Home > Uncategorized > Eureka Police blog spawns lawsuit

Eureka Police blog spawns lawsuit


Devora Wilson.

A bitter rift in the Eureka Police Department has resulted in a lawsuit between employees, and at the center of the controversy is a blog.

EPD Communications Supervisor Tawnie Hansen filed the suit late last year against Support Services Manager Devora Wilson and others yet-to-be-named  The lawsuit alleges libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The suit appears to be based on the now defunct Above the Law blog, which largely contained petty, personal gripes against Police Chief Garr Nielson.

Hansen alleges the blog contained false statements that she was having an affair with the chief and received special treatment because of the illicit relationship.  The blog also claimed Hansen had influence over the chief to promote or demote EPD personnel, according to the lawsuit.

Coincidentally, Wilson complained to the Eureka City Council last year that she had been punitively reassigned by Nielsen in February 2008.

Wilson’s malicious behavior went beyond statements posted on the blog, according to the lawsuit, and included flowers and other items sent to Hansen under the name “Tawnie Nielsen” which combined Hansen’s first name with the police chief’s last name as if they were married.

Both Hansen and Nielsen are married to other people.

Wilson denies the allegations.

Most of the content on Above the Law — including all of the comments — have been deleted, making it impossible to see the original material that led to the lawsuit.  But the Humboldt Herald recalls reading lurid claims of secret liaisons between the chief and a woman inside the department.  Herald readers posted their reviews of the blog here.

Chief Nielsen joined EPD following a string of fatal shootings by Eureka officers that had Humboldt County in an uproar in 2006.

Many Eureka residents have gone before the City Council recently to praise the changes at EPD brought by Nielsen, saying their neighborhoods are safer.

  1. June 29, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Darn…I never got to see that “Above The Law” blog!
    It Sounds like some juicy stuff to me…

  2. June 29, 2009 at 8:13 am

    This is not the “Case,” that will impact blogger’s free speech. I’ve been waiting for the lawsuits to start. A blog is a very powerful instrument for a simple citizen to possess. I think the imprortant cases will be filed from U.S. Nazi-type strongholds, like Fox, or Right-wing think-tanks like the Carlye Group. Anyone who follows history can see that there is no way, in the socio-economic caste system we have, that a single individual will be allowed to speak on an equal basis with those in the corporate-wealth-class. As long as blogs were seen by the rulers as “Fringe Elements” there was no problem, once the blogs start to have power, then its a big problem. Like I said, this kind of lawsuit is not the one. When major corporate law firms start suing small town blogs who challenge them, then the doody will hit the fan.

  3. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Nothing is EVER deleted from the internet. Google “Wayback Machine” to get your juicies.

  4. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    the Humboldt Herald recalls reading

    That opens a door. I wonder if Heraldo will be subpoenaed.

  5. June 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

    The identity of “Serpico” will almost certainly be revealed.

    Google keeps a cache of all Blogspot blogs. It is required by the Patriot act.

    “Serpico’s” internet provider certainly keeps a log of “Serpico’s” internet usage. It is required by the Patriot Act.

    The timeline of Googles cache and the IP’s logs can easily be compared.

    So if “Serpico” libeled or slandered someone, he or she is toast.

  6. June 29, 2009 at 9:34 am

    That opens a door. I wonder if Heraldo will be subpoenaed.

    I’ll bet there are at least paper copies of all the slime that was posted on that blog. If the case is going to hinge on my testimony, it’s not much of a case.

  7. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

    If the case is going to hinge on my testimony, it’s not much of a case.

    To prove damage to reputation, they’ll need to demonstrate how many people actually read the libelous information. To distinguish between local and non-local visitors to the blog a keen attorney would look at how much traffic was sent there by other local blogs. That data should (hopefully) be in Blogspot’s backup somewhere, but you could easily be called upon to testify not about reading the blog posts, or how many people clicked your link to the cop blog, but about the readership of your own blog based on what you know from your own web site traffic logs and experience communicating with users. Blogspot’s traffic logs don’t speak to the nature of the readership send to the cop blog. As the most prominent local blog to talk up the cop blog, you could be called to testify. I’m not saying you any case would hinge on such testimony, just that the door has been opened to revealing your identity if a lawyer chose to pursue this path.

  8. Mrs. Tyson
    June 29, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I think this opens the door to all the soap operas at city hall. I have been wondering what my husband is doing out so late every night and on the weekends.

  9. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Sounds like the alleged perpetrator, Devour Wilson, might not have covered her tracks well enough on stuff besides the blog. It’s also important to note that Devour’s complaint of sexual harassment was unfounded.

    PS You couldn’t find a picure of Devour with her tiara?

  10. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I can’t wait to read a report containing no new information in tomorrow’s Times-Standard!

  11. June 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

    In one of the remaining posts on abovethelaw, the blogger says:

    They’ve told me that the publicity here generated–up to four hundred unique visitors a day–and the “personalized” information I’ve gathered have provided them with adequate resources. The details regarding what has been retained as official records, what has been subjected to legal audio recording, and what merely witnessed by other employees are not familiar to me. I’ll encourage those with whom I’ve shared correspondence at the email address created for this purpose to share that address with those who need additional information. If they wish, they can pass blind correspondence on to me from others who do not wish to reveal their email address.

