Bainbridge Island Review


City of Bainbridge Island hit with extensive public records request from mystery citizen

Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
November 26, 2012 · 9:30 AM

Even in a modest-sized town like Bainbridge Island, the city fields a variety of public records inquiries every day.

But one recent request is a little more mysterious than most.

On Thursday, Oct. 4 the city received a public records request from an anonymous islander. It was submitted via an anonymous Gmail account and simply signed "a citizen."

Most requests from islanders have names attached to them.

According to Deputy City Clerk Christine Brown, who handles public records requests for Bainbridge Island, staff at city hall will process the records request, despite its secretive source.

The request from an unnamed citizen is far more extensive than most, and mostly centers on the city's police department.

The inquiry asks for 19 points of information starting with a copy of the 192-page report prepared by Rebecca Dean regarding allegations by the Bainbridge Island Police Guild toward former Police Chief Jon Fehlman.

The request also seeks:

A copy of a report from the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office about background investigation processes of city reserve police officers;

Copies of mobile phone bills spanning the time frame of Sept. 1, 2011 through Oct. 4, 2012 for former city manager Brenda Bauer, Deputy City Manager Morgan Smith, Fehlman and Police Commander Sue Shutlz.

All emails ever sent, received, forwarded, carbon copied or blind carbon copied for Bauer, Smith, Fehlman and Shutlz ranging from Sept. 1, 2011 through Oct. 4, 2012;

A copy of Fehlman's resignation letter;

A copy of Fehlman's separation agreement;

A copy of the document sent to the Criminal Justice Training Commission notifying the agency of Fehlman's termination;

A copy of the job description and requirements for employment for police lieutenants in effect at the time Shultz was hired;

A copy of the job description and requirements for employment for a police commander in effect at the time Shultz was promoted;

Copies of Shultz's payroll deposit receipts;

Copies on any employment agreements between the city and Shultz;

Copies of personal evaluations for Shultz since the time of her hire that discuss misconduct or discipline;

Copies of commendations or complimentary records for Shultz;

The submittal or request to the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office to base a decision on whether Fehlman broke any criminal, civil or traffic laws;

Any records relating to Shultz being promoted to police commander;

Records of complaints and any discipline for all non-police union city employees from Jan. 1, 1997 through Oct. 4, 2012;

A copy of police department requirements for admission to the Citizen Police Academy, including any disqualifiers;

Any complaint filed with the city in reference to Shultz since the time of her hire;

And finally, copies of all information requests made by Althea Paulson (or Bainbridge Notebook, Paulson's blog); writers from Inside Bainbridge; Brian Kelly or Richard Oxley or any member of the Bainbridge Island Review; and reporters from the Kitsap Sun.

Brown, the city hall employee who is managing the information request, has since been given a post office box number to send any of the requested records that cannot be sent via  email.

So far Brown has been able to make a little headway on the request. The city has been able to provide records that have been previously released publicly, such as the Dean report.

According to Brown's initial response to the unnamed citizen, there are no records for Fehlman's resignation letter or evaluations for Shultz.

The city's human resources department is currently working on gathering the records on complaints on discipline for non-police guild and city employees dating back to 1997.

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