and so they did.

The trouble with a lot of black folks here in Oakland and in America is they complain about the white media types but are by inaction afraid to counter them, and don’t back black media. And so we get the social climate painting black folks so negatively that the result is George Floyd’s death.

The Los Angeles Times recently took itself to task for decades of racism, but I was waiting for San Francisco Bay Area white mainstream media to follow its lead. I’m still waiting and I’ve made some accounts in the process.

Anyway Back To The Action, I Mean The Oakland PEC Complaint

The Oakland PEC Complaint about Lane Partners reads, in part, this way:

Respondents violated the Oakland Campaign Reform Act by contributing $1,000 to Lynette Gibson-McElhaney Legal Defense Fund in October2018 at a time when they were subject to the City’s ban on contributions from City contractors to candidates, in violation of Oakland Municipal Code section 3.12.140

And here’s the rest:

In June 2019, Commission Staff initiated a pro-active investigation after Andrew Haydel’s lawyer called to report that Haydel, a commercial real-estate investor and principal at Lane Partners LLC, “may have made a contribution” to an Oakland political candidate’s defense fund during a time when he and Lane Partners, a City contractor, was subject to the contractor campaign contribution ban.
Between 2016-2018, Lane Partners was involved with several different development projects with the City of Oakland. One such project was the Eastline project.


The Respondent and Staff reached a settlement agreement in February 2020. Staff prepared a Stipulation recommending that the Public Ethics Commission (PEC) impose a penalty of $2,000. In the Matter of Haydel was scheduled on the PEC’s March 2020, Agenda. At the PEC’s March meeting, the Commissioners rejected the recommended penalty of $2,000 and instead informed the Respondent that a $5,000 penalty was a more appropriate penalty based on the facts and experience of the Respondent. The PEC instructed Staff to renegotiate the Stipulation with a penalty of $5,000. Staff reached out to the Respondent who initially agreed to sign a revised Stipulation and pay the increased penalty of $5,000.

Oakland Public Ethics Commission vs Lane Partners Case Summary by Zenophon Zennie Abraham on Scribd

As a note, this is way not the first time Lane Partners has made a donation that was viewed as having violated Oakland’s Campaign Reform Act, but the simple fact the PEC caught this means good for the future. I must also report that there have been so many alleged violations of the type that Lane Partners is accused of, that it may be time to revisit the law from the perspective of laws that cause entrapment. Because one can replace Lynette Gibson-McElhaney with the Mayor or any other Oakland City Councilmember, and some idiot with a keyboard (who may be running a smear campaign on behalf of another Oakland City Councilmember) would jump to the conclusion that Libby did something wrong, when she had nothing to do with the action.

Anyway, it goes on to report via documents like this one that Lane Partners acted on the advice of their lawyer, Zack Wasserman (Another long-time friend of mine who now former Oakland City Attorney John Russo used to call “Zack-A-Potatos”). Wasserman is asking for the PEC to consider his error to his client, and also for the standard $5,000 fine to be reduced to $2,000, and Lane Partners would pay it.

And there’s the real story. A true mistake admitted to.

The point of all of this: it’s really important to look before one takes any leap and makes negative assumptions about someone else. Also, some electeds in Oakland should be real careful about passing information they deem negative about someone else. After a time, that crap will back fire. God does not like ugly.

Just saying.

Stay tuned.

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