    So the blogger him or herself is telling us how popular the blog is, and how widespread the alleged libel is, and its effect on the subject’s reputation. (400 hits a day.)

    That’s what I call a “petard.”

  12. June 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for the link – Wayback Machine – Anonymous 8:16

    You learn something new every day, and it looks like I got an early start today.

  13. June 29, 2009 at 10:55 am

    This is all I get from the Wayback Machine:

    We’re sorry, access to http://abovethelaweureka.blogspot.com/ has been blocked by the site owner via robots.txt.

  14. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I wonder what is the name of the idiot lawyer who filed this and who is paying the bill? She is going to have to prove actual damages and it seems a long shot. The way I see it, there will be lots of attorney fees and a lot more division over there at EPD. This seems unfortunate for the players and those at EPD and the only winners will be the lawyers.

    Isn’t the system packed enough with bullshit cases as it is?

  15. June 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Well, people have the right to sue if they believe a tort has been committed against them.

    Attorney Alan Goldberg is representing Tawnie Hansen.

    Attorney Bradford Floyd is representing DeeDee Wilson.

  16. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm


  17. Mrs Tinkle
    June 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    If Frank Serpico = DeeDee, then bravo, DeeDee… bravo.

  18. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    What caused this to come to the attention of channel 3? Did someone make a press release or something?

  19. June 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Channel 3 has not covered this issue. The image is from a previous story. But I see why it’s confusing.

  20. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Heraldo: You have lots of “rights.” That is not the issue. The issue is whether it is in her best interests or that of her department to sue under these circumstances. I can see it now, lots of money, time wasted and the questions of who met whom where etc, and the interdepartmental devisiveness of it all. Stupid lawsuit. Huge waste of time. Shitty counselling by the attorney filing a suit here. Has anyone thought about the repercussions of all of this on the Chief, or the department? Or even on Hansen? Unless she is made of money or has a sugardaddy, there are no winners here at all. What is the going attorney rate in Humboldt 300 an hour. The suit will cost her what?, a hundred thousand? Yes Hansen has the right to file anything she wants. She can even file a lawsuit claiming to be the Queen of Scotland for that matter, but that does not make it wise.

  21. June 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    She doesn’t have standing to sue for a claim that she is the Queen of Scotland. But she does have the right to sue for Libel.

  22. Mr. Nice
    June 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Understandable that presumptions were made about an affair given how fly this DeeDee woman is.

    And damn, 400 hits a day? That’s major blinging traffic. How do I hire their marketing person? That shit must have been read by fives or even tens of people.

  23. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    She is going to have to prove actual damages and it seems a long shot.

    If the identity of the blogger is confirmed, that’s ultimately all that matters… ruined reputation.

  24. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Heraldo, oh bull. She can sue for a claim that she is the Queen of Scotland. She won’t prevail, but she sure as hek can sue.

  25. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. I was surprised at channel 3 having the jump or scoop on any story. They probably haven’t figued out Michael Jackson died.

    So how did this police story surface? Why is it news or an issue now? Is this going to a court trial in the near future?

  26. Downtown
    June 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Whether or not Tawnie was actually sleeping with Garr is irrelevant. She definitely had an inappropriate relationship (what with them both being married) and shouldn’t be surprised that people gossip, especially given the environment of the dispatch center (and law enforcement in general). A lawsuit isn’t going to fix her own insecurities.

    Bottom line: stop skankin’ it up. Or at least don’t act shocked when people start commenting on it.

  27. Mr. Nice
    June 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Ah read that wrong… who is Tawnie? Should show her picture too.

    None of this matters anyway. Everyone knows it is okay to drug and rape other police officers if you are in charge as long as you don’t have any banned weapons.

  28. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Heraldo, again she can sue for whatever she wants, whenever she wants. That includes being the “Queen of Scotland,” ‘Sheeba” or whatever. The fact of the matter is that this is ill conceived and will only benefit the lawyers. I can tell you that unless you have some pretty substantial harm from whatever inappropriate relationship was exposed, it certainly is very bad judgment to continue to make this all as public as possible, so financially and emotionally it is an utter waste of time, resources and money. It certainly does show that Hansen has no good judgment.

  29. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Wouldn’t think the lawsuit is to fix Tawnie’s insecurities. More like punish the perpetrator(s) of all the lies. And if that’s DD, or the “others yet-to-be-named” like other cops, dispatchers or city hall employees, then that’s Justice.

  30. Anon
    June 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Interesting, 2:33, that you would know either person was connected to the dispatch center, when that is not mentioned in the original post. But of course that wouldn’t have anything to do with the tone and content of your remarks. Would it?

  31. June 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I got the “blocked access notice” on their blog too Heraldo.

    I wasn’t aware of this source for information, so I still learned something.

