jean-quan.jpgOakland Mayor Jean Quan said today it’s “unfortunate” that Police Chief Anthony Batts didn’t tell her and other city leaders until recently that he’s applied to become the chief in San Jose.

Quan said Batts decided in October to seek the top job in San Jose, but when he spoke to her and other city leaders in November, “He didn’t tell us.”

She said, however, she hopes he stays in Oakland.

“He’s still our chief,” she said.

Some Oakland residents are upset that Batts is already thinking about leaving, even though he’s only been on the job since Oct. 19, 2009, but Quan said, “I’m asking everyone to chill out,” until San Jose officials decide who they want to hire as chief.

Batts is one of two finalists for the San Jose job, along with the city’s acting chief, Chris Moore.

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone said in a memo to San Jose City Council members on Wednesday that she expects to complete her review over the next two weeks and bring her recommendation for chief to the council for a confirmation vote in a closed session in early February.

Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said Batts was unavailable to talk about the San Jose job today but “would like everyone to know that no decisions have been made.”
“He is continuing to focus on his job here in Oakland,” Joshi said.

When Batts was hired in 2009, he signed a three-year contract that pays him $255,000 a year.

Quan spoke to reporters in Oakland via Skype from Washington, D.C., where she’s been attending meetings at the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week. Her comments were part of her weekly media briefing.

Quan has also visited the White House several times for meetings with Obama administration officials, and attended a state dinner Wednesday night that President Obama hosted on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

She arrived in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning and will return to Oakland Saturday night.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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