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Renton Police Department
M E MaR
DATE: TO: FROM:
August 11, '2011 Bill Judd, Sergeant Kevin Milosevich, Chief Discipline CO-0311
I have .reviewed the information in CO-0311. This, includes the information you provided in the Interview conducted by Commander Leibman. I have also reviewed the findings and discipline recommendations provided by Commander Leibman and Commander Curry. Based upon all of the lnforrnatlonprovlded, I issued my preliminary intent to demote you to the position of officer. This preliminary Intent was based upon the following information. The investigation revealed that: • Sometime in the middle of December 20101 you created an 8:42 minute cartoon style video about the interactions between the Jail and Patrol. In your statement, you created this video as a "spoof." _ • During that same month you notified Deputy Chief Marsallsl, Sergeant and A/Sgt.=--.J that you were creating a video. • You had a conversation with Marsalisl regarding the posting of this video on YouTube before it was actually posted. You wanted to remain anonymous. Marsalisi suggested that you to go to the library if you wanted to keep it a secret. • , You went through significant efforts to conceal your involvement by creating an anonymous email account from a location that would be difficult to trace back to its origins. • You eventually posted the video on YouTube. • You were reluctant during your interview to indicate the medium that was used to post the video by stating in your interview: "...but, I think from an offsite email address." • You sent a link of the video to your department email account and to Sergeant ( , department email account. • You conspired with Marsalisi/: ::JndLJ to keep your involvement and their knowledge about the creation and posting of the video a secret. • You removed the video from YouTube when advised to by Marsalisi. • In'your interview you stated:
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That the content of the video gives the perception to others that there are problems with SCORE. That the video could impact the Department's relationship with the Jail. That the video could impact the Department's relationship with SCORE. The clown in the video represents the Jail as an entity. That you left open the possibility of a second video.
You stated that you would "fess up' to the video if you were confronted directly. That when others asked you if you had something to do with the video, you avoided answering honestly and directly. You agreed that your actions are not consistent with your role as a sergeant. You agreed that your actions fall under the definition of Unbecoming Conduct. The video was the topic of discussion at a monthly SCOREOperations Board meeting, given its disparaging and demeaning representation of the Jail. Public Officials in other cities viewed this video and Inquired as to the creation and issues surrounding the video.
Your conduct violated the following General Orders: General Orders 26.1.1.II.B - Unbecoming Conduct
Members of the Police Department shati conduct themselves at all times, both on and off duty, in such a manner as to reflect most favorably on the Department. Unbecoming conduct shall include that which brings the Department into .disrepute or reflects discredit upon the individual as a member of the Police Department, or that which impairs the operation or efficiency of the Department or the individual.
General Orders 26.1.1.II.K - Unsatisfactory Performance
Commissioned members of the Police Department shall maintain sufflcient competency to properly perform their duties, and assume the responsibility of their positions. Members shall perform their duties in a manner which wif! maintain the highest standards of efficiency in carrying out the functions and objectives of the Department. Unsatisfactory performance may be demonstrated by a lack oj knowledge of the application of laws required to be enforced, an unwif!ingness or inability to perform assigned tasks, the failure to conform to work standards established for the officer's rank, grade, or position, the failure to take appropriate action on the occasion of a crime, disorder or other condition deserving police attention, or absence without leave. In addition to other indicators of unsatisfactory performance, the following will be considered prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory performance: repeated poor evaluations, or a written record oj repeated infractions of rules, regulations, directives, or orders of the Department.
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General Orders 26.1.1.II.FF --·Public Statements
Members of the Police Department shall not publicly criticize or ridicule the Department, its policies, or other members, where such speech, wr(ting, or other expression is defamatory, obscene or is made with reckless disregard for truth or falsity and undermines the effectiveness of the Department or interferes with the maintenance of discipline. Members of the Police Department shall not address public gatherings, appear on radio or television, prepare any articles for publication, act as correspondents to a newspaper or a.perlodical, release or divulge investigative information or any other matters of the Department while presenting themselves as representing the Department in such matters without proper authority. Members may lecture on pollee, or other related subject, only with prior approval of the Chief. \...