    Sounds like Anon 2:33 slipped! Could that person be an insider? The dispatch center eh?

  32. humboldturtle
    June 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Sounds like Eureka has a new Chief.

  33. Skippy
    June 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    When I took a look at that blog while it was active (after learning about it here on the Herald) my first thought was: Wow, now THIS is a libel lawsuit waiting to happen!

    I’m only surprised that it took this long for the Libel suit to be filed. Maybe they just wanted to give “Serpico” enough rope to hang himself/herself with. From what I saw on that blog it seems like there’s plenty of rope and “Serpico” has pretty much strung himself/herself up, all that remains is for someone to kick the chair out from under them.

    As I recall, eventually “Serpico” was moderating all the comments, so that means that anything that was posted was “approved” by him or her, which seems like it would only make it easier to assign blame to “Serpico” for the libelous content. (Given the nastiness of the posts that DID make the cut, I shudder to think how nasty the posts were that even “Serpico” couldn’t stomach!)

    Sure, the defendant(s) may not have “deep pockets” from which to recover a large judgement, but the court can still attach their wages for the rest of their life. And more importantly, the truth of the gossipy allegations will be ascertained (the statements wouldn’t be Libel if they were true), and if Libel is established the reputations of those who were libeled will be cleared, the gossipers and libelers and their enablers will be identified and the reputation of the libelers will be ruined.

    It will be interesting to watch this play out.

  34. Skippy
    June 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    P.S. The childish and nasty nature of the entries on that blog were a real window into the previous organizational culture at the EPD, and to me they reinforced that the new Chief was a grownup trying to manage a bunch of middle-schoolers with guns and badges. I don’t agree with the new Chief’s every move, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a huge improvement, that hiring from outside was the right thing to do, and that in general he is on the right track in trying to bring the EPD up to at least basic standards of maturity, professionalism, and respect for the rule of law.

  35. Skippy
    June 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    By the way, if the allegations made on the blog really were TRUE, then we would expect the proprietors of the blog and their supporters would be looking forward to their day in court. After all, if they had proof that the allegations were true, it wouldn’t be Libel at all. And they’d finally have the opportunity to put the Chief on the stand and try to prove he was having the affair.

    But it sounds like the “abovethelaw” crowd are running scared, which suggests to me like they have nothing to back up their allegations except for innuendo and gossip, though they claimed a lot more than that on the blog. Well, despite what some of these EPD dead-enders seem to think, they aren’t “above the law” at all: So Let Justice Be Served!

  36. June 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Heraldo –

    Why the radio silence on the DOJ’s investigation of an alleged embezzlement of upwards of $100,000 in the period of Jan. – Oct. 2008 from the Humboldt County Courthouse?


    The story died at the Times-Standard website — it never made the top ten — and the only way to find it now is if you know to search for it.

    This is a story on par with the Humboldt Creamery meltdown — and the total sum embezzled will probably never be known.

    However, it seems relatively simple to deduce who was responsible. Why haven’t we heard any additional news. Why are the blogs silent?

    The implication between the lines of the initial T-S story is that alleged offenders have been paying corrupt officials in the courthouse to have their cases “disappeared” …

    Yet no one seems troubled by this … what’s your take Heraldo? Rake some muck!

  37. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I agree that the “abovethelaw” crowd probably is running scared since no proof of the affair came out the first time it was investigated. For DD to follow up her promotion & pay raise with a very public tantrum about being reassigned out of dispatch appears to give some weight to the allegations in the lawsuit.
    So I wonder who the abovethelaw crowd includes that would be allies with DD. Might be fun to see who comes crawling out from under the rocks the lawsuit overturns.

  38. Unknown
    June 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds like Larry and Garr are getting nervous.

  39. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Let’s not forget that the pre-Nielson crowd managed to put a SWAT team on the streets of Eureka that somehow killed a mentally ill woman who could have been talked down for a cigarette. Not to mention bringing Humboldt to the nation’s attention as the place where young women engaged in non-violent protest could be tortured with pepper spray (and before the nutcase right-wing started standing up for torture, too).

    Anything that screws that crowd over is well-placed, very well-placed.

  40. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Not to mention bringing Humboldt to the nation’s attention as the place where young women invade offices and disrupt the peoples’ business all just to draw attention to themselves as spoiled brats.

  41. anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Why would Larry and Garr be scared? They’re not getting sued.

  42. June 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Regardless, this reads like that case out of Redding – I forget the details… but you can read up on it here: Lochrie v. No Phat Pink Chicks
    Christy Lochrie is a local journalist and blogger for The Record Searchlight in Redding, California. She authors a blog for the newspaper called “Phat & Pink.” Lochrie’s former friend Beth Norby created a “local media watch-dog blog” entitled “No Phat Pink Chicks” that criticizes and mocks Lochrie.

    Lochrie filed a lawsuit in California state court and sought a restraining order against Norby and requested that Norby be forced to shut down her blog and cease blogging about her. The court denied Lochrie’s requests on First Amendment grounds. Gibson acknowledged that Norby’s blog was “rude and boorish” but said that it did not constitute harrassment and was protected as free speech under the First Amendment. Norby requested an award of attorney’s fees following the decision, which the court denied on grounds that Norby’s comments “brought this on.”

