New Lawsuit Alleges “Secret Permits” Discriminate Against Port of Oakland Minority Truckers
Oakland, CA – A new lawsuit alleges the City of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is discriminating against minority truckers who service the Port of Oakland.
The taxpayer lawsuit filed in the Alameda Superior Court by Steven Fajardo, a retired Hispanic police officer, contends officials issued “secret permits” in favor of Dreisbach Enterprises.
Dreisbach is a large third-party logistics company specializing in cold storage and warehousing solutions, as well as offering a wide-range of transportation services.
According to the lawsuit, OPD allegedly issued Dreisbach secret, non-compliant permits needed for the operation of heavy weight trucks on the streets of West Oakland and within the Port.
Further, the complaint asserts a former OPD police officer violated City ordinances when he “unilaterally” changed critical “Trailer Safety Requirements” from four tires per axle to only two tires per axle.
The complaint argues that neither the current Chief of Police nor any predecessor had formally established any new or additional safety and equipment criteria for use in determining whether an operator’s overweight truck satisfies the safety requirements mandated by law.
“Neither the public nor any independent truck driver was ever notified of this potential or actual change nor was it posted on the Port’s website until four years later,” a statement from Fajardo’s lawyer, Eduardo G. Roy, a prominent Bay Area attorney, said.
Fajardo contends this “secret change” only occurred after the Port entered into a lucrative arrangement for the construction of a massive cold storage facility at the Port with a joint venture between Dreisbach and conglomerate Lineage Logistics.
“These changes, made without critical public hearings and comment, allegedly allowed Dreisbach alone to receive special permits from the OPD to utilize special chassis which give Dreisbach a huge, disproportionate economic advantage over African American, Mexican American and other racial minority truckers at the Port,” Roy said.
Additionally, according to Roy, more than 50 minority truckers will be filing a petition in support of the suit.
Fajardo is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to “prevent the expenditure and waste of public funds in the unauthorized process used by the OPD.”
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this case.