Home > David Tyson, Eureka California, Garr Nielsen, Murl Harpham > Backtracking at EPD underway under interim Police Chief

Backtracking at EPD underway under interim Police Chief

Murl Harpham.

Temporary Eureka Police Chief Murl Harpham announced on local right-wing talk radio station KINS Wednesday that he was going to do some restructuring at EPD.

We’re “gonna get back to where I think it should be,” he said.

Murl has been acting Chief since Garr Nielsen was fired Friday.

For more on Murl’s retrograde motion tune into KSLG tomorrow morning for another installment of WTF is up with EPD.

As for future prospects to fill the position, sources say Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris is at the top of the short list. Parris is old school EPD, with 27 years there before being hired in 2006 as Yurok Tribal Police Chief.

[Image source.]

  1. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Does this mean we get to go back to a drug dealer on every block?

  2. Goldie
    June 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I will listen tomorrow to what Murl has to say. I hope by going back he does not mean resorting to energizing SWAT and doing away with POP. I hope he does not mean spending all the over time as the habit was before. I will listen but the words ‘go back’ do not sound good.

  3. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Returning to an era of distrust and outrage is not a thing to trumpet on the radio. These are dark days for Eureka.

  4. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Murl’s gonna go back to where ” I think it should be”…That is scary. Murl is an almost octogenarian who was hired back when there weren’t even 2 -way radios. Eureka PD, welcome back to the dark ages.

  5. Blast from the past-Oh shit
    June 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Wonder if he will tell us what things they figure were wrong with Garr’s style. Was it the fact that Garr demoted those not doing their work and collecting overtime. The fact Garr didn’t wave to the drug dealers as he drove by their houses? The fact that the drug houses that were in existence for many years are now gone? The fact that our streets are quiet and safe? Hope he tells us. Frightening to think of the way it was.

  6. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Does this mean Suzie gets to sit in her office and play with recipes on the computer all day again?

  7. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    If they want a SWAT team, they have to fund it, and it was costing the PD a lot of money, in overtime and lawsuits. Let’s see Tyson justify that one in the budget.

  8. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Murl, if you’re making any more money as acting chief, could you please at least get a decent dye job?

  9. Osprey
    June 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    …….“gonna get back to where I think it should be,”…….

    Go Eureka! Progress, back to the ’50’s when cops could leave dead bodies anywhere!!! Go Murl! …no, Murl..the chinese where driven out YEARS ago…..I SAID…GO MURL!!!!…..(did he just fall asleep?)……g’nite Murl.

  10. Osprey
    June 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    …….“gonna get back to where I think it should be,”…….

    Go Eureka! Progress, back to the ’50’s when cops could leave dead bodies anywhere!!! Go Murl! …no, Murl..the chinese where driven out YEARS ago, yes…the Wiyot too…..WHAT I SAID WAS …”GO MURL!!!!”…..(did he just fall asleep?)……ugh…..g’nite Murl.

  11. June 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    No surprise. Let’s go back to square one. Tyson must be proud.

  12. Blast from the past-Oh shit
    June 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Suzy can cruise town in a Crown Victoria thinking of a new recipe and wave to the drug dealers all at once. So much energy, time and thought spent deserves lots of overtime.

  13. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Suzy can cruise town in a Crown Victoria thinking of a new recipe and wave to the drug dealers all at once. So much energy, time and thought spent deserves lots of overtime.

  14. Osprey
    June 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    sorry for the duplicate, but this joker is just too good to not want to wax poetic! …or in his case pathetic. ‘…..that Garr he wuz’ just too, ya’ know, just too…..young!”

  15. Blast from the past-Oh shit
    June 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Wouldn’t post-thought I got censored for the word SHIT to I tried Anonymous.

  16. eurekite
    June 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    What a joke. These idiots are pushing their hand too far, let ’em go for it. The backlash will be equal.

  17. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Sleazy doesn’t appear to be the half of it. There are a lot of past and present employees from all departments in the city who know the truth about Tyson. They should probably be prepared to be called out about it, possibly in a legal setting, because I don’t think this is going to go quietly away, much as Tyson would like it to.
    There is too much out there now:

    1. Where is the $ coming from to pay the chief/
    2. Is there a misuse of Measure O money involved?
    3. Did Tyson use his office for his adultery?
    4. Did Tyson’s kids get favoritism in securing city redevelopment money for their residences?

    This is just for starters, the the city council better think long and hard about the contract they just extended. The blowback is going to get ugly.

  18. flashback gunflash
    June 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    What about the perps Murl’s dispatched with his gun? Does that make him move to the front of the line?

  19. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    It’s important to note that the PR is happening on rightwing radio… not just a friendly venue with softball questions, but a sign that conservatives are upset and need to be spoken to. You just know the gray-hairs who attended the protest meeting weren’t all lefties.

  20. tra
    June 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Just the word “restructuring” and the phrase “gonna get back to where I think it should be,” does not provide a lot of information. I’d like to know what the context was.

    Unfortunately it looks like the KINS interview isn’t archived anywhere (KINS and its parent company have about the most pathetic website I’ve ever seen for a media organization).

    Too bad, because it would be interesting to hear the context of the remarks that were quoted in this post, and also to compare what he says to the KSLG audience with what he said to the KINS audience.

  21. Osprey
    June 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I agree with Anon: 7:24……

    ….Don’t we have a Grand Jury? …let’s not only talk about Measure O, let’s talk about the CALTRANS funds that Dave squandered on the Waterfront/Arkley Drive project and pissed that away. Let’s get an audit here, Linda? You will find some gems if the citizens of Eureka have the guts to ask for it. Otherwise, prepare for the worst of the worst.

