Ron Dellums, facing IRS lien, explores early exit

Source: SFGate.com

Matier & Ross

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums’ wife, Cynthia, has been talking with city officials about the possibility that her husband will depart before his term ends Jan. 3, perhaps to take a lobbying job in Washington, D.C.

Adding fuel to the gossip fire: This week the mayor canceled his farewell State of the City address, which had been scheduled for today, and decided to post it on the city’s website instead.

If Dellums were to step down, Mayor-elect Jean Quan would automatically replace him in her capacity as vice mayor on the City Council. Then she would be sworn in to her full four-year term as scheduled.

Dellums, who turns 75 next week, is under pressure to give the Internal Revenue Service a sizable check to clear up his $252,000 tax lien by the end of the year.

We’re told Dellums has been exploring erasing the lien with an advance on speaking engagements as well as a possible signing bonus from a new lobbying job. He has also looked at how quickly he can access his city pension.

Dellums earns $183,000 a year as mayor. Under city law, he can’t accept outside work and has restrictions on outside income as long as he remains in office. Hence the early resignation talk.

“Almost everything at this point seems to be related to how to get him back on financial track,” said one source with inside knowledge, who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for Dellums.

On the other side of the ledger: Confidants inside and outside City Hall are telling Dellums and his wife that it will be yet “another bad story” for the outgoing mayor if he goes out prematurely.

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