Oakland will settle the lawsuit on behalf of the former police chief.

OAKLAND — The City Council on Tuesday approved a $1.5 million settlement to settle a lawsuit brought by former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick over his firing by the city’s police commission and mayor two years ago. Planned.

Kirkpatrick’s contract was terminated without cause. February 2020 Special Meeting By Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the city’s Police Commission. The former police chief filed a lawsuit against the city August 2020he alleged that his dismissal was in retaliation for exposing abuse of power and corruption within the commission.

It is possiblea federal jury found in a civil trial that Kirkpatrick was wrongfully fired for blowing the whistle on questionable conduct by some commissioners.

That jury found for Kirkpatrick’s whistleblower claim, awarding him $337,635 in damages, the same amount he would have received in severance pay had he not chosen to sue the city in August 2020. But the jury sided with the city against his claim that he was fired. to exercise his First Amendment protected speech rights.

According to a statement from Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, the settlement includes the jury award as well as approximately $250,000 in litigation costs described as cumulative and out-of-pocket expenses, and Kirkpatrick’s Includes a portion of attorney’s fees. Parker said the city denies any responsibility or wrongdoing, and does not acknowledge any allegations made by the former chief.

In separate requests for comment from Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office and the police department, representatives shared Parker’s statement on the structure of the settlement.

The City Council approved the settlement amount in a closed session vote last Thursday, with council members Nikki Fortunato-Bass, Noel Gallo, Lorraine Taylor, Treva Reed and Rebecca Kaplan approving. Council member Sheng Thao did not participate, while council members Carol Fife and Dean Clubb were excused.

In a statement, Kirkpatrick looked back with pride on the decision as well as future endeavors.

“I feel vindicated by the jury’s conclusion that I was fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on wrongdoing on the Oakland Police Commission. I hope that the settlement in my favor is a signal to all those who seek corruption. There are witnesses, especially those who are in law enforcement: don’t be silent,” he said.

“Our system depends on people doing the right thing, even when it’s hard,” he continued. “I look forward to putting this chapter behind me and continuing my career in public service.”

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.