  22. anon-a-pissed
    June 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    basically, show up at the rally on Saturday and be heard. And if you think this is exclusive to Eureka residents, you are wrong. The policy this joker makes sets US ALL back decades……just ask MURL!!!

  23. Sylvia
    June 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I hope Murl gets a free hand to make the changes that he wants. With friends like Murl Tyson doesn’t need enemies. WOW, thanks Murl.

  24. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Anon a pissed, Tyson and Murl do not make policy. Your council (i.e., Linda Atkins) does. While I think Murl is the man behind the curtain and the one your anger should be focused upon, my previous posts to that effect were deleted by Heraldo from some crazy reason.

    i guess you call Tyson a joker but even Heraldo is afraid of Murl.

  25. June 29, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t know what you are talking about. Your comments were not deleted and are not in the spam folder. Try again.

  26. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    This place was a crime ridden Hell Hole until Garr showed up. He just starts to get a handle on the place and he gets sacked. Grudge match much? Eureka, dysfunction is the name – undermining success is the game.

  27. June 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Murl is a nice “guy” and I’m sure a lot of folks love him.

    But there is no reason on earth why someone with so much history in the police department should be setting policy. How can he possibly be effective much less understand the needs of a community that has moved on since he first became an officer?

    Change is good. Murl needs to be nothing more than placeholder until someone without all his baggage gets hired. How many of those qualified, educated, and appreciated officers Garr hired will now move on?

  28. tra
    June 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Anon a pissed, Tyson and Murl do not make policy. Your council (i.e., Linda Atkins) does.

    Pretty misleading spin there 7:49. Yes, the Council makes policy, but the one councilmember you named is in the minority and has made her opposition to this bit of “policy” quite clear. It is the other 4 members of the Council — Newman, Madsen, Ciarabellini, and Brady — who are “making policy” these days. They, together with their boy Tyson, own this foolish decision decision to fire Neilsen. No amount of spinning and attempted deflection will change that fact.

  29. June 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    If anything this is where Tyson should step up and be asking Murl to keep the status quo until a replacement for Garr is hired. But I’m sure he will keep stirring the pot till he gets what HE wants.

  30. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    An audit AND a civil grand jury complaint, now you’re talking! Where do I sign up? How do we get em going?

  31. June 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Almost right Tra. But this council only makes policy only in their dreams. They defer that responsibility to Tyson.

  32. Anon
    June 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Dang! Tyson must have more lip prints on his ass than anyone else in Eureka, with 1 exception. And not all of em are lipstick’ed!

  33. Plain Jane
    June 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    It’s incomprehensible to me why any good cop would take the job after the way Nielsen was treated by the old guard cop clique and city government.

  34. June 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    That’s a loaded question. Murl and Dave are tight. What’s to worry?

  35. June 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    This alone is friggin’ scary:

    “Dave Parris is at the top of the short list. Parris is old school EPD, with 27 years there…”

  36. tra
    June 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Almost right Tra. But this council only makes policy only in their dreams. They defer that responsibility to Tyson.

    Ceding their responsibilities to the City Manager is a policy decision, and going along with whatever policies the CM decides on is also a policy decision — just as Congress ceding their Constitutionally-mandated war-making powers to the President is still a policy decision. In both cases, the legislative branch is still responsible for what happens as a result of their dereliction of duty, much as they’d like us to believe that somehow they aren’t.

  37. June 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Actually, the really scary thing is Tyson will be hiring the replacement chief with no real oversight.

  38. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Looks like one hell of a lot of speculating to me.

    We’re “gonna get back to where I think it should be,” he said.

    Could also mean that he intends to carry on with the path that the department had taken, possibly with minor modifications.

    If Garr had not had confidence in Murl, I am sure he would not have had much of a problem eliminating him. Instead he was retained in a top spot in the administration. Give the man a chance, stop the speculating. I am sure most of the bitchers here will be wiping the shit off their faces when it all comes down.

  39. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    The 9:44 post is not Anonymous, it is by 69er, the site has done it to me once more….

  40. 69er
    June 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    How do I get back on here as 69er?????

  41. 69er
    June 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    OK, I’m back….

  42. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    “Looks like one hell of a lot of speculating to me” is closely followed by “Could also mean that he intends…” What a surprise.

  43. June 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Okay.

  44. 69er
    June 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Yes, it is speculating, but, on the positive side with a little hope thrown in. Have known Mulr for more than 50 years and still feel that he is a good man.

  45. 69er
    June 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Yes, it is speculating, but, on the positive side with a little hope thrown in. Have known Murl for more than 50 years and still feel that he is a good man.

  46. June 29, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I honestly appreciate the “50 years” and “good man” stuff. But the perception of someone coming from within a seasoned and troubled department doesn’t rest well. And by seasoned I mean there is history to the relationships within the department. Good or bad they will likely appear questionable when policy or managerial decisions are made.

  47. June 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    What worries me is that the council might have voted on the Chief’s termination, a clear “action item” when NO such item was posted on their agenda. That ain’t legal, folks. Nor was any such “action item” reported out of the closed session as required. Could there be some inpropriety here? Hmmmm?

    I predict that if Murl stays on for 6 months before a new hire is made, we will lose at least 10 of our good officers to other agencies. Would you stay? That doesn’t mean Murl is an evil person. He’s just not up to date on how departments should be run. It’s NOT the bad old days any more. Looks like Tyson has screwed the city yet again (like he’s reputed to have done to more than one employee, literally?)
    It’s time to go, Dave.

