Special Reports

Council votes to restart city's Brame investigation

Tacoma City Council members voted Tuesday to restart the city's investigation into the Brame scandal as soon as possible.

Top city officials also need to meet quickly with representatives of the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to ensure their two investigations are compatible, Councilman Kevin Phelps said.

Mayor Bill Baarsma agreed.

"We need a meeting to say, 'OK, where do you go and where do we go?'" he said.

State Patrol officials offered Monday to conduct an internal affairs investigation into the Tacoma Police Department, and city leaders quickly agreed.

City Manager Jim Walton formalized the arrangement in a letter on Tuesday and designated retired FBI agent Douglas Aukland as the city's liaison to the State Patrol.

Aukland already is the City Council's liaison to the WASPC investigation, which council members ordered to uncover any problems in city government that contributed to the Brame case and its aftermath.

Walton and others also want to know which Police Department and city officials the State Patrol will specifically scrutinize in its internal affairs investigation.

Their names are sprinkled throughout 6,500 pages of case files from the State Patrol's now completed criminal investigation, Walton said. And there's no executive summary.

"I want to know if I'm on the list," Walton said. "If I am, I want them to check me out right away."

There's been no suggestion that Walton is under investigation, but his concern underscores the fears some city and police officials might have that they're among 32 known subjects of the State Patrol investigation.

In other actions connected to the Brame case Tuesday:

•Mayor Bill Baarsma asked that copies of an 18-page attorney general's report on the criminal investigation be sent to the 21 members of the Brame Citizens Advisory Panel so they'll be ready to aid the WASPC investigation.

•Walton said he'll order a copy of the entire 6,500-page criminal investigation for the citizens committee.

•And he promised that a copy of the file will be made available in the City Clerk's Office for any member of the public who wants to read it.

Kris Sherman: 253-597-8659