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Free Warriors tickets push Oakland policy change

Oakland’s mayor and another member of the city council allegedly attended several Golden State Warrior games with free tickets, which reportedly violates the city’s ethics rules.

After an investigation by the Ethics Commission, it was revealed that Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney had not only been helping themselves to free Warriors tickets, but also for a host of other top-selling events, The Mercury News reports.

The investigation revealed that Gibson McElhaney reportedly took approximately $320,000 in free tickets between January 2015 and September 2016, including four seats to the seventh game in the NBA Finals, which rounded out to $40,000.

The councilwoman claims she was attending the games for “official city business,” even though family members accompanied her. The report also states that Schaaf took 18 sets of tickets valued at $54,000.

City rules say that to obtain the tickets a simple form needs to be filled out stating that attendance was part of “official duties,” without any proof.

Former ethics commissioner Stephen Shefler said it was clear that Gibson McElhaney was taking advantage by the lack of notes or reports.

However, despite the ethical concerns, both Gibson McElhaney and Schaaf are in the clear after filling out required city forms.

“It’s that the report affirms what we said all along, that we did not do anything wrong,” Gibson McElhaney said.

However, the commission’s executive director Whitney Barazoto said in an email that it will reportedly be pushing for the council to take up a new policy in October.

“The Public Ethics Commission firmly believes the city’s policy must change,” she said.

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