San Leandro's chief of police Abdul Pridgen was already on administrative leave over some undisclosed, alleged violations of department policies. That made him an odd candidate for Oakland Police Chief, and now he’s officially gone from the San Leandro job.

The latest news on the search for an Oakland police chief is that there is no news, and the search has now dragged on more than a year. But there’s been plenty of drama, including a lawsuit from fired former chief LeRonne Armstrong, and paralyzing friction between Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao and the Oakland Police Commission.

The commission had recommended three candidates in December, but one of them was the non-starter choice of rehiring Armstrong. Another of these candidates was San Leandro Police Chief Abdul Pridgen, also a very curious choice, considering he had been forced on administrative leave in September over some sort of undisclosed "allegations regarding department policy violations."  


Well, now Pridegen is an even less desirable candidate for the Oakland job. KTVU reports that Pridgen has left the San Leandro Police Department permanently, and the city’s official statement sure makes it sound like he was pushed out.

“San Leandro Police Chief Abdul Pridgen’s last day in his position was February 20, 2024,” the City of San Leandro said in a statement. “Pridgen was placed on paid leave in September 2023, while an investigation was conducted into allegations that he violated department policies.”

In the same statement, San Leandro City Manager Fran Robustelli simply said, “The City is prohibited by law from releasing any information about public safety personnel, the length of time needed to address these matters, reasons for Mr. Pridgen’s departure, and the full results of the investigation.”

So no one knows why Pridgen was placed on leave. The Chronicle did some digging, but all they could find was a 2017 case where Pridgen was demoted from his job as then-assistant police chief of Fort Worth, Texas, over allegedly leaking bodycam footage and another officer’s file in a controversial arrest case.

Either way, this leaves a fairly complicated situation for the San Leandro Police Department. Current Interim Police Chief Kevin Hart, who’s been serving since Pridgen was put on leave, will himself be stepping down in “late April 2024.” At that point, current Los Altos Police Chief Angela Averiett takes over, though also on an interim basis, as the city is still searching for a permanent police chief.

So there’s plenty of available work out there for anyone who wants to be a Bay Area chief of police! And meanwhile in Oakland, KTVU reports that the Oakland Police Commission plans to submit three more police chief candidates “in March.”

Related: Fired Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong Was One of Three Candidates for Chief That Mayor Thao Rejected [SFNews]

Image: @AbdulPridgen via Twitter