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Bay Area news briefs
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Oakland council members accused of breaking law

OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland's city auditor says two council members broke city law by interfering with the bidding process for a major construction project.

Courtney Ruby made the allegations against long-time council members Desley Brooks and Larry Reid in a report released on Thursday.

Ruby said Brooks and Reid told the city's redevelopment staff to seek a bid from a particular construction company for a roughly $2 million contract involving the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base.

The councilmembers' preferred company did not get the deal.

Reid called the allegations against him "a flat-out lie." Brooks said she raised concerns at a public meeting that staff had not opened the contract to competitive bidding, but did not interfere.

Ruby said she intends to turn her findings over to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the FBI.

Baseball coach charged with child molestation

MARTINEZ  (AP) — Authorities are searching for a longtime Northern California high school baseball coach who has been charged with molesting one teen boy and secretly filming another in a bathroom.

A $300,000 arrest warrant has been issued for 52-year-old Joel Kaufman of Orinda, who was charged Wednesday with multiple misdemeanors and felonies, including lewd and lascivious acts on a child younger than 14.

Authorities have not released how Kaufman knew the alleged victims. They say the crimes occurred between 2005 and last year.

Kaufman is the coach of a travelling high school-aged baseball club based in San Jose, but has previously coached Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, where he led the team to five league titles.



Job applicant slaying defendant convicted

OAKLAND (AP) — A jury has found an Oakland man guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Virginia man who was visiting the San Francisco Bay area for a job interview at Google Inc.

The Oakland Tribune reports the Alameda County jury took only a day to convict 26-year-old George Huggins in the death of Jinghong Kang. Jurors handed down the verdict on Wednesday.

Huggins was also found guilty of a special circumstance of murder during a robbery.

Huggins' ex-girlfriend testified during the trial that Huggins fired the shots that killed Kang in downtown Oakland after they robbed Kang of $10, a credit card and a GPS device.

The 45-year-old Kang was visiting from Fairfax, Va. for a job interview at Google.

Huggins faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18.