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Tacoma: Mayor to offer recommendation for outside investigator in Zina case

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on May 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm with 3 Comments »
May 17, 2011 2:38 pm

Mayor Marilyn Strickland plans to offer details this afternoon for an outside investigation of the Tacoma Police Department’s handling of the Zina Linnik case.

“I’ll have a recommendation of a very strong candidate that has the ability to be fair and unbiased in this investigation,” Strickland told me after the council’s noon study session today.

The details will come at the council’s 3 p.m. Committee of the Whole, the mayor said.

For the past few weeks, Strickland has been working with the City Attorney’s office in trying to find candidates to lead a third-party probe of the city’s investigation of 12-year-old Hilltop resident Zina Linnik’s abduction and murder in 2007.

Last month, The News Tribune revealed new details about how the city’s Amber Alert for Zina was partially delayed because Officer Mark Fulghum fell back to sleep instead of issuing the alert as requested.  Police Chief Don Ramsdell later apologized to the newspaper for not divulging those details during his department’s previous public responses about why it took some 12 hours to issue the Amber Alert.

The City Council initially announced it would take no further action in the matter, and City Manager Eric Anderson said he would not pursue any disciplinary action against either Fulghum or Ramsdell.

But after the TNT filed a request for Fulghum’s pay records from the day of the alert — which showed he was on “stand-by duty” at the time of his slumber — Anderson announced he reprimanded the chief and would ask for an internal investigation of Fulghum. He and Strickland also said the city would seek the outside probe of the entire Zina investigation.

Strickland has said “anyone who touched this case” — including Anderson and the City Attorney’s office — could be part of the probe.

We’ll post more details on the investigation after they become available.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. I think the public wishes to move forward and begin to build back the trust of the TPD. Is there really a need to spend the public’s tax dollars on an investigation when Chief Ramsdell and Mark Fulgham will be placed on the Pierce County Prosecutors office list of “Brady cops”(a list of police officers who have lied)? I see no way around this fact except for the termination of employment for both police officers. That would send a clear message that lying to the public will not be tolerated and that public trust is paramount to police work.

  2. TheMASO says:

    She’s really trying to do a ‘double cover your ass’ routine. Makes no differnce if it will cost the taxpayers more monies…very sad!

  3. @TheMaso,

    In all fairness there are still some pending questions that need to be answered.

    !. Why was the delayed Amber Alert not mentioned in the post incident report?

    2. Was the time of death coerced from the detectives? The Medical Examiners report states he primary cause of death was blunt force trauma. Adhan stated the cause of death as asphyxiation within 5 minutes of the abduction. Which is it?

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