The investigation Oakland officials launched over the summer to track down city employees who provided information about the sexual exploitation scandal that's engulfed several Bay Area law enforcement agencies has yet to produce any results, according to Mayor Libby Schaaf.
"Specifically with regard to trying to discern who is leaking confidential information, no, nothing so far," Schaaf said when asked whether any administrative action or discipline had taken place stemming from the probe.
The leak investigation is one of several probes prompted by the scandal involving at least seven Bay Area law enforcement agencies. At the center is Jasmine Abuslin, now 19, who has said she was exploited by current and former police officers, some while she was a minor. Abuslin is also known by the nickname Celeste Guap.
Oakland's investigation into leaks about the case began on June 22 and was put in the hands of a private investigator, Morin Jacob, of the law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.
City officials announced then that they wanted to "root out misconduct and prevent cover-ups, not to silence critics or whistleblowers."
But free speech advocates, journalists and political experts have said the leak investigation could turn into a witch hunt, create a chilling effect on city employees and hurt Schaaf politically.
The mayor again defended the probe in an interview on Friday, saying she is "concerned with the dissemination of confidential information that could chill other officers coming forward and giving us information about misconduct."
"This is not about silencing people and telling them to not talk to the press," she said. "This is really about creating an atmosphere where people feel like their confidentiality is going to be honored if they come forward and provide information about their co-workers."
Word that the leak investigation has come up empty so far led to praise by an attorney who's been working to reform the Oakland Police Department for years.
"I'm glad they found nobody because whoever did it did a service to the community," said Jim Chanin, who litigated a lawsuit with co-attorney John Burris that resulted in putting OPD under federal oversight in 2003.
"This was covered up by the Police Department for months and whoever leaked it ... deserves a medal from the city and not an investigation," Chanin said.
City workers who leaked information about the misconduct scandal to the media could be fired or face other punishment, including criminal charges.
It's unclear how long the leak investigation will take. City officials have not provided an estimate on the probe's timetable.