Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess has written a pointed email to Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey asking for an explanation of Bailey’s decision to lift a one-day suspension of an officer who threatened to harass a journalist and instead impose the lesser penalty of additional training.
It was also disclosed today that Bailey has changed a total of seven sustained findings of misconduct to non-sustained, far more than he previously revealed.
The number was provided by Pierce Murphy, the civilian director of the Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability, who said he was notified of the changes this week. Murphy, who oversees and certifies internal investigations in the Police Department, said he couldn’t provide details of the cases because they no longer were sustained findings.
Burgess sent his email Thursday night in response to a letter Bailey sent earlier in the day informing the council of his decision to reduce the one-day suspension and his rationale. Burgess copied Mayor Ed Murray and one of his top aides, Tina Podlodowski, who oversees police matters.
Burgess wrote in his email that he needed additional answers, saying some aspects of Bailey’s decision called for further explanation.
A copy of the email was obtained today by The Seattle Times as sources said that the council was negotiating with Bailey over a request to have him appear before the full council on Monday morning to answer questions about his decision to lift Officer John Marion’s one-day suspension.
City Councilmember Nick Licata initially asked Bailey for an explanation in his own email Thursday afternoon, citing a city ordinance that requires the police chief to inform the council when the chief reverses a disciplinary decision.