  48. tra
    June 29, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    As I wrote earlier, I do think the quote that formed the basis for this post is too lacking in context to draw any firm conclusions from. I certainly understand why, given the overall situation where a reformer like Nielsen has just been fired, and an old-timer like Murl put in his place as interim chief, people are going to jump to conclusions anyway. And maybe those conclusions will be proven right. But as folks have pointed out in previous threads, Murl did take some positive steps during his previous tenure as interim chief (during the transition from Douglas to Nielsen) and he has also done some excellent work with the POP program. So I would advise folks not to be so hasty in piling on Murl here, he’s not the one responsible for Nielsen’s firing — that’s on Tyson and the Gang of Four on the City Council.

    I do have to agree that the “optics” aren’t good, in terms of giving the impression that the idea is to turn the clock back and undo the reforms that Nielsen brought in (and of course it’s quite possible that this is exactly the message Tyson wanted to send to the community, and especially to the Old Guard clique within the department). But realistically, who else were they going to appoint as Interim Chief? Murl has the experience and the seniority, and another plus is that he is not going to be a candidate for job of permanent Chief.

    Look, if Murl actually does start trying to undo the progress that has been made in the past several years, I’ll be right there with all of you raising hell about it. But so far all we have is a pretty vague statement about “restructuring” and “getting things back to where I think it should be,” without any context to help us understand exactly what he was talking about. So, my advice would be: Keep your powder dry, and let’s see what he says tomorrow, and what he actually does in the next few weeks, and be ready to react to that, whatever it is — good, bad, or indifferent.

  49. June 29, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Sorry. That’s ‘impropriety’ and you all know what it means.

  50. Observer
    June 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Dave Parris was involved in an accident with a EPD vehicle early in his career, he T-boned another car without using his lights or siren. The badly injured woman recieved a insurance settlement from the City of Eureka after a lawsuit was won. A local attorney who is now pursuing the lawsuit against “Grand Gentlemen’s Club” represented her. Skeleton’s here too!

  51. tra
    June 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    What worries me is that the council might have voted on the Chief’s termination, a clear “action item” when NO such item was posted on their agenda. That ain’t legal, folks. Nor was any such “action item” reported out of the closed session as required. Could there be some inpropriety here? Hmmmm?

    I suspect that if that was the case, we would have already heard about it from Linda Atkins.

    My understanding is that they “discussed” it, but no formal vote was taken, as none was needed to authorize the action. It would have been easy enough for Tyson to take the pulse of the Council on this issue without a formal vote, simply by listening to what each of the councilmembers had to say during that discussion, so that he knew that he would be safe going ahead with the firing without risking losing his own job. My guess is that’s probably how it went down.

    Tyson didn’t need a vote to enable him to fire Nielsen, and the Gang of Four probably preferred not to go on the record by voting — hoping, perhaps, that this would insulate them at least a little bit from being held responsible for the Chief getting fired, which they had to know would prompt outrage among many Eureka residents.

  52. June 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Just Googled ”Dave Parris eureka.” Now there’s some mixed opinions.

  53. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    We have to remember it was Chief Douglas at the helm when things sunk to it’s lowest point. Douglas was in charge when the city sunk to it’s lowest point.

  54. Anonymous
    June 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    woops , It is to late for me, i was repeating myself.

  55. anon
    June 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    And Douglas was indicted for manslaughter no less. Love him or hate him, Nielsen did make some great changes in a department known for a shoot first ask questions later attitude.

  56. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Murl wound up doing a very good job under Garr’s leadership.

  57. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Did any of you ever meet a cop other than Garr Neilsen that you did like?

  58. Al-anon
    June 30, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Sure, there are plenty… NOW. 2006 is a different story.
    And 2012 might be a different story, too.

  59. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Actually, yes I have- many. The Eureka police department has done a great job. Living on the west side I have had many chances to meet several of them. Garr demoted a few that stood in the way of a fully functioning police force. And they are pissed. Over the years I have met many cops and find them to be honest and hardworking. This whole mess just shows that there are bad apples in every profession. Now lets talk about City managers.

  60. Al-anon
    June 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Murl doesn’t have the good sense to just keep his mouth shut and make his changes. Looks like we’re in for it.
    Can”t the city make a guy that old go get an Alzheimers or Dementia test or something?

  61. Down the Road
    June 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Eureka City Code 34.59 Retirement Eligibility: Whenever
    any person shall have been duly appointed, hired, or selected,
    and whenever any such person, irrespective of age, shall have
    served as a member of the Fire Department or the Police Department, in any rank or capacity whatever, for a period of
    25 years or more in the aggregate, the council, upon written
    application of any such firefighter or police officer, or upon
    such person reaching the age of 65 years, shall order and direct
    that such person be retired from further active service in the
    Fire Department or Police Dept.

    This code goes on about the retirement pay. The point is
    such person reaching the age of 65 years shall order and
    direct that such person be retired…………..

  62. Pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

    wow. now tyson can fire murl!!

  63. anon
    June 30, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Boxers, briefs, or commando Murl?

  64. June 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Murl cites “rumor and innuendo” in the lead-up to the firing on KSLG just now. Doesn’t admit involvement.

  65. June 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    EPD was “forced into killing a 16 year old kid” and Cheri Lynn Moore, Murl says. A lot of women and 16 year old kids have killed cops, he says.

  66. High Finance
    June 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Wow, more hate speak ! Criticising somebody because of age ? Didn’t you guys tell us for decades that liberals are compassionate, caring and non prejudiced ?

    Yet Murl is “old” and therefore incompetant and unqualified ?

    And you all are hanging Murl for things he has not said nor done yet. You guys are hanging Dave Parris because he has experience in the department ? And the fool Mouse (who doesn’t know a single EPD cop) predicts that ten officers will leave in the next six months because of Murl.

