From: SF Chronicle
By: Chase DiFeliciantonio
Bisa French has returned to her post as Richmond chief of police after a nine-month leave of absence, her attorney said Monday.
French’s attorney Mike Rains said she was reinstated early last week by the city.
“From what I have seen and understand from the city, it’s back to where she was. There’s no conditions,” Rains said.
French’s return to her post comes after she was placed on administrative leave last year as officials looked into allegations that she and her husband assaulted a then-18-year-old female family member.
French’s husband, Oakland Police Department Sgt. Lee French was also placed on leave at the time.
During an emotional hearing late last year, the couple agreed in Contra Costa County Superior Court to stay away from the relative for two years, despite saying they believed she was being sex-trafficked. The Chronicle is not publishing the young woman’s name because she is an alleged victim of sex trafficking, though she denies she is a victim.
Rains said that stay-away order is still in place, although it was modified to allow both French and her husband to possess firearms in accordance with their law enforcement duties. Rains said he plans to ask for the order to be thrown out since investigators in Solano and Contra Costa counties previously informed him they will not pursue charges against either of the Frenches.
The then teenager alleged that last September, the Frenches tried to physically stop her from seeing her partner, Oho McNair, then 34. The relative said the Frenches physically assaulted her and had said they’d put their policing careers at risk to break the contact between her and McNair.
Bisa and Lee French have alleged that McNair, who also uses the moniker Joe Goldman, manipulated their relative into becoming a prostitute in Oakland. McNair briefly faced pimping and pandering charges in connection with the case, but the young woman refused to testify against him, according to Rains.
McNair was previously convicted of human trafficking in Alameda County.
Both officers went to McNair’s mother’s house in Vallejo last year to confront her about her son, and an altercation led to a criminal threats investigation by the Vallejo Police Department — a probe that resulted in both officers being placed on leave.
Rains said investigators interviewed both Frenches, and “the people that are making allegations,” against them.
“The determination not to file (charges) was based on the information those folks provided as well as an assessment of their overall credibility and the credibility of Mr. and Mrs. French,” Rains said.
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt tweeted last week that “Speaking for myself, I’m glad to have Bisa back. I think she’s been a great police chief and she will continue to be, and I’m glad to have her back at work. I think she’s very well respected.”
A Richmond Police Department spokesman could not be reached for comment. Bisa French is the first woman and person of color to lead the Richmond department.