Embattled Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao solicits donations to fight recall

Less than a week after the FBI raided her home for undisclosed reasons, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao parted ways with her legal counsel, held a fiery news conference declaring her innocence and sent out an email blast raising funds to fight the recall against her.

Thao did not use her government email address to solicit funds, sending campaign donors to a website called "Oaklanders Defending Democracy, Oppose the Recall of Mayor Thao."

She sent the mass email on Wednesday, two days after she spoke publicly for the first time since federal agents confiscated boxes from her Maiden Lane home. The FBI declined to state what they were looking for and Thao has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

On the same day – June 20 – FBI agents also raided Cal Waste Solutions and the homes of its father-and-son owners, David and Andy Duong, who have also insisted they have done nothing illegal or improper.

In Thao's email sent from sheng@shengforoakland.com, she repeated what she said at the news conference: "I want to be crystal clear. I am innocent and have done nothing wrong."

And she included the full speech she gave on Monday.

"I am a fighter and I will continue to fight every day for our beautiful city. But I need your help," she wrote in the mailer, asking for donations.

The FBI raid came two days after Thao's critics submitted enough signatures to secure a recall of her, most likely in November.

And calls for her to step down haven't subsided, despite her assertion that the FBI raid seemed coincidentally tied to the recall. 

There is no evidence the two events are related.

One of those calls is coming from Cynthia Adams, NAACP Oakland President.

Earlier this week, Adams issued a statement – before the mayor held her news conference – saying that Oakland is in crisis and the mayor was focusing on her own self-preservation.

"Mayor Thao has spent almost 18 months proving that she was not up to the job, but now she does not appear capable of or interested in even trying to do it," Adams stated. "For the good of the citizens of Oakland, it is time for the mayor to step aside and allow for a new leader to take her place."