Posted on January 23, 2019

Oakland Set to Pay Ex-Deputy City Attorney $295,000 in Racial Discrimination Case

Kimberly Veklerov, SFGate, January 22, 2019


A former deputy city attorney of Oakland, who is white, is set to be paid $295,000 to settle his racial discrimination lawsuit against the city.

Charles Vose, 58, alleged in his August 2017 suit in Alameda County Superior Court that he was repeatedly passed over for promotions that went to younger, minority candidates with less experience than him and that he faced retaliation for complaining.

In his more than 26 years in the city attorney’s office, Vose twice served as general counsel for the Oakland Police Department but never got higher supervisory positions, according to his complaint.

“In several instances, the successful — though less-qualified — candidates have been personal friends or acquaintances of City Attorney Barbara Parker,” the complaint said.


In a court filing, the city said “mere competency and years of experience” are not sufficient to be promoted to supervisory roles. Those chosen “must possess the skills, experience, work ethics, temperament and other qualities that (Parker) believes are important to successfully lead and inspire confidence in clients and groups of attorneys. … Other candidates possessed the skills and qualities that made them a better fit for the positions.”

Half the supervisors whom Parker appointed were white, and several were older than Vose, according to the brief.

Council members approved the $295,000 payment in a closed-session meeting last month. It’s set to be officially approved at the Tuesday night City Council meeting.