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UPDATE | Hendrickson turns in missing police records

Bainbridge Island officials said former Civil Service Commission Chief Examiner Kim Hendrickson has handed over police files that she said she forgot she had stored in her garage. The files had been originally kept at the police department and marked for destruction. - City of Bainbridge Island photo
Bainbridge Island officials said former Civil Service Commission Chief Examiner Kim Hendrickson has handed over police files that she said she forgot she had stored in her garage. The files had been originally kept at the police department and marked for destruction.
— image credit: City of Bainbridge Island photo

A Bainbridge Island woman who has led a high-profile quest to reform the Bainbridge Police Department apparently took home dozens of personnel files from the police department that were marked for destruction.

According to a city memorandum made public April 11, Kim Hendrickson allegedly admitted taking home civil service files from the police department that had been stored in a Civil Service Commission filing cabinet at the police department.

Hendrickson, the founder of Islanders for Collaborative Policing, was at one time the secretary/chief examiner for the Civil Service Commission, the independent body that reviews potential hires for the police department. She was fired in August 2011.

In a memo written by Bainbridge Island Chief Examiner Pro Tem Kate Brown, dated March 29, Hendrickson approached Brown at the end of a commission meeting held to conduct oral interviews for entry level police officers on

March 28. Hendrickson was a member of the interview panel, and after everyone left the room, told Brown she had a “gift” for her.

She then said she had found additional civil service files at her home, and that she had taken them home from the police department and put them in her garage and forgot about them.

The files had been in a filing cabinet at the police department and marked “Destroy in two years.”

“She mentioned that when she found them, she didn’t want to deal with Ms. Bauer [Bainbridge’s former city manager],” Brown wrote.

Brown said that Hendrickson went out to her car and brought in a pink, plastic storage container. Inside were applications for deputy chief, 42 files marked with individual names, and applications and letters from six other people.

Missing police files were at the center of a controversy last November, and city officials said some files were missing, including the file for Officer Jeff Benkert, who was involved in the 2010 fatal police shooting of Douglas Ostling.

At the time, Hendrickson said she wasn’t to blame for missing files from the officers involved in the Ostling shooting, which is now the subject of a federal lawsuit.

Hendrickson said late Wednesday she remembered still having the missing files in January.

When asked why she waited nearly four months before turning them over to the city, she said she needed to get advice and also said her sour relationship with Brenda Bauer was to blame.

“When I found them I needed to consult with a legal advisor,” she said.

She said it was appropriate to take the files home, since her contract with the city allowed her to have a home office.

When asked why she felt it was necessary to remove files and take home paperwork filled with personal information being kept in a secure place at the police department and been marked for destruction, Hendrickson said she was not given access to a shredder.

“I put them in a safe place hoping to get some guidance on how I could properly dispose of them,” she said.

Still, she never destroyed the records, which she later characterized as “trash.”

“I never felt right about them,” Hendrickson said.

“I’m not saying that I handled this perfectly. But I acted in good faith in trying to do file management,” she added.

The memo mentioned files that were marked with the following names: Adam Yates, Michael Tovar, D. Scott, John Ewald, William Kelly, Chris Covington, Kenneth Coulon, Michael Catlett, Kurt Borggard, Craig Bothe, Steven Rezzelle, Robert Moser, Marc Lasof, Jack Montez, Richard Lundgren, Michael Mezen, Hagen Springer, Chris Terrell, Anthony Wiggins, Justin McCorkle, David Pregartner, Guy Gildner, Roman Swift, Loren Lipson, Kevin Denney, Brandon Greenhill, Hosea Crumpton, Bruce Carver, Bon Barnett, Jason Warren, David Slater, Garet Staley,  Isaiic Healy, Craig Herkenhoff, Keith McKay, Britton Johnson, Benjamin Hadorn, Javier Patton, Michael Mouser, Jeremy Matthew and Robert Fisk.

Other records in the box included paperwork on Benjamin Jacobsen, Matthew Keller, Chad Cissell, Charles Dunn, Shannon McGee and Seth Moore.

Hendrickson said she did not have any other files from the city in her possession.

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