  43. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    A blog that “criticizes and mocks” someone is a little different than one that posts downright lies, isn’t it? Plus Norby didn’t have items sent to her anonymously & her former friend didn’t try to hire someone to have her followed.

  44. anon
    June 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Bet there are more than a few city employees that are getting real nervous about getting called to testify and then having to decide whether they will tell the truth or not considering that they can get fired just for lying in investigations.

  45. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Make that Lockrie, not Norby, in the 6:58 posting. I guess Lockrie would be the Hansen, Norby would allegedly be the DD in your comparison. In that case the blog’s author was known and not anonymous, so it’s assumed that she wasn’t stupid enough to blog libelous statements. Abovethelaw’s creators and contributors obviously thought they were immune from discovery and therefore were free to libel away. It may be true in the end, but it will be enlightening to see what dirt is dished in the meantime.

  46. anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I know what you mean, 7:02. It would be hypothetically amusing if an investigation into an affair a police chief isn’t having hypothetically tripped over an actual affair a fire chief has been having for years. Hypothetically, of course.

  47. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Ya, and right under the city manager’s nose, which was also probably somewhere it didn’t belong. Bet that old Tawnie chick has a lotta dirt on a lotta folks, which means now her attorneys do, too.

  48. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I confess, I don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s personal life. It’s not my business. It’s not your business. A lot of people in this thread are petty and repressed.

  49. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    How about talking about our presidents pledge of NO tax increases for those making less than $250,000.00.

    Looks like that will be a lie too.

  50. Anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    To Anonymous at 9:05 pm, then for godsakes how do you explain being on here and reading all this stuff, you dipwad. You may not think you are petty and repressed, but how about hypocritical and judgmental?

  51. June 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Maybe Erik could answer it, but don’t you have to prove both that you “knew” something was untrue when you published it, and also that there was “a harmful result” from the publication? I don’t know much about the law, but I remember seeing this definition in print somewhere…

  52. June 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I agree with 9:05, and have never been impressed with the sex police.

    But this suit alleges false allegations that did harm to Hansen’s personal and professional reputation. Such acts are illegal in California. Her co-workers may be overgrown juvenile lip-flappers, but that doesn’t mean their intentional torts should go unpunished.

  53. The Monitor
    June 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    As far as I can tell, this all stems from the new Chief reorganizing a very entrenched EPD. There was no strong leadership in the department for some time and the idea then was to bring someone from outside to clean house. That house cleaning resulted in some getting their feathers bent. Then the mud slinging began in an attempt to unseat and discredit the new chief. The city manager let all the complaints pile up and did nothing until outside legal council wondered why he let the unsubstantiated grips get out of hand. Tyson’s answer was to keep the chief on a short leash and ignore the possibility that the real problem was still within the department and not the chief,s doing. Personally, I see a much more disciplined department now than under Chief Douglas. It would really be too bad to change horses again at this juncture, thereby allowing the disgruntled few to win the day.
    In the end, my question would be directed to the city manager. Why are you trying to torpedo a man who most of us feel is a real asset to our community and is doing the job council has asked him to do?

  54. anonymous
    June 29, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    The most obvious answer might be that the city manager feels personally threatened in some way by this lawsuit, or has something to hide himself, and thinks it will all go away if the chief does.

  55. Scared of DeeDee
    June 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Why did the City stop the Chief from firing DeeDee in the beginning? Sounds like it would have saved a lot of money and grief. I think her sister has got too much on Tyson. I agree with 10:58 Tyson wants to make the Chief go away. Watch for the blow back and it will to get leaked to the media. DeeDee and Tyson are playing hard ball!

  56. Bob
    June 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I hear Wilson has hired ex EPD to keep the Chief under surveillance 24 7!

  57. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 4:31 am

    I hear Nancy Pelosi is going to resign from Congress and move to Eureka and open up a bicycle repair shop. Or was it an ice cream shop? Or maybe a vacuum repair shop?

  58. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Oh, that’s not half the story! Did you hear who Nancy Pelosi is sleeping with? Barney, that obese dinosaur! Fat cat politicians always cuddle up with Hollywood in the end!

  59. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 7:56 am


    I’ve never been impressed with the sex police either. The hypocrisy police, though, are no problem. I wonder if the hypothetical non-police “affair” is being conducted by a holier-than-thou?

    If it is, let ‘er rip.

    BTW, have people read the news about the San Diego “serve and protect” breaking up a quiet Democratic fundraiser Friday evening with a helicopter, tear gas, and phony-without-even-having-to-think-about-it charges that the homeowner attacked the noble “serve and protect”? (They got a false noise complaint, presumably from a bigoted neighbor who hurled slurs during a backyard speech before 9pm.) Sounds like there may be a worse department than EPD or the Humboldt Sheriff. Mercy, will wonders never cease!

