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WCSO MEMO - Sgt. Steve Cooley

WCSO MEMO - Sgt. Steve Cooley

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Published by PRMurphy
This is the official internal memorandum I submitted regarding the information that had been provided to me about, at that time, Sgt. Steve Cooley.

The memo was submitted in 2006, which began an official WCSO internal investigation into Cooley's misconduct and a series of cover-ups between WCSO, Lynden Police Department and the Whatcom County Prosecutor, to hide the investigation from public scrutiny.

Cooley was never charged with any crime, but was minimally found to have furnished alcohol to a minor. Nothing was ever done about the rest.

Cooley was then promoted to Lieutenant of Patrol shortly thereafter, then to Chief Inspector, by Bill Elfo, overseeing and investigating the conduct of all other deputies.

This is where my problems with Sheriff Bill Elfo began.
This is the official internal memorandum I submitted regarding the information that had been provided to me about, at that time, Sgt. Steve Cooley.

The memo was submitted in 2006, which began an official WCSO internal investigation into Cooley's misconduct and a series of cover-ups between WCSO, Lynden Police Department and the Whatcom County Prosecutor, to hide the investigation from public scrutiny.

Cooley was never charged with any crime, but was minimally found to have furnished alcohol to a minor. Nothing was ever done about the rest.

Cooley was then promoted to Lieutenant of Patrol shortly thereafter, then to Chief Inspector, by Bill Elfo, overseeing and investigating the conduct of all other deputies.

This is where my problems with Sheriff Bill Elfo began.

