During the Clinton administration, Warshaw served as Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (“deputy drug czar”) under Barry McCaffrey from 1998. He served in the US Army. He started out in the Miami Police Department where he rose to the position of Assistant Chief. He was chief in both Rochester, New York and Statesville, North Carolina.3
He is one of many police consultants to have done business with Oakland. He is a partner in a law enforcement consulting group, Police Performance Solutions. He has been a monitor in other cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), New Jersey, Maryland and Northern Ireland, and was appointed in January, 2014, to serve as monitor in Maricopa County, Arizona.1 (It’s unclear how this will work out with his new position as THE monitor in Oakland.)
During his time in Oakland, he has had a rocky relationship with Deanna Santana (he allegedly called her “stunning”).2 (Read some not-so-flattering-press about this interchange and Warshaw in general.)
On February 12, 2014, it was announced that the first Compliance Director, Thomas Frazier, had been fired and that Warshaw would be the next Compliance Director. Frazier had not published a required monthly report since December, 2013. The order, dated February 12, can be accessed here. Essentially, Helton writes that having both a federal monitor and a compliance director has been “unnecessarily duplicative” and there will now only be a monitor, Warshaw. Frazier’s appointment will end March 10, 2014 and all powers turn over to Warshaw effective immediately. Beginning April 15, 2014, Warshaw must turn in bimonthly reports which will not replace the quarterly monitor’s reports. The contract is to be renegotiated including whether Warshaw must spend more time in Oakland (it doesn’t seem he spends much time there now), and if his salary must be raised, not to exceed $150,000 more.
Warshaw is not well liked in the department. Former Chief Howard Jordan spoke publicly for the first time since retiring to speculate that Warshaw's appointment would lead to even more officers leaving the department.4
In March, 2014, Warshaw got a raise. The compensation for him and his team now totals over $1 million dollars. In 2013, he made $337,000. On March 31, City Council gave him a raise of $165,000 for his new job as Compliance Director.5
- Billeaud, Jacques. ”Robert Warshaw to monitor Arizona sheriff.” Democrat and Chronicle, Jan 17, 2014.
- Matier and Ross. “Oakland says cop monitor hit on top official.” San Francisco Chronicle: Aug 21, 2012.
- Police Performance Solutions bio.
- Artz, Matthew. "Former chief: Warshaw appointment 'terrible' for Oakland." Oakland Tribune: Feb 13, 2014.
- Artz, Matthew. "Oakland gives raise to police monitor." Oakland Tribune: Apr 1, 2014.
Note: it appears that another Robert Warshaw is a “non-staff member” of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.