Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed’s threat to sue a hillside homeowner is the final straw.
It’s become clear in the wake of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that she is incapable of fixing the problems plaguing her department.
We’ve heard lots of excuses from the chief about budget constraints. But Reed’s recent performance at a meeting of hillside residents demonstrates she’s temperamentally unfit for the job.
She’s in charge of the Fire Department and that means she’s accountable for her subordinates’ behavior. That also means that she must professionally respond to criticism of the Fire Department and of her leadership.
She might disagree with critics, but threatening to sue them is beyond the pale.
The department in 2015 became the first in the state to be stripped of its California certification to perform hazardous materials inspections.
And, as reporters David DeBolt, Matthias Gafni and Thomas Peele have revealed, the Fire Department has botched the hills inspection program that’s supposed to guard against a repeat of the 1991 conflagration, which killed 25 people and destroyed 3,000-plus homes.
That has hillside residents understandably concerned.
The bottom line is that under this Fire Chief’s watch, scores of people have died needlessly. If there is to be a trial, it should be a criminal one, with Chief Teresa Deloach Reed sitting at the defendant’s table.
Read the whole story in the East Bay Times