  60. Ronnie Raygun
    June 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    So many of the EPD’s problems could be solved simply by requesting – and then accepting – the resignation of Murl Harpham.

    Hollywoood is waiting for you Murl. They want to remake Mayberry RFD.

  61. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2009 at 9:23 am

    The only surprise here is that it took so long for a lawsuit to be filed. “Above the Law” not only allowed vile smears against law enforcement personnel, it displayed a shocking lack of respect for the people who pay their salaries. That it was strictly monitored to only allow posts of those supportive of the attacks on Garr and Tawnie makes the blog owner more culpable than a more loosely moderated blog allowing all sides to air their opinions. If the blog owner is also responsible for the “gifts” delivered at the work place then they are also guilty of creating a hostile work environment and should be fired. When will people learn that libel and slander are not protected speech?

  62. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I guess we will all see how this plays out no matter what a stupid lawsuit and waste of time and money it is.

  63. June 30, 2009 at 9:34 am

    If there was a “hostile environment” then that is sexual harrassment under California and federal law and the city, the Chief and Dave Tyson (and possibly other management within the EPD) will be named as defendants as well. For the Chief that will involve some irony since he is a victim as well.

    It is a lower level of sexual harrasment than direct harrassment but it is illegal and cities and businesses lose these suits all the time for significant damages.

    It is the duty of the management to make necessary changes to mitigate the hostile environment under the law once they have been informed of it.

    have a peaceful day,

  64. June 30, 2009 at 9:47 am

    When will people learn that libel and slander are not protected speech?

    When they get sued and are forced to face consequences for their actions.

  65. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Agreed, Plain Jane. I think most city employees, including the city manager and the chiefs have a pretty good idea of who the guilty parties are. I think the public probably has a pretty good idea, too, considering how much whining was done in public. And it’s unlikely that you would work with someone, be married to them, be relaetd to them, be having an affair with them, socialize with them, etc, for years and be ignorant of that kinda stuff. But will the guilty parties get what’s coming to them? Sadly, not if they keep getting protected by higher ups who have things of their own to hide.

  66. Downtown
    June 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    In response to the comment:

    “Interesting, 2:33, that you would know either person was connected to the dispatch center, when that is not mentioned in the original post. But of course that wouldn’t have anything to do with the tone and content of your remarks. Would it?”

    It says right in the article “EPD Communications Supervisor Tawnie Hansen.” What do you think communications is? Also, if you’d ever read abovethelaw you’d know that all the drama was centered around dispatch.

    If you’re trying to point me out as some sort of insider purely because I knew communications = dispatch then stick around for even more inside knowledge after the next round of EPD gossip makes it to the internet.

  67. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

    To 9:32 am, for you to say it is a stupid lawsuit and a waste of time and money you must be really truly very ignorant of the the damage inflicted, or you are a guilty party or sleeping with a guilty party.

  68. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 10:28 am

    You have got to be kidding 10:02. Go back to bed and wake up on the correct side. This is a stupid lawsuit and it will only bring more problems to both sides here. A guilty party? Sleeping with a guilty party? I have never even met either this Tawnie person or this DeeDee person. I can evaluate the stupidity that this takes to make file a lawsuit only to keep all of this front and center in the public’s eye and only to continue to harm the entire department. Haven’t you ever heard of the saying, “you lose when you respond?” Does this Miss Hansen really want to be deposed? How about the Chief? Or do they want to end up on the stand in a courtroom with courtwatchers and the press having a field day with this soap opera. Do they want all the allegations and all the rest of this sordid garbage to be preserved on the internet for any future employers to read about.

    Nope. It is a totally stupid lawsuit.

  69. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 11:16 am

    10:28 am: The sordid garbage has already been put out there & preserved on the internet, or did you not ever read the infamous blog?! You admit to not knowing the 2 main parties involved, so it follows that you are ignorant of what damages the plaintiff suffered. But if you think such a lawsuit is stupid and a waste of money, then I hope you never need your own day in court. Better yet, gimme your name, your job and a few other details, let me create a nasty little blog about you for all to read, and then see what you think.

  70. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Ok 11:16 the “sordid garbage” is not currently there because nobody can seem to find it at the site listed above. So resurrecting it in this manner will make sure that all of us in the dark will know that which we don’t now know. As for damages, what are the damages Ms. Know it All? I would like to know and it seems that maybe you might be this Hansen girl herself, who knows? A nuetral uninvolved assesment of the stupidity and waste of time this case seems to pose seems to have rattled your chains a bit. If you think that you or Ms. Hansen is going to be somehow vindicated by filing a this type of lawsuit for then you have another thing coming. Most lawsuits involve lots of money and neither side ever seems to “win.” There is a great cost and it is expensive both financially and emotionally. I have personally had to be involved in a civil suit as a victim of someone else’s stupidity and carelessness which resulted in the deaths of loved ones. I can personally tell you that it is not about vindicating some abstract principle and that the cost of a lawsuit is overwhelming even if you were truly harmed with huge and quantifiable economic damage. I do think wasting the court’s time and jurors time for a soap opera like pissing match is wrong. Evidently you don’t and I will be content with just shaking my head in disbelief at the sheer waste of everyone’s time and resources, but have at it. In the end, Ms. Hansen will look like a fool, the blog site host will look like a fool, the chief may very well look like a fool, the department will most likely look like fools etc, etc.