    This is a sad indictment on Heraldo’s followers.

  67. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I can’t believe Harpham doesn’t understand the difference in perception of the police related deaths before and after Nielsen. Cotton died in jail and the other was clearly a case of not only self-defense, but defense of a citizen against an armed man who had fired shots. Seriously Murl!

  68. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Murl is old, gave his service, and it’s time to go. What about compassion for taxpayers, many of whom are struggling financially every month to pay bills. Him leaving is compassionate for the citizens who are throwing money down a rathole with his salary

  69. Pitchfork
    June 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Merle is not being honest. He up to his eye brows in this.

  70. June 30, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Murl will make everyone adhere to the chain of command. He says Nielsen didn’t do that.

  71. June 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Officers could bypass sergeants and lieutenants and go directly to Garr, Murl says.

  72. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I’m surprised Tyson would let him do an interview, his brain can’t move as fast as his mouth and he’s bound to say something lawsuit -worthy.

  73. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Requiring a subordinate officer to go through the chain of command to complain about superiors who are in their chain of command seems like a great way to corrupt a PD. What happened to the chain of command when these officers wanted to complain to Tyson about Nielsen?

  74. June 30, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Met with lieutenants and sergeants and am making minor changes. Created a support division and another called field operations.

  75. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

    KINS doesn’t have an internet stream/ That station must be as much of a dinosaur and as relevant to today’s cop as Murl

  76. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

    PJ, That was part of the problem, people going directly to their buddy Dave & Dave encouraging it. This way Murl is going to quash any forward-thinking underlings complaints about their renegade supervisor.

  77. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Not only “totally off the wall” but probably Murl’s incorrect interpretation of similar complaints posted here and other blogs where people have said that dispatchers were rude and cops didn’t show up. Exaggerating the complaint to make it untrue is such a dishonest tactic.

  78. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

    So they were hypocritical about their belief in adherence to chain of command, Pattycakes? Was their real issue with the lack of strict chain of command under Nielsen that their subordinates could complain about them without them having the ability to obstruct the complaints?

  79. High Finance
    June 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

    So Murl is in favor of following the chain of command (a basic principal followed by most successful organizations) and you all are now opposed to it ?

  80. June 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

    “And Douglas was indicted for manslaughter no less.”

    Wow. And you let that comment stand with no correction.

    For the record, despite Gallegos’ extensive efforts – THAT CASE WAS TOSSED The district attorney misrepresented the law and FAILED TO PROVIDE evidence of former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas’ and Lt. Tony Zanotti’s INNOCENCE during a criminal grand jury inquiry into the 2006 shooting death of Cheri Lynn Moore, defense attorneys argued in court documents filed Thursday… ”Our judicial system stands as a real and necessary check on the grand jury indictment process,” one of the documents states. “This court has the authority and the means by which to halt this prosecution, which is justified neither by the undisputed facts, nor by the law.

    BEING INDICTED DOES NOT MEAN HE WAS GUILTY. Except here.

  81. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Oh yes, hypocritical to say the least. They said it on that blog all the time. Didn’t go through chain of comman regularly. They had a worn out path to Dave’s door, especially DD, Pam’s sister. Dave had an open door policy for DD, Pam made sure of that. In fact, Pam eavesdropped all the time when Dave and the chief would meet in Dave’s office. One time Pam even burst in and called the chief a “Fucker.” Nothin happened to her for that, though. Cause she knows where David’s skeletons are buried. But they didn’t meet at city hall after that.

  82. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Rose the statement was that he was indicted, and he was.

  83. Ed
    June 30, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Policing vs martial law anyone?

  84. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

    You can see that this town has spawned many incestuous relationships in city government. Do you think Tyson wanted it uncovered that his assistant’s sister was responsible for the harassment of the chief and Hansen? No, and that’s why his investigation didn’t uncover it and Hansen’s did. Pretty obvious.

  85. insider
    June 30, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Tyson condoned and supported Dee Dee Wilson & Above the Law Blog until it became too uncomfortable. In the end he paid her off and gave her a glowing recommendation.

  86. tra
    June 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

    So Dee Dee Wilson — the person who was successfully sued for spreading the vicious and salacious rumours about the Chief through the despicable Above the Law blog, and whose actions led to the chain of events that led to the City having to pay out $200,000 to settle the sexual harassment suit against Tyson and the City — that same Dee Dee Wilson is Tyson’s sister-in-law?

    Now that someone has mentioned it in this thread, that does ring a bell, but I must admit that I had forgotten that little detail (I imagine this must be what it’s like trying to keep track of all the relationships and events in a daytime soap opera). And the NCJ failed to mention the sister-in-law relationship in their overview of those events in this week’s paper. This certainly does add to the perception that Tyson’s firing of Nielsen was more a “personal” issue than a “personnel” issue.

  87. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Not sister-in-law, sister of Tyson’s former longtime assistant & gatekeeper, Pam. Pam is /was Tyson’s wife’s bff also.

  88. tra
    June 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

    To whoever the anonymous commenter is who was making the “alzheimers” and “dementia” crack above: You’re not helping.

    Just because someone is old doesn’t mean they should be forced to retire, or required to take some test for dementia if they haven’t showed any signs of it. Whatever your opinion of Murl (mine is quite mixed) he certainly seems plenty mentally sharp.

    Making mean-spirited remarks about Murl’s age is (a) just plain wrong, and (b) counterproductive, in that it will tend to alienate senior citizens who will resent seeing you pile on him for his age.