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Published by: PRMurphy on Apr 30, 2013
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WHATCOM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
 MEMORANDUM 
TO:Undersheriff JamesFROM:Det. P. Murphy, 3A147DATE:April 30, 2013SUBJECT:Information received regarding Sgt. Cooley and KristinCavender
 The purpose of this memorandum is to document information I received from 2 The purpose of this memorandum is to document information I received from 2 parties, in relation to alleged improprieties between Sgt. Steve Cooley and Kristinparties, in relation to alleged improprieties between Sgt. Steve Cooley and Kristin Cavender.Cavender.On or around the April/May timeframe, my daughter, Rachelle Murphy, advised meOn or around the April/May timeframe, my daughter, Rachelle Murphy, advised me that she had recently been in contact with her friend Kristin Cavender. We talkedthat she had recently been in contact with her friend Kristin Cavender. We talked about her, her achievements, and her recent enlistment in the US Air Force.about her, her achievements, and her recent enlistment in the US Air Force. Rachelle and Kristin have been, and continue to be, friends and schoolmates sinceRachelle and Kristin have been, and continue to be, friends and schoolmates since primary school. I’ve always been aware of Kristin’s family situation and haveprimary school. I’ve always been aware of Kristin’s family situation and have attempted to be a positive adult male role model for her and to look out for herattempted to be a positive adult male role model for her and to look out for her when I can.when I can.Rachelle also told me that she was talking on the phone with Kristin recently, whichRachelle also told me that she was talking on the phone with Kristin recently, which I presumed to be while Kristin was home on leave before her assignment overseas.I presumed to be while Kristin was home on leave before her assignment overseas. Rachelle told me that Kristin mentioned to her that she thought Sgt. Cooley wasRachelle told me that Kristin mentioned to her that she thought Sgt. Cooley was following her home in his car while she was walking. Rachelle told me that itfollowing her home in his car while she was walking. Rachelle told me that it sounded to her that Kristin was “freaked out” about it, but she did not know thesounded to her that Kristin was “freaked out” about it, but she did not know the circumstances of the situation at that time. I understood the call to have beencircumstances of the situation at that time. I understood the call to have been taking place during the time the incident was occurring.taking place during the time the incident was occurring.Rachelle went on to describe how Kristin had been involved with Sgt. Cooley in aRachelle went on to describe how Kristin had been involved with Sgt. Cooley in a romantic relationship of some type, although she was not aware of how long thisromantic relationship of some type, although she was not aware of how long this had been going on, or many specific details. I asked Rachelle if she thought it washad been going on, or many specific details. I asked Rachelle if she thought it was more of a dating relationship and she told me that she thought it was. I askedmore of a dating relationship and she told me that she thought it was. I asked Rachelle if she thought it had been “physical”, meaning sexual, and she thought itRachelle if she thought it had been “physical”, meaning sexual, and she thought it had been based on things Kristin had told her. Rachelle wasn’t sure of the details,had been based on things Kristin had told her. Rachelle wasn’t sure of the details, but was pretty confident that something was wrong in the situation between Sgt.but was pretty confident that something was wrong in the situation between Sgt. Cooley and Kristin.Cooley and Kristin. This conversation disturbed me greatly because what I had heard from Rachelle This conversation disturbed me greatly because what I had heard from Rachelle sounded possibly predatory and I wasn’t aware there had been an amoroussounded possibly predatory and I wasn’t aware there had been an amorous relationship between the two. Kristin was once an explorer for the WCSO and Irelationship between the two. Kristin was once an explorer for the WCSO and I recalled that she seemed to favor riding along with Sgt. Cooley. I recalled pastrecalled that she seemed to favor riding along with Sgt. Cooley. I recalled past conversations with Sgt. Cooley and advising him of Kristin’s family challenges andconversations with Sgt. Cooley and advising him of Kristin’s family challenges and that we were very proud of her ability to overcome those obstacles.that we were very proud of her ability to overcome those obstacles.
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WHATCOM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
 MEMORANDUM 
TO:Undersheriff JamesFROM:Det. P. Murphy, 3A147DATE:April 30, 2013SUBJECT:Information received regarding Sgt. Cooley and KristinCavender
I recalled talking with Sgt. Cooley and advising him of the need to be a positiveI recalled talking with Sgt. Cooley and advising him of the need to be a positive male role model in her life because Kristin’s own father is apparently of low moralmale role model in her life because Kristin’s own father is apparently of low moral character and doesn’t stay in contact with Kristin, which might make her morecharacter and doesn’t stay in contact with Kristin, which might make her more susceptible to adult male influence. The information was disturbing to me because Isusceptible to adult male influence. The information was disturbing to me because I had recently been in contact with Sgt. Cooley off-duty and had been given thehad recently been in contact with Sgt. Cooley off-duty and had been given the impression that he was still in mentoring relationship with her and felt that I hadimpression that he was still in mentoring relationship with her and felt that I had been intentionally misled.been intentionally misled.Rachelle told me that Kristin was no longer in the area and was now at herRachelle told me that Kristin was no longer in the area and was now at her permanent duty station assignment, Misawa Air Base, Japan, where Kristin is apermanent duty station assignment, Misawa Air Base, Japan, where Kristin is a member of the USAF Security Forces. I was concerned about what I had heard, butmember of the USAF Security Forces. I was concerned about what I had heard, but did not have a way to reach Kristin. I asked Rachelle to have Kristin to call me or todid not have a way to reach Kristin. I asked Rachelle to have Kristin to call me or to get in contact with me if there was anything she felt the need to talk about.get in contact with me if there was anything she felt the need to talk about.Approximately one week later I received an email from Kristin. I advised her that IApproximately one week later I received an email from Kristin. I advised her that I was aware of what Rachelle had told me and that it sounded to me that she mightwas aware of what Rachelle had told me and that it sounded to me that she might need to discuss it. Kristin called me several days later and we spoke on the phoneneed to discuss it. Kristin called me several days later and we spoke on the phone for approximately one hour. I knew that Kristin was