The creation and dissemination of this ortglnal tPennv-tale" video has clearly impaired your ability to perform the duties that is expected of a sergeant. Some ofthese supervisory duties include: • • • • • • • Supervise, evaluate, and motivate subordinates. Establish and maintain cooperative and effective interpersonal relationships. ASSign,Instruct, and review the work of subordinates in an effective working relationship. .Supervise and evaluate the performance of subordinates and interpret evaluation for correcting deficiencies in a positive manner. Enforce laws with firmness and tact. Deal effectively with violations of rules, pollcles, and procedures on an impartial basis. Learn specific duties and responsibilities of individual assignments and apply and carry out as required.
In addition, your disrespectful behavior toward another division of the Department as well as SCOREand its administration has substantially impeded your ability to perform your essential functions as !3 supervisor ofthis organization, created discord amongst the agencies and significantly impaired the proper functioningof the Department: These findings are based on the following: • You created, shared and posted a video that was demeaning, demoralizing and ridiculed members of the department and other Ki.ngCounty agencies.
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The video reflected poorly on our agency and its good reputation, your coworkers, supervisors and the relationship between the organlzatlons, 'You stated that the result of this video may have a negative impact on your career and conspired to keep your identity and involvement a secret. It was only after Marsalis! came forward that you admitted to your involvement. The video deliberately distorted and exaggerated the jail's operations to cause the viewer to conclude that the jail operations and jail personnel were. incompetent, ignorant and less valued than commissioned members of the police department. The speech was defamatory and made with reckless disregard for the truth clearly undermining the effectiveness of the organization. You publically demeaned and ridiculed certain department staff causing harm to those relatlonshlps between organizations. The video impacted the relationship with the Renton Jail and with SCORE. r-o Specifically from ~ _ • Theorlglnal S.COREParody video is sarcastic, demeaning to SCORE as an agency, to Correctional Officers, and to her personally. • It has caused a spirit of distrust between SCORE and members of the Renton Police Department. • She has been contacted by numerous officials from outside agencies inquiring about the video. • Several members of SCORE were offended by the video. They felt . it was derogatory towards SCORE and them personally. • :.. . s .... advises that the jail staff in general were trustrated, offended and embarrassed. o Specifically from I , • There has been a negative impact on SCORE and its operations. • The depiction of a SCORE employee as a lazy clown by a member of an owner agency has created a lack of distrust between SCORE staff and the Renton Police Department. • The video could have negative impact on potential correctional officer recruits' during a time of increased hiring activity. • Documented receiving an email from a SCORE employee that read:."/ did not like being emulated as a Clown. The definition of a
clown is a rude ill-bred person, a fool and one who plays the buffcon. I do not believe they were Intending to show us as a comedian who entertains people. It was meant to make us look like fools. II
Loudel'mlll hearing with Commander Curry
This meeting was held in conference room 519 on June zo" at 1400 hours. During this meeting several defenses were raised byGulld Attorney Hilary McClure on your behalf,
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August 8, 2011 • • • That this video is protected under the 1st Amendment. That the investigation and potential discipline is a result of your position in the Guild. That the intent of this investigation is to punish someone for the second set of videos.
I disagree with all three issues that were raised in this meeting with Commander Curry. You have never indicated how this self-described "satire" implicates First Amendment protection. Your "parody" of the jail and ridicule of it did not raise a matter of public concern. Rather, as you stated during your interview, this was ajoke to you. Even if it did somehow implicate First Amendment protection, the Department's Interest in maintaining the efficiency of its operations, interagency relationship with SCORE,and respect and trust amongst officers clearly outweighs any interest you may have in ridiculing your colleagues. Your "satire" was detrimental to the mission and functions of this Department and SCORE,and brought the City, the Auxiliary Services Division (Jail) and its current and former officers into disrepute. Nor is there any evidence that the recommended discipline is in any way related to your union activities. Finally, there Is no evidence that your recommended discipline relates to the other eight videos. Rather, it is based upon your admitted decision to ridicule and demean another Department, conceal the fact you were the creator of the video, and then your repeated efforts to avoid responsibility for your involvement until directly asked. It was your disrespectful and insubordinate conduct-nothing else that has precipitated. my preliminary decision to demote you.