  71. The Tangled Web
    June 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Tyson’s administrative assistant is the sister to DeeDee Wilson. I think in there lies the whole story.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave.

  72. Skippy
    June 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    If they win the libel case, the blog host and accomplices won’t just “look like a fool,” they will be liable for damages. If they don’t have the money now, the court will be happy to attach their wages, for the rest of their lives, if necessary.

    Waste of money and time? Only if you think cowardly gossips should be allowed to hide behind blog-based anonymity while they libel people with malicious accusations of infidelity, etc. And only if you don’t care about detering others from similar actions.

    I think the proprietors of “abovethelaw” are about to find out that the “delete” button doesn’t quite do what they thought it did, and as a result they may not be Above the Law after all…

  73. Linda Glass
    June 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    The real issue is whether the Police Chief had sexual encounters with an EPD subordinate.

    That any man has sex with any woman (or another man – not that there’s anything wrong with that) is their business, unless one is a work supervisor and the other is a work subordinate.

    I’ll let the attorneys specializing in employment workplace harrassment handle that one.

    Still waiting for the Chief’s text records on his City paid Blackberry to answer most of those questions.

    Any email or text is a permanent record that is submissible in court, especially if sent by a public employee.

  74. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    DD filed a sexual harassment complaint months ago. It was in the papers. It was thoroughly investigated, and included access to phone records, emails, and computers. It was found to be unsubstantiated (http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_9216199) The real issue is whether Tawnie was damaged and whether she can prove that DD and others who aren’t named yet were responsible. Period.

  75. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Regardless of the legality of the blog’s content, don’t ya think the careers of those involved in writing it are over, at least locally? On a basic level of human decency the blog is shameful.

  76. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Ya, agreed. I wouldn’t wanna work around someone who could justify doing something so vile and immature, and I sure don’t wanna pay their salary with my taxes. They need to look up the definition of “sociopath,” especially the part about lacking moral responsibility and a social conscience.

  77. YouKnowWho
    June 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “So many of the EPD’s problems could be solved simply by requesting – and then accepting – the resignation of Murl Harpham.

    Hollywoood is waiting for you Murl. They want to remake Mayberry RFD.”

    Fuck you.

  78. anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Wow, youknowwho, that was rude. I, too, think it’s way past time for a 75 year old cop to give it up. That would sure free up a lot of money for the shrunken budget. Selfish. Sad.

  79. Ironic
    June 30, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    that this blog, which has had its own share of shit flung at people, is taking shots at Devora Wilson because she supposedly represents the old guard at EPD.

    Where was the blogpost when Wilson filed her ultimately fruitless complaint?

    This suit may have merit, but it also may turn out to be as unsuccessful as Wilson’s efforts.

    That people are lining up in defense or support of these two ladies based upon how they feel the new chief is doing is silly. Garr could be the best chief in the world and still succumbed to an inappropriate relationship, or he could be a shitty chief and not have done any of these alleged deeds mentioned on above the law.

  80. Anonymous
    June 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Hey, maybe if we’re lucky old Murl will be implicated in the scandal. He’s got plenty of motivation, being best buds with DeeDee & being demoted, ouch.

  81. YouKnowWho?
    June 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    DeeDee used to be pretty tight with Lt. Tony Zanotti for years. I mean really close. But the Unholy trinity is Suzi, Merle and DeeDee

  82. The Monitor
    June 30, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    The good old boys and girls thought they would win the day on this one, get rid of that new out of town police chief and get back to that old comfortable way of doing business. Having called dispatch back then, I can tell you it was not run well. We all know the story of the police shootings, which in a well trained department with discipline and leadership probably wouldn’t have happened, at least not that many. So the out of town cop with great credentials arrives and EPD’s old way of life hits the fan. They didn’t like it one bit and started a concerted campaign to discredit the new guy. The city manager buys their story because of old loyalties, friendships, and inter office cronyism and tries to protect his brood, now complaining loudly.
    He then starts to micromanage the new guy figuring if he can make life uncomfortable enough, he might just leave. Very bad idea when you don’t have the cards to win the hand and the new guy doesn’t respond to the bluff.
    Let’s hope this is the last gasp of “gooood” old boy and girl city politics behind the redwood curtain. However I suspect they won’t change their ways, any more than Gov. Stanford will. When will they learn? Just leave the new guy alone and let him do his job. The average Joe likes what his is doing, short handed, I might add.

  83. McKinleyvillan
    July 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

    wow, the drama and dirty laundry (imagined and otherwise) of Eureka is beyond belief. One more reason for McKinleyville to avoid incorporation–imagine how much taxpayer money/city staff time gets expended on this type of crap. Meanwhile the vacant lots lie vacant, polluters get off scot free, and criminals rule the streets after dark. Way to go, Eureka.