  89. tra
    June 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Pattycakes @ 10:04,

    Thanks for the correction. I guess that’s why that connection was not noted in the NCJ’s summary…the Wilson-Tyson relationship is a bit more indirect and therefore the potential conflict-of-interest is not so straightforward.

  90. anon
    June 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

    You’re right, I withdraw the comments. For a moment I was dazzled by the allure of the mud myself..

  91. anon
    June 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

    The connection was DeeDee whining to her sister Pam every day and Pam bending Tyson’s ear at the office everyday. And Pam definitely knows where his skeletons are buried. He was between a rock and a hard place and was getting that from all the women in his life I would guess.

  92. tra
    June 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

    You’re right, I withdraw the comments. For a moment I was dazzled by the allure of the mud myself..

    The mud is lovely
    Dark and deep
    But we’ve a high road
    To which we’ll keep

  93. Plain Jane
    June 30, 2011 at 10:44 am

    City hall sounds as incestuous as a stereotypical rural Dixie parish under Boss Tyson.

  94. anon
    June 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

    tra /Frost Yes & the view is better from here, too!

  95. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I’m gonna make a prediction (not too far-reaching I admit) that the PD budget is going to be bloated and full of overtime again by this time next year.

  96. June 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    personal/personnel?The citiz ens of Eureka have a right to know why their police cheif was suddenly fired by the city manager–
    and WHY????

  97. June 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I am not redundant as informed.pretty discouraging!!!

  98. June 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I am not redundant as informed.pretty discouraging!!Youare posting comments too quickly==slow downThe cmments were in sequence. What gives???All I wanted to point out the difference between personal and Personnel…

  99. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Let’s use em in a sentence. Tyson made it personal when his personnel didn’t do his bidding.

  100. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Heraldo says:
    June 30, 2011 at 9:12 am
    EPD was “forced into killing a 16 year old kid” and Cheri Lynn Moore, Murl says. A lot of women and 16 year old kids have killed cops, he says.

    No, Heraldo. You are wrong. Murl said A lot of 16 year old kids have killed cops. And you know that is true.

  101. Down the Road
    June 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Public safety does not have the same restrictions on age
    discrimination as the private sector. The point is the Eureka
    code plainly states when one in public safety reaches the
    age of 65 they shall be retired. Bringing this subject up is simply
    another example as to how this city thinks it is impervious
    to the law.

  102. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I have to say that this town is totally outrageous. They so ignore the law. Gives a whole new meaning to “Behind The Redwood Curtain”.

  103. pattycakes
    June 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    It’s behind a curtain alright. Like the Wizard of Oz, who really wasn’t a wizard at all. Boy does that movie fit this little drama playing out. Tyson as the Wizard pulling the strings, but also with a dual role as the Wicked Witch (picture him saying, ” I’ll get you, my pretty!” to Hansen), city council men as scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion, Matt, Murl, Suzie, DD, Pam and the rest of them are the flying monkeys.

  104. Reason
    July 1, 2011 at 10:16 am

    The lack of maturity and ignorance displayed by many of the commentators on this blog is down right pathetic. Your message is being lost in its outlandish, juvenile packaging and you are going to end up alienating yourselves from the majority of intelligent, concerned Eureka residents who are waiting and pondering before rushing to judgment. Stop screaming the sky is falling. EPD is going to be just fine. You see in the end, it is always more about the character of the individual cop in the gutter or soldier in the trenches than it is about the Chief in his air conditioned office or the commanding general in his shelter safely in the rear. EPD is filled with fine men and women who take their chosen profession seriously and are dedicated to excellent service. Yes, there are a few knuckle draggers-but there are in every department or office.

    Now, I am not part of the so called “old guard” (which is a misnomer by the way), so let’s get a few things straight:

    1) Harpham has suggested a few common sense changes, including things such as minor uniform changes. He is not reverting EPD back to the stone age as suggested
    2) Virtually every supervisor at EPD agreed the chain of command problem needed to be fixed…even Nielsen acknowledged this before his departure. There our policies and regulations that allow for officers to bypass supervisors that are the source of thief complaints.
    3) STOP with the age discrimination against Murl… It is against the law in the work place for starters and simply asinine. And by the way, Murl is still sharp as a tack. He certainly has shown far more poise and maturity than anyone on this blog.
    4) Harpham led the POP Unit and worked NOP years before it was even formed. He is directly responsible for much of it’s successes and you’re crazy if you think he intends to do away with it. In fact, he publically stated to his personnel that be wants to expand POP and he’s working on that as we speak.
    5) Yes, Murl is a traditionalist and perhaps not as progressive/forward thinking as some younger blood may be. For instance, he prefers to address issues and communicate face to face with individuals rather than through the anonymity/distance of the Internet/email/texting. Imagine first finding out via a department wide email that you were just demoted by the Chief? Garr did that to a decent employee during his early days at EPD when he made many of his greatest missteps. And by traditionalist, I really mean Murl walks what he talks, believes in honor and integrity, understands the importance of cultivating strong relationships within the community, and still understands being a cop is all about service. I like shiny new gadgets and modern tactics/approaches as much as the next guy/gal, but all these toys and strategies are worthless without character…and Murl has that in spades.
    6) Anyone ever consider that EPD’s massive staff turnover over the past few years may be a significant and independent factor in the much lauded changes attributed solely to Garr? As personnel have retired or moved on, EPD has had an infusion of new, rookie officers and lateral transfers from other departments. These officers tend to be much more proactive and energetic despite the rookies lacking experience. That means more visibility in your neighborhoods and more arrests. Just a thought…

  105. High Finance
    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the intelligent post Reason.

  106. tra
    July 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Anyone ever consider that EPD’s massive staff turnover over the past few years may be a significant and independent factor in the much lauded changes attributed solely to Garr? As personnel have retired or moved on, EPD has had an infusion of new, rookie officers and lateral transfers from other departments. These officers tend to be much more proactive and energetic despite the rookies lacking experience. That means more visibility in your neighborhoods and more arrests. Just a thought

    I think that makes some sense, but keep in mind that Nielsen has been attacked for “driving away” some of those former officers and bringing in a lot of rookies. So if people want to say he’s driven away the former officers, and replaced them with new blood, then it seems to me that he deserves some of the credit for any improvements that are due to the many new officers who came on under his watch and performed well under his leadership. That’s not to say that he deserves all the credit or even the bulk of the credit, and as his very admirable Guest Opinion piece in the Times-Standard made clear, he himself credited the rank-and-file officers themselves for the improvements.

