Special Reports

Council delays vote on Woodard's legal bills

Tacoma City Council members postponed a vote Tuesday on a resolution to pick up the attorney bills for former assistant police chief Catherine Woodard.

Councilwoman Julie Anderson requested the delay, saying she wants a better understanding of the issue before voting.

"I'm anticipating in the end we're going to end up footing the bill," Anderson said following the meeting. "But I don't think people elected me to shrug my shoulders and say, 'We have to.'"

The rest of the council obliged, though Councilman Tom Stenger said he didn't understand the reason for the delay.

At issue was a resolution authorizing the city to pay approximately $400,000 to hire a lawyer for Woodard, who was named in a lawsuit brought by the family of Crystal Brame.

Taxpayers are obligated to pay for Woodard's legal defense unless it's determined she acted outside the scope of their jobs, officials said.

Anderson noted that a hearing is scheduled March 19 in the Brame lawsuit that might add more detail about the allegations in the case.

Jason Hagey,The News Tribune