Congressional candidate blasts Thao, reveals ties to Duong family

A Congressional candidate and local Vietnamese community leader blasted embattled Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao on Wednesday outside City Hall.

In a wide-ranging address, Jennifer Tran railed against what she called widespread misconduct within Oakland city government.

"This is a story of corruption. Corruption is a cancer that poisons every government on the planet," Tran said.

Tran also confirmed that she has ties to the politically influential Duong family, whose properties were raided by federal agents last week.

Tran said of Thao, "Despite her compelling personal story that I relate with as a daughter of refugees, Mayor Sheng Thao is just another unfit, entrenched American mayor who decided to play the game as she saw it being played."


Who are the Duongs, the family at the center of the FBI Oakland probe?

Not only did the FBI raid Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao's home on Thursday, but they searched three other locations connected to a politically powerful family. So, who are the Duongs?

Federal agents raided Thao's home and several properties tied to the Duong family, who own California Waste Solutions, a company that manages Oakland’s recycling program.

During a fiery speech on Monday at City Hall, Thao denounced the raid and said she was the victim of a conspiracy.

"I will not be bullied, and I will not be disparaged, and I will not be threatened out of this office," Thao said.

On Wednesday, Thao attended an MTC meeting in San Francisco. She told KTVU she couldn't comment. She later left that meeting while it was still in session.

Thao has made no mention of the Duong family.

Tran, who is running for Congress to replace Barbara Lee, acknowledged she received $3,300 from four members of the Duong family for her campaign.

"I will return the money, even though it is legally contributed," Tran said.

Tran also confirmed her father had been accused of taking part in a "straw donor" scheme involving the Duong family.

"If my father or the Duongs committed a crime, they will do the time," Tran said.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and