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Whatcom County Sheriff's Office: Grinding a Good Man Down

Whatcom County Sheriff's Office: Grinding a Good Man Down

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Published by Lori
The reign of the unethical and immoral.
The reign of the unethical and immoral.

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Published by: Lori on Mar 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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WCSO-How to Grind a Good Man Down
It’s hard to let go of something that’s caused us so much stress for the last five years
. I hope
you’ll allow me the grace to add more to my last letter. When Paul read my letter on Scribd, he
immediately pointed out that the events came to a head with Cooley and Kristen on the night of her 20
 birthday and not her 21
birthday (hence the corrected version). I knew that fact at one point in timeand it makes what happened even more damming but I was looking at it through the lenses of a wifeand mother.
You see, when Kristen became an explorer with the Sheriff’s office, Paul took Cooley a
side andasked him to be especially careful with Kristen. He explained to Cooley that Kristen was being raised by
her grandmother and that she didn’t have many male role models in her life. Her father had passed
away when she was very young and her mother was unable to take care of her. I first met her
grandmother at the Meridian Middle School picnic to welcome the new sixth graders. Kristen’s
grandmother was already 70 years old and a real sweet lady. One of her biggest concerns was that
pass away before Kristen grew up
. She was teaching Kristen things like how to cook so she’d be
able to take care of herself if that happened. Fortunately she did live to see Kristen grow up. She
witnessed the change in Kristen and Cooley’s relationship and wa
s troubled by it, but powerless tointervene.
Interestingly, Kristen’s grandmother wasn’t ev
en contacted by the law enforcement agencywho conducted the investigation about the allegations against Cooley.Before Kristen told Paul about what had happened with Cooley, Paul liked the man. A few
weeks before we learned about what had happened, he’d been in our house with his two young sons,
dropping off his car for Paul to fix. He presented himself as a good, solid family man. What a schmuck.Can you really trust someone who takes a young woman under his wing, befriends her, mentorsher and then becomes her boyfriend when
he’s a married man with two young sons? It’s outrageous.
We expect the members of our law enforcement community to be honest, to be the good guys/gals.
I’msorry but it’s just more offensive when one of the “good” guys
behaves immorally. When a cop provesto have such low moral character as to take advantage of a young woman, that man has no businessbeing in law enforcement. What really happened when Kristen was passed out? Why did she pass outafter drinking a glass of wine (the other alcoholic beverage had been consumed much earlier in theevening)? If nothing happened, why did Cooley try to get her into trouble with her base commander?Why was he trying to discredit her?
Now, why oh why didn’t the
Sheriff fire him? Other people have been run out of thedepartment for doing far, far less than what Cooley did. Not only did he escape being fired but after hispunishment he got promoted to lieutenant and now to Chief 
. Meanwhile Paul gets discredited. He’s
not sure what message was spread around, but he could tell it was something by how others treatedhim. At the time that he turned in the memo he was working in detectives and doing a good job.Because there were still some things that he wanted to get done, he asked for a continuation of his
position. He was denied and put back on patrol. If you know how the sheriff’s office works then you
know that specialty positions are han
ded out as rewards, treats for good behavior. It’s not based on
merit but on who the Sheriff favors. Not to say that the people in those positions are without merit(well, maybe a few) but that no one stays in those positions if they lose favor with the Sheriff. So, bymid-January 2008 Paul was back on Patrol with Cooley as the Patrol Lieutenant. By July Paul was thesubject of an internal investigation.This is an account of what happened. Paul was patrolling the birch bay area, on the lookout forthings amiss. He noticed some trails cut through the brush off of the dead end of gulf road. He was incharge that night and decided to check the trails out with one of the K-9 units beca
use it’s an area
known for drug trafficking. No evidence was found for either suspicious or unauthorized activity, it wasjust unexplained. A couple of nights later Paul was patrolling the same area and encountered one of thesecurity guards for the refinery and conversation ensued, casual, unofficial conversation. The securityguard told Paul that he had noticed the trails, along with some others and had passed the informationalong to the appropriate channels: the coast guard and homeland security. Paul called Sgt. Mede, thesupervisor that night to advise him of the observations that he had made and his discussion with
refinery security. Sgt. Mede said, “OK.”
 The next day Paul checked his e-mail before getting ready for work. One of the e-mails, with acc to everyone was from Chief Parks, both chastising Paul for not writing a report on his observationsand commending him for making the observations and telling him to pull a case number and file a
report. Paul replied, “OK Chief, will do.” About an
hour after signing into duty that’s exactly what Paul
did. Later in the shift, Sgt. Mede requested a meeting with Paul. He handed Paul a letter of reprimand
that he’d been ordered to give him by Chief Parks and Lt. Cooley for the failure to report “poss
terrorist activity.” Paul was understandably upset and complicating the issue was that Paul couldn’t
explain to Mede about
the situation with Cooley. You see, people involved in an investigation aren’t
allowed to talk about it and nothing was ever said about the decision against Cooley, for all Paul knew
the entire matter had been dropped. The whole thing was shrouded in secrecy. In fact Cooley’s daysoff without pay were put into the schedule as his “vacation” so his fellow deputies weren’t even
that he’d done something wort
hy of discipline.When Paul got off work that night he fired off an e-
mail to Chief Parks saying that he’d be
contesting the letter of reprimand. Chief Parks fired one back and then Lt. Cooley jumped in with an e-mail of his own:
I was very disheartened to hear about your reaction to Sgt. Mede'srecent counseling and then to read your electronic mail to ChiefParks. Your actions in both were inappropriate, and your e-mail toChief Parks is tantamount to insubordination.
Paul, of course could not help but to respond to that with something like…. “
You have somenerve talking to me about propriety and a
lack of respect is not tantamount to insubordination.”
All of which landed Paul under a Class 1 internal administrative investigation for making written and oralcomments to Chief Parks, Lt. Cooley and Sgt. Mede which were considered to be insolent, discourteousand disrespectful of the rank they hold. The charges were
found to be “
sustained with good cause
andfor punishment Paul was suspended from work for one, ten hour day.

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PRMurphy added this note
To the condescending, officious and mind-numbingly ignorant few: You know who you are: Real military generals have lost entire commands for less than what took place here. Real men of honor and integrity resign in the face of such disgrace. YOU do the math. BTW: I was given back my day off with pay when it was proven to be motivated by retribution, targeted retaliation, and that at least one lie h
PRMurphy added this note
Funny how I managed to get through 14 years of honorable service in the USAF, with several good conduct awards, commendations and accompanying devices, without ever once being brought up on "insubordination" or "conduct unbecoming" charges, no? Weird, huh and that's the REAL military....
PRMurphy added this note
Folks, this is exactly the sort of crap that goes on DAILY in that office. It's not run as a professional organization should be and those of us with real life experience outside of LE know it, much to Elfo's consternation.
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