  107. Pseudo Attorney
    July 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Sue Brandon…. got up in front of the City Council meeting today and said she was NOT an attorney. And guess what? She proved it when she talked about age discrimination which went out with the height requirement years ago. She thinks so highly of herself even insinuating she has the knowledge of an attorney however she always seems to be wrong! I hope my soon to be ex-wife retains Sue as her council. I’ll get the house and kids back.

  108. Anon
    July 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I WON’T argue about Murl giving many years of service to the city or that he is mentally ok. I WILL argue that he does not possess the physical prowess that is demanded of new recruits. An 80 year simply does not have the reflexes and physical abilities that a person 50,40,30,or even 20 years younger does. Period. There is good reason places like the FBI and FAA have age limits in place. Argue with them. The titular head of POP was a good place for Murl. It’s a great success. But the credit goes to the former chief, for fighting Tyson to establish it in the 1st place, and oh yes, he did have to fight for it.

    Murl is also not the honorable man you think he is. He has done many dishonorable things that his friends and officers know about, but won’t be talking about, for obvious reasons. Believe it or not, I don’t care, but it IS true. His affiliation with the old guard was well known, as was his quiet and constant backstabbing of the chief. There were legitimate reasons Murl was not chosen as acting chief when the former chief was away. Believe that or not, it IS true. And if you think his fingerprints weren’t all over the shabby treatment of the former chief, then you are deluded.

    The complexion, attitude, and demeanor of a police department come from the TOP. There may be many fine officers who want to be proactive instead of reactive and have a great relationship with the community, but unless the support is there from the top down, it won’t happen, and what you have left is what you had 5 years ago. Douglas sat in his office with the door closed, a few SWAT members accounted for 85% of the overtime, and there was an obscenely high number of police shootings in a short amount of time for a city this size. Thats why you got a new chief. He changed all those things and was given a contract in a unanimous yes vote by city council. That was the priority then.

    But the city manager’s priority has changed. Doesn’t matter if yours have or not. He wants someone with his same management style, if we are to believe his only public statement. And since no change comes without a price I just hope this one isn’t too high for the community yet again.

  109. tra
    July 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Let’s not forget that Tyson’s “management style” led to a sexual harrassment lawsuit that resulted in a $200,000 payout to the woman who was victimized by the harassment and then further victimized by Tyson’s failure to stop it.

    And now the same “management style” — where his personal vendettas seem to take precedence over everything else — is causing city taxpayers to have to shell out something on the order of $160,000 more because he chose to fire a popular and highly effective Police chief “without cause.”.

    Must be nice to just spend other peoples’ money, with four reliable sycophants on the city council to back you up all the way.

    So much for “fiscal conservatism.” I guess that’s just lip service for the voters.

  110. July 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    What ever happened to the results of that police survey?

  111. Anonymous
    July 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    OK here it is! larry !!! Get over it !!! You lost the elecion !! You are no longer on the city council !!! You no longer have the chief of police on speed dial to take care of you pesky little problems.

    Way to go Dave Tyson.

  112. Joel Mielke
    July 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    “You no longer have the chief of police on speed dial to take care of you pesky little problems”?

    Anonymous 7:30, if you have anything resembling brain matter lodged in your very thick skull, could you please make your point without the incontinent use of exclamations?

  113. Anonymous
    July 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Sue Brandenburg is intelligent and can read the law. No wonder your wife divorced you. You probably treated her like dirt because she was smarter than you and a woman. If your wife is able to understand the law I hope she cleans you out. Shouldn’t be difficult, you probably consume beer instead of reading. Pig!!!

  114. Joel Mielke
    July 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    “I hope my soon to be ex-wife retains Sue as her council. I’ll get the house and kids back.”

    The support of this guy is surely a comfort to the City Manager.

  115. Plain Jane
    July 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    You’re doing better than I am, Joel. I couldn’t tell which side the guy was supporting. And I’ve only had 1/2 a beer – so far.

  116. Reason
    July 1, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Anon 6:48:

    Murl doesn’t need the physical prowess of a 50 year old as Chief…he’ll be mostly off the streets. What dishonorable actions? Give examples or shut up. And I’m not saying he didn’t contribute to some behind the scene shenanigans against Garr – hell, the man demoted him without cause from Captain to LT. just to minimize his influence and then tried to make him irrelevant in the department. Garr actively undermined Harpham as if he was trying to make an enemy of him…I saw this with my own eyes.

    I don’t disagree about the top down importance of leadership and Garr deserves some credit for EPD’s accomplishments over the past few years. And the out of control overtime issues was true. The EPD shooting issues is BS and Garr has little to nothing to do with this. Cherie Moore is the only true questionable shooting and that is not about violent cops running out of control, but rather whether or not EPD should have waited a little longer before trying to resolve the stand off…and risking a fire that would have likely killed a trapped resident-damned if you do damned if you don’t … The rest of the shootings were found justified by a DA who has wet dreams about prosecuting cops, which should tell you something. And remember, Murl did a superb job as Chief with the 30 plus hour Johnnie Honda shooting.

