Richmond police chief on leave after daughter accuses her of threats

The city of Richmond confirmed on Thursday that it has placed Police Chief Bisa French on paid administrative leave.

That's after the Bay Area News Group reported that one of her 18-year-old relatives accused French and her husband, who's an Oakland police sergeant, of threatening to kill her and her 33-year-old boyfriend, who they say is a pimp. 

The top cop's attorney confirmed to KTVU that the 18-year-old woman is, in fact, her daughter.

The boyfriend, Oho McNair, also known as as Joe Goldman, was charged Wednesday in Alameda County with pimping and pandering. Court documents say McNair and the chief's daughter stayed at motels in Oakland frequented by sex workers and that she was trafficked by him in that city.

The woman is seeking a restraining order against French, saying that in September, French and her husband used "police holds" to pin her down during an argument, and made repeated death threats against her and her partner, the news agency reported. 

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However, French says the boyfriend is manipulating her daughter into prostitution, according to the chief's attorney Michael Rains.

Rains told KTVU that the daughter had everything ahead of her "and then she met this low-life who has now taken over her entire existence to the point, of course, of getting her to sell her body."

Rains said French and her husband had not threatened anyone and that "the allegations of that kind of stuff are nonsense. They're complete nonsense."

He added, "No doubt concocted these allegations himself, and she signed them."

The Vallejo Police Department is also investigating an incident that occurred at the home of McNair's mother that involved French and her husband, Oakland police Sgt. Lee French.

Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams notified Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong about the incident, which prompted Oakland to launch an internal affairs investigation.

In a statement to KTVU, Williams defended his actions, saying, "As the chief of police, when an incident occurs in Vallejo which involves police officers employed by another department, it is my responsibility to contact the employing department to inform them of accusations involving one of their members, so the employing agency can launch an internal affairs investigation."

Williams said any communications with Vallejo and Richmond police were "conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures."

In a statement, Richmond City Manager Laura Snideman said French was on leave to deal with a "unfolding family situation."

She added, "It's imperative that we let the investigations play out without distraction and in accordance with established protocols that assure an objective assessment of the facts."

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said, "My heart really goes out to Chief French. I think as a parent, something like this happening to your child, it's unimaginable."