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Report: Accucsations against Fife police leaders unfounded and not sustained

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on Oct. 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm with 13 Comments »
October 27, 2011 4:57 pm

An outside investigation of allegations of improper conduct by Fife police leaders released today concludes all the accusations are either unfounded or not sustained.

The allegations included accusations of racial discrimination in the Fife Police Department, at least one sexual relationship inside the police force, and several improper actions by the police chief.

Police Chief Brad Blackburn and the two other members of the department’s command staff were accused in the complaints.

The complaints made by two Fife police officers include an accusation that Blackburn “engaged in inappropriate relationships with young adult offenders.”

An outside investigation by the Prothman Co. in Issaquah concluded the allegation that Blackburn had inappropriate relationships with the offenders was “not sustained.”

The report also concluded Blackburn and the two other command staff members did not discriminate or retaliate in the denial of bilingual pay to two police officers and on other matters.

The report says the two officers were initially denied the pay because the didn’t meet the requirements. However, both employees were granted the bilingual pay after the issue was brought forward by the Fife Police Guild and “rectified through the bargaining process,” according to the report.

The report says the charge of discrimination was “not sustained.”

The report says a charge is not sustained when “there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation.” An allegation determined to be unfounded is “false or not factual,” according to the report.

City officials said in a statement they were pleased that none of the allegations was sustained. But they acknowledged “that improvements within the department can be made, particularly in the area of communication.”

City Manager Dave Zabell said Blackburn is working with a consultant to “improve communication throughout the department.” In addition, the police department will be updating its policies and procedures in the coming year, the city said.

Zabell said it wasn’t realistic for the police department to have the focus to make steps toward improvement in the midst of investigation involving so many people.

“It is good to have this episode behind us so the department can take the important steps needed to move forward,” Zabell said.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Harley5212001 says:

    How am I not surprised that the “Good Old” boy fraternity has cleared them and no allegations were sustained.

    Fife got away with it again! Drunk officers crashing cars! Sexual harassment! Leadership gone array!

    Wait a minute….Fife isn’t in Tacoma or Pierce County is it?

  2. pikgitar says:

    Maybe I’m amazed. Maybe I’m not. The company who did the investigation is on the payroll and contracted by the City of Fife. What would a normal person think the outcome of such an investigation would be?

  3. auwing1978 says:

    Note to self: Stay the heck outta Fife

  4. bkeyport1970 says:

    wonder how much the investigators were paid by fife to make it go away.

  5. fivecardstud says:

    I will never understand how naive they really think we are. Now if we as taxpayers pay their salaries why is it always cops investigating cops? How come there isn’t part of the public in on these investigations? Maybe because the outcome wouldn’t be to their liking.

  6. lovethemountains says:

    I am not a fan of the Fife PD or the City of Fife but I am not particularly disappointed or “amazed” at the outcome. It is a stretch to accept the theory held by Harley5212001 that the outside investigation done by the Issaquah firm is tainted because that agency is part of the “good Old” boy fraternity. The agency is not connected in any way that I can see with the City of Fife or the Fife PD.

    As far as the theory expressed by pikgitar (similar to that of Harley5212001) that the investigation is tainted by the fact that the agency conducting the investigation is contracted with the City of Fife also lacks any validity. The procedure utilized by Fife is normal and acceptable for this type of investigation.

    Again, I am certainly not a fan of the City of Fife or the police department and I avoid traveling through Fife unless absolutely necessary. It is a crummy town that should not even exist as far as I am concerned.

  7. Lordbulify says:

    I am not sure what the heck the money was used for?? Just some hush hush money for the city to say hey we had this investigated and that is that?? Wither the city likes it or not they need to replace the chief and the two other on the command staff!! I am sorry but NOT SUSTAINED is not anything to be proud or excited about!! Who in their right mind would be happy with that? O yea I forgot the guilty would be happy with this kind of FREE PASS. If I were the chief and was INNOCENT I would be raising cain about this type of finding! And as a city manager I would say that it is in the best interest of the city to part ways and head in new direction of police force management!! Holy cow are these people that inept or just this flippant and arrogant as to just flip all of us the bird and tells us get bent!! Well that is what has happened here just like in Tacoma with the police chief who killed his wife, many knew that their were problems and did NOTHING except back him right until he put a bullet in his wife! What a sad day for all!!!

  8. The Washam template works!

  9. ItalianSpring says:

    I think “In your face!” applies here everyone.

  10. I would have been surprized by any other out come.

  11. skippythedog says:

    Um gee….so what is the standard? Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or based on a preponderance of the evidence? I say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If the standard was set too high, it’s no doubt the charges were deemed unsustainable. How do you get one cop to testify against another w/o some real leverage? The local cops need some direct civilian oversight to maintain some semblance of credibility from here on out.

  12. DonRansdell says:

    You are damn rights we a stick together like BLUE GLUE.

    I am eating while you are starving suckers.

    Tacoma just gave me a 5% raise didn’t they?

    Idiot Council gay boys.

    Fircrest Mayor David Viafore feeds my fat belly daily for free while he charges you an arm and a leg which is exactly what you are eating
    when his sister Debbie make you your SAMWITCH.

  13. DonRansdell says:

    Vote Tom Stenger Tacoma City Council.

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