    This is about Garr, not Murl. Keep it that way. Oh and by the way, Tawnie and Garr were definitely flirting heavily and inappropriately at work…I personally witnessed this. I can’t say they were having a physical affair because I have no first hand knowledge of this, but they were emotionally screwing. FACT.

  117. Another 2 cents
    July 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    How many coroners will it take to kill this city anyhow?

    Jesus.

  118. pattycakes
    July 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Reason, You can call it “emotionally” or whatever you want, it still doesn’t change the fact that Tawnie won her lawsuit, that DD lost hers, and that no evidence of any of it was ever found. If you witnessed her and the chief flirting then surely you witnessed the city manager panting and following her around? Cause that was going on a lot longer, wasn’t it? Convenient to forget that, especially since it was made public in the depositions and affirmed by Bass and others.

  119. tra
    July 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    “they were emotionally screwing.”

    Congratulations, you’ve won the Creepy Stalker Comment of the Day Award.

  120. anon
    July 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Another 2 cents, I love the humor on this blog, you rock!

  121. Plain Jane
    July 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Actually DD got a settlement even though all of her complaints – directly to Tyson – were investigated by outsiders and found to be without merit. I wish the Hansen and Wilson lawsuits had both gone to trial. Eureka might be a different town tonight if they had.

  122. anon
    July 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    DD got money to go away. The city caught her in more than 1 lie and wanted to get rid of her before it cost them more money.

  123. anon
    July 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    And with what DD lost in her payout to Tawnie, her attorney’s fees, the job offer that was rescinded and the pay she had been making I think it’s fair to say that she did not come out ahead. And that doesn’t even count the money she paid out to have the chief followed or flowers and gifts sent to him and Tawnie.

  124. Anonymous
    July 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Is Reason really Suzy?

  125. Reason
    July 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “Reason, You can call it “emotionally” or whatever you want, it still doesn’t change the fact that Tawnie won her lawsuit, that DD lost hers, and that no evidence of any of it was ever found. If you witnessed her and the chief flirting then surely you witnessed the city manager panting and following her around? Cause that was going on a lot longer, wasn’t it? Convenient to forget that, especially since it was made public in the depositions and affirmed by Bass and others.”

    Don’t know about the Tyson thing because he doesn’t hang around the department. I wouldn’t say “no evidence” was found…it would be more accurate to say they werent able to sustain the allegations to an actionable degree. Again, I can only comment on what I witnessed…an inappropriate level of familiarity and flirtation between the married former Chief and his married dispatch supervisor. Many people at EPD noticed this and it truely created an awkward work environment for a time. Texting, stealing sly yet obvious glances and smiles, riding places together alone…it was bizarre.

    For the record, I am not saying DD was an angel, nor am I even saying the Garr-Tawnie thing went all the way. I don’t personally know and I choose not to spread the rumors I heard from people claiming to know (though some of it sounds pretty damning).

    I’m done posting here after this…it’s about as productive as pounding my head against a wall. But let me say this: I don’t hate Garr at all. But just as there were good things, there also were legitimate issues in his administration and management of the department. Whether or not these issues as they stood at the time of his departure necessitated his early termination is open to debate even from my perspective. But I don’t think there is a wrong answer here. It was inevitable, whether now or at the end of his contract. Garr worked hard at selling himself and his department to the public so the public’s concern is understandable. But there also really truely were some legitimate internal issues.

    I think we need to look to the future and build upon the things he did improve. All the hate mongering and conspiracy theories arent going to bring him back. Murl Harpham, Jäger and the council arent the enemies here. I also respect healthy debate and the right (some even may say the responsibility) to question and seek answers. But some of the drivel spouted on this blog is astounding (also admittedly entertaining at times). Keep it productive folks.

    Oh, and Chief Garr wasnt the one riding into your neighborhoods to save the day. That’s the common men and women in uniform so please don’t forget to thank them.

  126. Anonymous
    July 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Should this last post be signed Suzy Owlsley? What is going on here.

  127. Down the Road
    July 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    It is not unusual to have in-house flirting in places of employment.
    If this was legitimate, the employee(s) had the right to address the
    complaint to a higher authority. The above law blog was not an higher
    authority. It was viscous and slanderous. D. Tyson had the
    authority to stop this. He did not. The depositions given by
    Bass, Tyson, and etc. were not available to the public. In fact,
    at this moment they are not in this state. They were not available
    to the public because they were not used as evidence. The city
    settled the T. Hansen lawsuit out of court because, it could have
    cost thousands of more dollars than the settlement. D. Tyson
    is responsible for this and he should resign his employment.
    I personally like M. Harpham. But, again the city is breaking the
    law. Eureka City code 34.59 Retirement Eligibility in part reads:
    or upon such person reaching the age of 65 years, shall order and
    direct that such person be retired from further active service in
    the Fire Department or Police Department. That statement does
    not include making a person in their 70’s acting Chief of Police.
    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act allows compulsory
    retirement for firefighters, law enforcement officers, and in some
    circumstances bona fide executives or those in high policy-
    making positions. We West Side people have records going back
    over 10 years. We can prove any allegation we make on the
    police department before G. Neilsen. If G. Neilsen acted inappropriately than it should have been addressed. He did make
    very positive changes.

  128. tra
    July 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Again, I would just urge you that if you are confident that the City fo Eureka is breaking it’s own laws, you should report this, in writing, to whatever agency or agencies have the authority to take action on this.

