Special Reports

Corpuz blocked inquiry, memo says

City Manager Ray Corpuz told Tacoma police not to investigate whether David Brame and assistant chief Catherine Woodard inappropriately used their badges to get into the home of Brame's in-laws on April 11, according to a police memo released Thursday.

Internal Affairs Lt. Robert Sheehan wrote the memo in response to a letter from a group of unnamed police officers who demanded an internal investigation.

The memo was one of several documents the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs requested from Tacoma police as part of an investigation into the late police chief's career and how city officials dealt with him.

The officers' letter said they were disturbed but not surprised by allegations that Brame's estranged wife, Crystal, made after the April 11 incident.

Crystal Brame called 911 to report that David Brame and Woodard had entered her parents' gated community under "false pretenses." She had been staying with her parents since February, when she filed for divorce.

The officers also say Crystal Brame told the dispatcher that David Brame had "threatened to kill her" and that she feared Woodard.

Sheehan's memo says he received the officers' letter April 15 and that he notified Woodard and assistant chief Richard McCrea. It states Woodard said she would inform the city manager of the complaint.

Also informed were Sgt. Bob Blystone in the department's Professional Responsibility Bureau and Internal Affairs detective Tom Davidson, the memo states.

The officers' letter was placed in an Internal Affairs file cabinet, Sheehan states.

The next day, according to the memo, McCrea contacted Sheehan. In his memo, Sheehan doesn't say Corpuz told him there would be no investigation. Instead, he cites McCrea, phrasing the instruction as "there would be no investigation per the city manager."

"This was due to the fact that the complaint was anonymous," Sheehan wrote.

Corpuz declined to comment. "I intend to cooperate with the investigation but I don't want to comment on details of any of these issues until the invesitigation is complete," he said Thursday night.

Sheehan and McCrea could not be reached Thursday.

A day before Brame shot his wife and then himself April 26, Corpuz told The News Tribune he had no interest in investigating Brame's "civil proceedings," including his divorce.

Woodard has said she accompanied Brame because Crystal Brame and the couple's two children considered her a friend.

Stefano Esposito: 253-597-8644