Prior to issuing my preliminary notice of Intent, 1also took into consideration your recent suspension of forty-eight (48) hours for Neglect of Duty and Unsatisfactory Performance. This investigation is another example of a pattern of sub-standard behavior, policy violation and on-going overall unwillingness or inability to perform as a .supervisor. Followlng issuance ofthe preliminary notice of intent to discipline, we held your Loudermill hearing on August 4, 2011. During this meeting, you were represented by Guild Attorney McClure; also present in the room with us was A/Deputy Chief Curry. During this meeting your attorney stated: • • • That this form of speech is protected under the 1stAmendment. That there are several cases that have supported the freedom of speech in the work place, and speclflcally named the "Garcetti" cas~ a§~n example. That this video that was·produced falls under political satire on the inefficiencies of government.
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That law enforcement employees do not give up constitutional rights when they become employed. That this discipline's intent is to stifle" discussions of union leadership, That the real intent of this discipline is to hold you accountable for the second series of videos that were displayed on YouTube. That the police department does not require self-reporting. That this incident does not meet the "Just Cause" deflnltlon regarding fairness. That this was a parody, a joke, and that it would be unfortunate to work in an environment where humor was not allowed. That you did not cross the line, your intent was not to be hurtful of others. Arbiters look at the long-term financial impacts of promotions, and that they use a higher threshold of clear and convincing evidence in these cases. and your attorney responded:
I asked you a few questions,
1. I asked why didn't you email me the video in the first place if your intent was to give notice of government efficiency? Your attorney replied that the process that you used was similar to an anonymous letter to the editor. 2. In regards tovour concept of protected speech,'! asked whether you ever considered getting legal advice prior to posting the video? Your attorney thought that was an inappropriate question. 3. I asked how this discipline is associated with your duties as a Guild Vice President? Your attorney stated that, the timing of this investigation is close to , the recently completed collective bargaining agreement. It is my understanding that the last scheduled meeting regarding the contract negotiations was December 9, 2010 and the contract was signed on February 1, 201l. 4. And last, I asked what you thought was the appropriate discipline in this matter? Your attorney stated - no discipline. Based upon all of the information provided, lncludlng the information at the Loudermill hearing, my decision is as follows: Discipline Decision: provided by you
Demotion to the position of Officer and reassignment to Shift lB South effective immediately. A rotation schedule will be developed. You are eligible to participate in future promotional exams provided you meet the eligibility requirements. The decision as to whether to promote you to the rank of sergeant in the future will be based on both your performance during vourcareer with the city and ranking on an eligibility list.
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I discussed with you the difference between mistakes and misconduct. That in this case, you had designed a plan to develop a video that was disrespectful and demeaning of ' another division / government entity. You obtained a pre-paid credit card, created an anonymous email account.postedthis information from a local anonymous "Ipll address all while knowing that your conduct was unbecoming an officer -let alone a supervisor and could lead to discipline. In your position as a Sergeant, you are formally one of the Department's leaders. This leadership role which you desired comes with a series of expectations, some formal and some informal. As a department leader, you have the responsibility and obligation to look out for the best interests of the police department, the City of Renton, and the citizens that we
As a department leader, you are expected to establish and maintain cooperative and effective interpersonal relationships. Clearly the creation of this video harms our relationships with not only the former Renton City Jail, but the.other six cities who are members of SCORE. This investigation has demonstrated on numerous occasions where you have failed .as a leader. The issues that were raised in our Loudermill meeting were very similar to those that were raised in your meeting with A/Deputy Chief Curry, which I addressed above. I concur with the recommendations for demotion.
The Department's appeal rights.
General Orders and the collective bargaining agreement
I have received a copy of the discipline' memorandum.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?