Sources within the City Attorney’s Office say that the City Attorney’s Chapter of IFPTE 21 voted to endorse City Attorney incumbent Barbara Parker 21 to 2 over opponent Elias Ferran. The sources have direct knowledge of the vote.
Neither Parker nor Ferran received the endorsement’s pre-requisite 55% vote and thus the union—which represents the City’s managers and professional workers—made no endorsement in the Oakland City Attorney race. According to one source, who declined to be named, the attorneys in the CAO thought it was important that the chapter's opinion on the endorsement be recorded, regardless. In the anonymous chapter vote, 7 voters voted to send no endorsement to the union's central committee and one person abstained, but the overwhelming choice was Parker over Ferran. The Chapter had the option of staying neutral in the overall union vote, the sources say, but the members thought it was important that the union know that they supported Parker over Ferran.
Ferran applied to the City of Oakland in 2008 as a Deputy City Attorney II, according to a publicly released copy of his application, just one year after he received his attorney’s license. The job at the City of Oakland was his second job as a licensed attorney. Ferran’s first attorney role was in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office prosecuting “quality of life infractions", according to the application. That job lasted six months.
Public records show Ferran remained Attorney II for the 12 years he worked in the CAO—an atypical career trajectory in the office, sources say. It's not surprising that Ferran hadn’t advanced, according to one CAO source. “He was just the kind of guy that never made an effort. You won’t find Ferran’s signature on very much. He didn’t contribute professionally to the office.”
Ferran’s last known role at the City Attorney’s office was advising the OPD’s Alcohol Beverage Action Team, which pursues alcohol and tobacco licensing issues and nuisance complaints against liquor stores and bars. Ferran has often worked with police with a nuisance and quality of life focus—Ferran’s first role at the CAO was as a prosecutor in a pilot program focused on “quality of life crimes”. The “crimes” ranged extremely far—from unlicensed car repair to cruelty to animals—according to an Oakland North article written at that time.
Another source that works in the City Attorney’s Office, but who declined to be named, says that Ferran was known in the office for having performance issues. “It was widely known he was not reliable and that he was not pulling his weight.”
Reached by phone on Monday, this publication asked Ferran about his departure from the City Attorney’s Office in June. “It was a resignation," Ferran said. "I had already decided to leave anyway, and it just pushed it up even more when you’re running against your boss.”
This is a developing story.
This publication has acquired the email that was sent to members of the IFPTE 21 Attorney's chapter [DCA Chapter] confirming the outcome of their anonymous chapter endorsement vote.
The email confirms that out of 31 votes, only 2 were to endorse Ferran. 21 were to endorse Parker; 7 were for no endorsement, and 1 was an abstention. The IFPTE 21 endorsement vote had already taken place and neither candidate had earned the required votes for an IFPTE 21 endorsement. Regardless, the Executive Committee could still have made a final decision to make an endorsement at that time and the intent of this email was to guide any such decision.
After this story was posted, this publication was contacted by another source from the City Attorney's Office. The source stated that Ferran is "probably one of the last people that I would pick for the job."
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the vote count. It was 21 for Parker, 2 for Ferran, 7 neutral votes that didn't want to make a public endorsement and 1 abstention.