Special Reports

Acting chief meets rumors head-on in talks with officers

In part of her talk to patrol officers Sunday, Catherine Woodard, acting Tacoma police chief, addressed widespread rumors about her relationship with the late Chief David Brame.

She strongly denied any romantic link between herself and Brame.

"I refuted it," Woodard said during an interview Sunday. "It's (b.s.)"

She also talked about another rumor, stemming from an April 11 visit when she accompanied Brame to Gig Harbor to pick up his two children for the weekend.

The children were staying with their mother, Crystal Brame, at her parents' home in the gated Canterwood community.

The Brames, who were in the midst of a contentious divorce, had agreed in court on the pickup, Woodard said.

As part of the agreement, Woodard, a friend of the Brames for years, accompanied him as a witness.

"His lawyer said someone should go with him," Woodard said. "The lawyers agreed I should be there."

The pickup happened without incident but about three hours later, Crystal Brame called 911. A dispatch log shows she accused Brame and Woodard of entering the gated neighborhood "under false pretenses."

She also said Woodard was not supposed to be near her "because of intimidation and threats," the log indicates.

Crystal Brame did not ask for an officer to be sent to the home but wanted to document the incident, according to the log.

A dispatcher declined to send a sheriff's deputy to the home because Crystal Brame had called hours after her husband and Woodard left, said Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

A sergeant called Crystal Brame back and talked to her about why she called, Troyer said.

"We told her to call her attorney if that's not the way it (the pickup) was supposed to be done," Troyer said. "She did not report a crime or any threats to us. It was an issue for her attorney."

The sergeant did not write a report on the incident, he added.

There were no protection orders in place at the time. As part of the divorce proceedings, a judge had mutually restrained the Brames from dissolving their assets, removing the children from the state or changing insurance policies.

Troyer said it's common for parents in divorce cases to bring witnesses when exchanging children.

"People in situations like this do that all the time," he said.

Woodard said she helped Brame out as a friend.

"I did that for the chief," she said.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268