Special Reports

City's errors didn't cause death, McGavick says

Tacoma City Councilwoman Sharon McGavick said Tuesday she believes the city has made mistakes leading up to April 26, when Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally shot himself and his wife. But the city didn't cause Crystal Brame's death, she said.

"I think we've made some judgment errors. Certainly that's been the case," McGavick said. "But I wouldn't say the city is responsible for Crystal Brame's death."

On Monday, the family of Crystal Brame filed a $75 million claim against the city, saying it was negligent in hiring and promoting David Brame. The claim also asserts the city was negligent in preventing harm to Crystal Brame by a city employee.

McGavick thinks the city made mistakes in handling a psychological evaluation that recommended Brame not be hired. That evaluation surfaced after the April 26 shootings.

McGavick said she was troubled that Brame's references for police chief were incomplete. She wonders why city Human Resources officials couldn't reach Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, for example, a highly visible public figure.

City spokeswoman Carol Mathewson said Tuesday she expects to know by today how much money is in the city's self-insurance fund. Various city departments pay into a pool of money, from which settlements are paid. Tacoma's finance director Steve Marcotte was calculating the city's self-insurance fund.

Any settlement or jury award stemming from a $75 million claim against the city would be paid largely by taxpayers. The city would pay the first $3 million, the city's excess liability insurance would pay the next $5 million, and the city would pay any remaining amount.

Martha Modeen: 253-597-8646