Walton blasted on Brame

Complaints: Lieutenant, union want him off case

August 5, 2004 

Tension over the David Brame scandal is deepening a rift between Tacoma police leaders and City Manager Jim Walton.

Lt. Joseph Kirby, a 20-year veteran of the department, delivered a letter Wednesday to Walton and City Council members, arguing Walton should remove himself from an administrative investigation of the Brame case and leave disciplinary decisions to Police Chief Don Ramsdell.

Members of the Tacoma Police Management Association - an 18-member union of lieutenants and captains - also have complained about Walton's handling of the investigation and related records.

Kirby provided The News Tribune with a copy of his interview with Washington State Patrol investigators, conducted April 5 as part of an investigation into alleged administrative misconduct by city and police department employees.

The interview sheds light on the substance of the investigation.

A June 17 letter from Walton to Kirby clears the lieutenant of wrongdoing. It states he had no knowledge of a rumored "no-arrest zone" around Dito Corpuz, son of former City Manager Ray Corpuz.

Apart from questions about the no-arrest zone, the interview transcript shows investigators asking Kirby about the following topics:

* Awareness of the police department policy on domestic violence involving employees.

* Awareness of domestic violence in the marriage of David and Crystal Brame.

* Knowledge of a rape allegation against David Brame.

* Knowledge of the police chief's sexual harassment of a female patrol officer.

* Knowledge of rumored surveillance of Crystal Brame by her husband's subordinates.

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