Special Reports

Minor violations expected in report on investigation

Results of a 7-month investigation of the David Brame scandal by state and federal law enforcement officials might yield minor violations that do not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Attorney General Christine Gregoire, Washington State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas and U.S. Attorney John McKay will discuss "conclusions and recommendations" from the investigation during a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in Tacoma.

Officials from those offices would not disclose their findings. But a source familiar with the investigation told The News Tribune, "It has to do with whether it's a corrupt culture."

Monday's announcement will not end the investigation. A broader federal investigation into possible corruption in Tacoma, first acknowledged in August by the FBI, is not finished, sources say.

In that investigation, the FBI has pursued rumors of public corruption, a term broadly defined as any time public officials - elected or not - abuse their position for personal gain.

In May, two weeks after Tacoma's police chief shot his wife and himself, Gregoire promised "a rigorous, independent and thorough criminal investigation into all aspects of this troubling case," and "a full, fair investigation of the city and city officials."

Sources now say the inquiry into possible criminal activity covered a wide range of topics, including numerous rumors of misconduct by officials in the Police Department and the city. Investigators discredited many of the wildest rumors, sources say.

Investigators focused on several specific allegations:

•Possible overtime fraud in the Police Department.

•Sexual misconduct in the Police Department, and its possible connection to promotions; after the April 26 shootings, a female patrol officer claimed David Brame sexually harassed her and threatened her promotion.

•The actions of assistant chief Catherine Woodard, who was accused of intimidating behavior by Crystal Brame and her family, and knew Brame threatened Crystal Brame's life.

Woodard also knew of Brame's unsuccessful efforts to lure the female patrol officer and Crystal Brame into a sexual threesome.

City leaders have said they want to renew an administrative inquiry into the Brame scandal when state and federal investigators complete their work.

The administrative investigation, conducted by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, began in May, but halted when the FBI and the State Patrol took charge.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

sean.robinson@mail.tribnet.com

  Comments