  84. Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Yeah, imagine McKinleyville having control over its own destiny instead of decisions being made by non-residents in Eureka.

  85. Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Wait, McKinleyvillan, are you not aware that your tax dollars fund the sheriff’s deputies who patrol your streets? Are you stating the sheriff’s office doesn’t have drama dirty laundry? I find your oversimplification of the Eureka issue and blind connection to your unrelated pet peeve to be quite intriguing.

  86. Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Let’s face it, pretty much every government and law enforcement agency in this county is pretty much a cesspit. McKinleyville is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. And it’s ugly, too.

  87. No Way Jose
    July 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Monitor, you might want to spend some of your stimulus money and call Multnomah County S.O. and ask about the “great credentials” of Nielsen. They laughed their butts off at his hiring here. He has major issues which came to light (within the organization) almost immediately. He puts up a good public front but if he ever gets called to the stand, and put under oath, it’s all over. And, it’s Governor “Sanford”, not Stanford.

  88. Mr. Nice
    July 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Let’s face it, pretty much every government and law enforcement agency in this county is pretty much a cesspit. McKinleyville is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. And it’s ugly, too.

    Wait a minute, McMansionville is ugly compared to what… Youtweaka? Bumcata? Poortuna? Rio Hell? Garberdank?

    You’re just jealous of the fabulous cock-fighting farms and such.

  89. Plain Jane
    July 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Jose must be within the organization since he claims to know what they thought they knew. Multomah’s alleged laughter notwithstanding, Nielsen is superior to any PC we’ve had in years. His ability to shake up the bad old boys at EPD and please the citizens is proof.

  90. Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

    this is what I meant when I said “stupid,” a “waste of time” and that it would be to nobody’s advantage. So, let the games begin. Hansen is being trashed here and on the times standard. Wilson is being trashed here and on the times standard. The Chief is being trashed here and on the times standard. Murl Harpham (who I think is a wonderful man) has even been brought into this for no reason at all. Tyson is getting trashed. Larry Glass will be too. Are you all happy? You think this is a good thing? Any of you call yourselves liberal because I do and what you are doing and saying is absolutely vile and an embarassement.

  91. The Monitor
    July 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks “No Way”. If you have the information on Multomah’s findings, lets hear it. And yes it is Sanford.

  92. Linda Glass
    July 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    It’s good to know that David Ogden, errr “The Monitor” or is it “Average Eurekan” is now running our City with Larry Glass.

    I thought that’s why we had a City Manager.

  93. McKinleyvillan
    July 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    it seems the the city manager is too busy with other “things” to run the city…this is why city managers should never have a contract like Tyson has, that requires 4/5 council vote to cancel. He has way to much control and the constant power struggles seem to be his main focus.

    Not that I know the inside scoop, but from the outside EPD seems improved since Nielsen took over…I notice that the EPD hasn’t shot anyone since then!

  94. McKinleyvillan
    July 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    and yes lots of McKinleyville is pretty ugly, though it has its good points. Cock-fighting and tweakers are not exactly unique to McKinleyville, nor are dysfunctional staffs unique to incorporated cities. McKinleyville Community Services District just came out of a pretty dark period of dysfunctionality due to a General Manager with such power trips and a rubber-stamp board majority that made functioning nearly impossible. Very like Eureka’s current backstabbing power grabbing situation as far as I can tell. Somehow the MCSD board mustered the strength to make a deal with the GM to quit in exchange for half a year’s pay, and now we have a new General manager, we’ll see how this new era is going to be.

  95. Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I love the way McKileyvillan loves to weigh in on Eureka matters.

    Hey, anyone seen the Northcoast Journal? The cover story is this and it doesn’t look good for the players of this lawsuit. None of them.

    Now all of it is coming out, whether it is good, bad, ugly or whatever. Everyone of the so called players will have lost in the end, the department will have taken another huge hit in the end and the only ones who will benefit will be the lawyers and the “we hate cops” groups.

    As I said at 11;26 and 12:04 yesterday, this was a stupid, wasteful and thoughtless move to bring a lawsuit. It is just flat out embarrassing.

  96. HumRed
    July 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I also love the way Mckillian distorts facts. MCSD went into a dark period of time that was changed through an election and a resignation of a board member. The GM was never the cause, just the target. New general Manager starts today in fact. The GM never made a deal for money to quit, he retired at the end of his contract. Of course he, she, or it knows that but throws this silly lie out every chance it gets as if that will make it the truth. It knows even less about McK town than it does Eureka. It is the part of McK town that is pretty ugly.

  97. Frodo
    July 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Average Eurekan is a fine set of music written by Bach. Not, Ogden.

  98. humboldturtle
    July 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm


  99. Ronnie Raygun
    July 1, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    You don’t have to attack Murl’s character to understand that his salary and benefits (paid to a septugenarian) displace probably three patrol cops on the force for the same amount of money.

    Murl can comfortably retire, I am sure the city has vested him with a generous pension haven’t we? Why won’t he retire?

    We have a chief and a competent command structure. What is the purpose of having a Super Chief?