    I’m not sure if this would be the District Attorney, the Humboldt County Grand Jury, the State Attorney General, or what, but I do know that simply posting it on this blog is not likely to result in any action to remedy the situation.

    I recommend that you consult an attorney and take your allegations to the appropriate agency or agencies and/or file a lawsuit against the city to compel them to follow their laws. Again, an attorney should be able to tell you what your best course(s) of action would be, and I suspect that there must be at least one attorney in the area who is sympathetic to your concerns and would be willing to at least provide you with some advice and guidance, and possibly even help you prepare your complaint and/or provide you with pro bono representation as you pursue this matter.

  129. High Finance
    July 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    He won’t because he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  130. Auntie Arkley
    July 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Back to the bad old days. Tyson and the City Council (except Linda) are all a bunch of low-life assholes who should be run out of town in a tar-and-feather suit. (And they’d be lucky to escape with only that.)

  131. Anonymous
    July 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

    High Finance you are an asshole. You are so busy being a jerk saying shit you don’t know anything about.

  132. Down the Road
    July 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Fe: I regard you as an rectum appendage

  133. Anonymous
    July 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Does anyone remember that the first thing Garr did was demote Suzy Owlsly and Merle Harphan? It took them several years of lies, manipulation and backstabbing but they finally got their revenge on Garr. That should teach all outsiders. Don’t come to this town and don’t try making it into something better than a hog wallow!

  134. Anonymous
    July 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Yeah, “Reason” does sound like Suzy Owlsley, full of all kinds of info. Like EMOTIONALLY SCREWING? She is an expert at that I presume. What a patronizing bunch of crap in those posts.

  135. July 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Owsley didn’t seem to have any complaints about anonymous bloggers when it came to her buddy DeeDee Wilson’s Above the Law blog.

    Not surprising, Owsley and Wilson share the same lawyer.

  136. skippy
    July 5, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Does history repeat itself? Uncannily so.

    The North Coast Journal’s article by Ryan Burns and Hank Sims delivers a concurrent dose of deja vu and amnesia administered simultaneously:

    “At an April 2008 special meeting of the Eureka City Council, which was called to review Police Chief Garr Nielsen’s year-old contract, two vastly different depictions of the new chief emerged. Community members voiced support, characterizing him as a forthright and tough-minded reformer who was bringing needed change to the recalcitrant old guard. About a dozen departmental employees, on the other hand, said the chief was actually a vindictive bully…

    “Is it the work of a group of old-school EPD employees who have dug in their heels to resist reform at all costs, and who don’t mind dragging down the department and the city to get their way? Or is it the result of an incompetent manager who compensates for personal shortcomings and professional misconduct by crushing subordinates who have the means to blow the whistle on him? Is Nielsen a tough-minded reformer cleaning up a messy department, or just an asshole? Since litigation has clamped so many mouths, at this point it’s difficult to say where the truth lies. Each interpretation has its champions. It’s just possible that both are true, to one degree or another…

    “There’s only a few things that can be said with certainty. First: In this age of razor-thin budgets, the rift between Nielsen and some of his troops has cost the City of Eureka a whole lot of money…. And there’s no sign that these ongoing expenses are going to go away anytime soon. Second: The rift that has divided the department almost from the moment Nielsen came on board is about to explode.

    “… Tyson said that public scrutiny in this time of budget crisis requires public employees to be careful about how they are spending taxpayer dollars… Whatever the case, this is just one aspect of a beef that isn’t going away anytime soon. The public sector, (Larry) Glass rued, is a whole different animal than the private sector; you can’t simply fire someone who isn’t with the program…

    For their part, the anti-Nielsen side shows no sign whatsoever of backing down on their claims. And so one side or the other will have to be thoroughly defeated, legally and politically — a long, costly process with no guarantee of justice in the end, whatever justice might be in this case. The only certainties in the coming months are: a) the vast expenditures of taxpayer money, and b) ongoing dysfunction in the city’s most critical institution.

    (excerpted from the North Coast Journal, ‘Broken Blue Line’ July 2, 2009, found here)

    Wow. Mr. Burns and Mr. Sims are… eerily psychic. They wrote this timely article 2 years ago– almost to the day.

  137. anon
    July 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Wish people would quit saying Suzy was demoted, she wasn’t! She was always a PSO, hired as one and paid as one. Under the old guard she had worked herself into doing PIO stuff and recipe stuff and sitting at her computer, but she was never promoted into any other position. In fact, she has been denied in her claims every step of the way so far, and used all her sick time on “stress” which workmen’s comp also denied. The other PSO’s were very glad to see her actually made to do her job cause she thought her shit didn’t stink. The lawsuit is her last chance to gert any money from the city. They tried to move her to another department but no one wanted her. She tried to get another full time job while off on stress, in fact she was working part-time but had to quit that cause it’s a violation of being off on stress. Even her friend’s Cherie & Rob wouldn’t hire her. So enough about her being demoted. SHE WASN’t.

    Murl, on the other hand was. However, it did NIOT come with a pay cut or diminished status. If Murl was embarassed, well then what a baby he is he and certainly doesn’t have the department’s best interest at heart. It is sad that he, like Tyson & DD, have their work identities so tied into who they are as persons that they can’t stand any challenges or changes. The chief had only the 1 captain and eliminated captains from the command hierarchy, with an eye towards saving money down the road. The Lt’s are paid well to do that work and in a department the size of Eureka, do they really need 2 or 3 captains? No.

    So get your facts straight if you are gonna argue those point at least.

  138. Anonymous
    July 5, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for posting this link at 11:09.

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