bothered by her encounters, butfor approximately one hour. I knew that Kristin was bothered by her encounters, but that she feared reporting it to anyone. I eventually asked Kristin directly if shethat she feared reporting it to anyone. I eventually asked Kristin directly if she would be willing to talk with me about what had occurred between her and Sgtwould be willing to talk with me about what had occurred between her and Sgt Cooley.Cooley.Kristin is well aware of what my occupation is and told me that she was reluctant toKristin is well aware of what my occupation is and told me that she was reluctant to say anything because of her fear of “what might happen”. Kristin told me that shesay anything because of her fear of “what might happen”. Kristin told me that she was uncomfortable talking to me about “it” if she thought that she was “reporting”was uncomfortable talking to me about “it” if she thought that she was “reporting” it to law enforcement. I decided that in order to determine if there was need of anyit to law enforcement. I decided that in order to determine if there was need of any further concern, I would need to hear what she had to say. I told Kristin that I wouldfurther concern, I would need to hear what she had to say. I told Kristin that I would “take off my cop hat” and that she could just talk to me as “Rachelle’s dad” if it“take off my cop hat” and that she could just talk to me as “Rachelle’s dad” if it made her more at ease.made her more at ease. This was acceptable to Kristin and she wanted to make it clear that she was This was acceptable to Kristin and she wanted to make it clear that she was speaking to me in confidence and began to explain to me in very generic terms thatspeaking to me in confidence and began to explain to me in very generic terms that she and Sgt. Cooley had been “seeing each other”. This surprised me and seemedshe and Sgt. Cooley had been “seeing each other”. This surprised me and seemed odd because I was aware of Sgt. Cooley’s marital and family status. I learned thatodd because I was aware of Sgt. Cooley’s marital and family status. I learned that Sgt. Cooley has his own apartment, aside from where his estranged wife and kidsSgt. Cooley has his own apartment, aside from where his estranged wife and kids live, where he would meet with Kristin and they would “hang out”. Kristin was notlive, where he would meet with Kristin and they would “hang out”. Kristin was not 
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WHATCOM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
 MEMORANDUM 
TO:Undersheriff JamesFROM:Det. P. Murphy, 3A147DATE:April 30, 2013SUBJECT:Information received regarding Sgt. Cooley and KristinCavender
comfortable talking with me about the “physical” area of their relationship, or whencomfortable talking with me about the “physical” area of their relationship, or when it began.it began.Kristin did tell me parts of her recent encounter with Sgt Cooley where heKristin did tell me parts of her recent encounter with Sgt Cooley where he apparently invited her to his apartment and provided her with beer. Kristin becameapparently invited her to his apartment and provided her with beer. Kristin became very uneasy telling me this and sounded as if she was going to become veryvery uneasy telling me this and sounded as if she was going to become very emotional and cry. Kristin told me that all she remembers is consuming a smallemotional and cry. Kristin told me that all she remembers is consuming a small amount of the beer and described losing consciousness. I asked her if she fellamount of the beer and described losing consciousness. I asked her if she fell asleep and she told me that she didn’t know what happened and soundedasleep and she told me that she didn’t know what happened and sounded distressed about it. She told me that all she could recall was that she wound up atdistressed about it. She told me that all she could recall was that she wound up at home, not knowing how she got there.home, not knowing how she got there.I asked Kristin if she thought “anything happened” while she was “out” and she toldI asked Kristin if she thought “anything happened” while she was “out” and she told me that she didn’t know. We weren’t speaking in clinical terms because of herme that she didn’t know. We weren’t speaking in clinical terms because of her discomfort with the subject so I told her that I’d assume that a woman would know if discomfort with the subject so I told her that I’d assume that a woman would know if  “something happened” or not. Kristin remained unsure and expressed to me “I think“something happened” or not. Kristin remained unsure and expressed to me “I think so”, but just couldn’t be sure. Kristin remained very uncertain, but very concerned,so”, but just couldn’t be sure. Kristin remained very uncertain, but very concerned, about it. I took this to mean she didn’t have any specific indications of it, butabout it. I took this to mean she didn’t have any specific indications of it, but thought it possible for some reason.thought it possible for some reason.I asked Kristin to tell me about any other things that seemed odd to her. Kristin toldI asked Kristin to tell me about any other things that seemed odd to her. Kristin told me that she had experienced times when Sgt. Cooley would get agitated forme that she had experienced times when Sgt. Cooley would get agitated for unknown reasons and would accuse her of “being on drugs”. This struck Kristin asunknown reasons and would accuse her of “being on drugs”. This struck Kristin as very odd. I’d note that I’ve never known Kristin to have anything to do with anyone,very odd. I’d note that I’ve never known Kristin to have anything to do with anyone, or anything, associated with drugs or that lifestyle. She would not have gainedor anything, associated with drugs or that lifestyle. She would not have gained entrance into the USAF if that were the case.entrance into the USAF if that were the case.Kristin also told me that Sgt. Cooley had made it pretty clear to her on oddKristin also told me that Sgt. Cooley had made it pretty clear to her on odd occasions that Sheriff Elfo would “listen to me” and “would do what I recommend”occasions that Sheriff Elfo would “listen to me” and “would do what I recommend” in reference to any recommendations he would make. Kristin told me that it wasin reference to any recommendations he would make. Kristin told me that it was well known to Sgt. Cooley that her wish is to come and work for the WCSO somedaywell known to Sgt. Cooley that her wish is to come and work for the WCSO someday and that she took his statements to her to mean that it was up to him if she wasand that she took his statements to her to mean that it was up to him if she was ever going to have a future at the WCSO.ever going to have a future at the WCSO.Kristin also told me of a time when Sgt. Cooley arrived at her grandmother’sKristin also told me of a time when Sgt. Cooley arrived at her grandmother’s residence, where Kristin lived, in an agitated state over some dispute about whenresidence, where Kristin lived, in an agitated state over some dispute about when 
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Microsoft Word automatically updates the date field when a document is opened. The original is dated June 9th, 2006 and I still have it.
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