In his deposition, Ray Corpuz addressed lingering questions surrounding the David Brame scandal. His answers rarely surprise, but they confirm a few rumors, and offer insight into the city manager’s thinking.
Here are the highlights:
• Corpuz admitted learning about a 1988 rape allegation against Brame in early 2001, nine months before he appointed Brame as chief. He said Brame and former assistant city attorney Shelley Kerslake described the allegation as “not sustained.”
Corpuz said he later spoke to former Police Chief Ray Fjetland about the allegation, and heard the same story. Though Fjetland has denied that conversation took place, Corpuz insists it did. When asked by an attorney whether Fjetland was wrong, Corpuz said yes.
• Corpuz acknowledged that city human resources officials expressed concerns about gaps in Brame’s references before his appointment as chief, and also relayed rumors of domestic violence in his marriage.
He said he asked them to recheck the references, noting that many of the names were local people who should have been accessible. He could not remember the result of his request. He said he also recalled hearing rumors about Brame, but noted they were unsubstantiated.
• Corpuz admitted he wanted an inside candidate for chief, and noted that internal turmoil during the tenure of former chief Philip Arreola, appointed as an outsider, pushed him toward the decision to appoint Brame, a career member of the Tacoma Police Department.
• Corpuz said Mayor Bill Baarsma actively lobbied for Brame’s appointment, and added that his own relations with the mayor were strained by discussions of changing the city’s form of government.