A federal judge has fired the official he selected last year to oversee the embattled Oakland Police Department.
U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson announced in a report Wednesday that he was removing Thomas C. Frazier from his post as compliance director.
Frazier was responsible for overseeing the implementation of reforms ordered after a 2003 lawsuit against four police officers accused of misconduct.
The powers of the compliance director are being transferred to Robert Warshaw, who will continue as court-appointed monitor.
John Burris, one of two lawyers overseeing the reforms and settlements, said the change came as a surprise.
"We had been having meetings and no one gave me any indication of dissatisfaction,'' Burris said.
Henderson said he came to his decision because having a separate monitor and compliance director had proved too expensive and inefficient.
Burris said he believes the judge thought not enough progress was being made for Frazier's $270,000 salary.
"The issue becomes, 'Is progress being made at such a rate that it justifies spending the money?' And the judge felt that it wasn't,'' Burris said.
he judge has now ordered that Warshaw will be paid up to an additional $150,000 annually because of his additional duties.
Burris said he supports transferring the authority to Warshaw despite Warshaw's strained relationship with Oakland police.