Special Reports

The five areas of Brame's career WASPC investigators looked into

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs' investigation covers five major aspects of David Brame's career with the Tacoma Police Department:

Hiring: WASPC's report notes Brame failed a psychological examination as part of the hiring process in 1981 and appealed the results. A second test concluded he was a "marginal" candidate with little likelihood of developing into an above-average police officer.

Brame should have taken a third test, investigators said, but they found no evidence he "improperly manipulated either the testing or screening process."

Rape allegation: Investigators criticize the handling of a 1988 rape allegation, made by a woman who said Brame attacked her after a date.

The woman filed a report with the police department. Reggie Roberts, a friend and colleague of Brame, learned of the allegation and made an official disclosure to the department.

The report strongly criticizes then-Chief Ray Fjetland for failing to refer the rape allegation to an outside law enforcement agency for investigation.

"Chief Fjetland's failure to do so exposed not only David Brame, but also the Tacoma Police Department to damaging and legitimate criticism," the report states.

But investigators stop short of assigning an improper motive for the failure.

"There is no evidence of any manipulation, conspiracy or improper influence by David Brame to determine or change the outcome of the internal investigation that was conducted by the Tacoma Police Department, nor was there any evidence that he made any attempt to interfere with the initiation of any criminal investigation," the report states.

Domestic violence: Investigators said that David and Crystal Brame did not report domestic violence through official channels. Other records, however, show that Brame told police colleagues about incidents in which he said he had been abused.

Promotions: The report noted Brame scored well on promotional tests and was promoted under three chiefs, indicating it was unlikely he "bullied his way through the promotional system."

Chief's appointment: The report found the 2001 selection process "comprehensive, fair, thorough and highly professional."

A nationwide search was conducted and four interview panels helped screen the candidates, an arrangement that investigators said was "inclusive rather than exclusive."

It discounted suggestions that then-City Manager Ray Corpuz was indebted to Brame because of Brame's alleged role in the handling of an insurance fraud case involving Corpuz's wife and "other considerations given to another member of Mr. Corpuz's family," an apparent reference to Corpuz's son.

"At the time of the incidents in question, David Brame had neither the position nor the authority to influence the handling or outcome of either situation," it states.

The report exonerates Corpuz for not disqualifying Brame as a police chief candidate because of the rape allegation.

Conclusion: The report says the processes used during each stage of Brame's career were proper, extensive and, in the case of his selection as chief, "exceeded the standards generally applied in most jurisdictions in the state."

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