  100. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Why won’t he retire?

    Umm, because he doesn’t have to retire? Umm, because he doesn’t take life-changing orders from anonymous trolls?

    Why don’t you start a blog and complain about him? We’ll see how that goes over.

  101. Ronnie Raygun
    July 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

    If he won’t retire can we at least take his bullet away?

  102. July 2, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Are all anonymous hypocrites blind to their own contradictions?

  103. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Yes, they are.

  104. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 11:03 am

    ecumenik, someone voicing an opinion that contrasts with yours doesn’t make that person a troll.

  105. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 11:05 am

    When I read “Above The Law” a year or more ago, I was revolted by the writers’ immaturity and extreme hostility.

    When the blog stopped posting new material, I hoped it was because the writers had left EPD.

    Was I wrong? Are those same creeps still working within our police department?

  106. Skippy
    July 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Apparently some still are.

  107. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The Journal has it… Grand Jury Clears Nielsen.

  108. July 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Oh? I was talking about their opinions not agreeing with their own actions. not my opinion. Way to provoke there buddy….

  109. Anonymous
    July 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I was talking about their opinions not agreeing with their own actions. not my opinion.

    Actually, buddy, that IS your opinion.

  110. The Monitor
    July 2, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    There is a certain satisfaction in saying “I told you so”. It is interesting to note the role that the city manager played in this mess. Maybe the “historic culture” at city hall will improve as well. Speaking truth to power may pay rewards we are no aware of yet.

  111. humboldturtle
    July 3, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Gosh, Mon, if you think it’s fun now as an anonymous blogger imagine how good it’s going to feel when you stand up in a public meeting to say it. May I recommend a couple of “nyah-nyahs” to go with your Toldja So?

  112. The Monitor
    July 3, 2009 at 8:41 am

    It was just nice to see the Chief win one. It has not been easy dealing with all these issues and having minimal support. Maybe he will get to do his job with a little less stress.

  113. Ronnie Raygun
    July 3, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Let me put it this wsy, Murl.

    I have the ability to “empathise.” “Empathy” is the ability to mentally place yourself into the figurative shoes of another human being, so you can look at things from their point of view.

    Though I am not a cop, I can empathise with the three young cops on the EPD that your refusal to retire will force into unemployment.

    If I am one of those cops, I am looking at losing my job, and since we are in a deep recession with governments all around cutting back I probably will be unemployed for a long time. I may lose my house. I will definitely lose my health insurance.

    My family – my spouse and my children will suffer. My life may be ruined.

    Why? Because a 75 year old man who has no real reason other than vanity to keep working wants to keep working.

    You are displaying nothing but greed and self centered aggrandizement at the expense of the EPD and the city as a whole. You are besmirching your own reputation and destroying the morale of the department.

    It is time to retire Murl.

  114. Youngphart
    July 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

    “I thought that’s why we had a City Manager.”

    I think we have something more like a City Manipulator.

  115. Anonymous
    July 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Can anybody here tell us the names of the people within EPD who used to write for “Above the Law” and who are still working in EPD?

  116. Anonymous
    July 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    “Can anybody here tell us the names of the people within EPD who used to write for “Above the Law” and who are still working in EPD?”


    Will they?

    Too soon to tell. It won’t be me.

  117. September 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Don’t make DeeDee out to be a hero. She’s a big part of the problem from what I’ve heard from the walking wounded she’s left behind. She is described as a mean and conniving bitch by other women.

    Sexism, nepotism, and inbreeding are the 3 hallmarks of Humboldt County. I don’t care where you work–including Humboldt State University–white males rule EVERYTHING. If you don’t engaged in sex with them or mightily kiss their flat rear ends, you are punished.

    Why does everyone put up with it? Because the loggers (the biggest sexists on the planet) own and run everything. They are also called wood rats. (When they sneak back into their “hidey” holes in the forest, they transform back into the wood rats they really are.

    Do you wonder why we have 2 universities with no local job market for graduates? Because the loggers don’t want smart people around who can uncover their dirty rat tricks.

    They like ’em dumb. This is also why the elementary and secondary schools in the area turn out graduates who can’t read, write, math, or SPELL.

    The dumber the residents, the better off for the rat loggers.

    You want an example: Ridgewood Cutten Village. Forster Gill the developer has bought off the Board of Supervisors. Locals think what a nice thing: a village for the homeless and they can work at the shopping mall next door. Out of the 386 acres they are going to plow under there will be a 2 acre park. Whoopee! The crank dealers are thrilled over that because it’s another venue for their dealing. WOW! new fish to get addicted, oops, I mean customers.

    The truth is the big rats Forster Gill is a San Luis Obispo timber management company who stands to make $44 million off the timber harvest. The village is a figment of imagination. It’s easy to fool dummies. And, the welfare parasites love the idea.

    So all you Humboldt County dummies you’ve been had, royally screwed, and you it like because you’re stoned out of your minds on the local pot. You’ve been ridding the Vaseline pony far too long and liking it. Put down the crack pipe and wake up and grow a brain.

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