Home > Uncategorized > Murl Harpham: The Once and Future Chief of EPD

Murl Harpham: The Once and Future Chief of EPD

Herald commenter SmokeMonster writes: “I can’t believe no story here on the whole police chief debacle.”

SmokeMonster presumably refers to the City of Eureka’s decision to remove the “Interim” from “Interim Police Chief” Murl Harpham’s title, when the local candidate the city hoped to hire declined to climb aboard Eureka’s “protect and serve” choo-choo.

The magnificent yet mild-mannered Thadeus Greenson brought you the news yesterday care of his employer, Eureka’s remarkable and uniquely unique Times-Standard, accessible to cheapskates via the Google.

Discuss to your heart’s content, folks.

  1. 69er
    August 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Like he said, he’s a sodier and will do his job as long as asked. Go Murl, a good and faithful man.

  2. August 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    69er :
    Like he said, he’s a sodier and will do his job as long as asked. Go Murl, a good and faithful man.

    Agreed!

  3. High Finance
    August 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Eureka is lucky to have him.

  4. Anonymous
    August 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    When chief’s get let go, Murl always takes over. That says it all. Thank you Murl!

  5. 69er
    August 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Before anyone gets me , it should be “soldier”.

  6. August 19, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Who was the local that declined to serve?

  7. August 19, 2012 at 4:13 am

    He’s waaaay past his Sell By date and should have retired long, long ago. Like in the late 20th century.

  8. Mitch
    August 19, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Christopher,

    For details, just click the colored link to the Times-Standard story.

  9. August 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

    He is a perfect fit for the EPD. I think that says it all.

  10. August 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    He abuses his authority. He stood over a young man while he was being beaten by an officer, while I filmed it, them went on tv and radio and claimed no force was used, and the victim was never taken to the hospital. Murl claimed on the radio and tv that if anyone had proof that officers had used batons on anyone that he would pay $1000 out of his own pocket.

    The case against the victim was dismissed, and there is a lawsuit pending for the abuse, yet I have not seen my $1000.00

    Murl is a disgrace to the uniform and should make ALL police officers cringe by association.

  11. Reads a Lot
    August 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Eureka City ordinance 34.59 in part reads: 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 the written application of any such firefighter or police officer, or upon 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.

    My questions are: Who enforces the City’s ordinances? Who are the protectors of the law? How can this local government completely ignore the law? The City of Eureka
    meaning David Tyson and the City Council have had no consequences for their
    illegal activity. Does the public have to hire their own attorney’s to sue for enforcement?

    There have been several violations of the Brown Act. One occurred this last Tuesday,
    when the decision not to hire a new Police Chief was not released until Friday. This
    information should have come during the Open Session of the City Council meeting.
    This also occurred during the firing of Garr Nielsen. Interesting that Mike Newman
    appears to be the spokesperson for these corruptions.

  12. Just Middle Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The Police Chief enforces the laws, or more accurately, the Police Chief often decides which laws the police officers enforce and which they ignore. Like the EPD officer who came in and out of the department daily to work with a warrant out for his arrest. Murl will enforce the laws on the rabble and poor who bring their problems Downtown. He’s our really good ol’ boy. We, the holders of wealth and property, are lucky to have him.

  13. Anonymous
    August 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Mandatory retirement age was eliminated by the federal government some time ago. The city ordinance just hasen’t been caught up. The changes in the law don’t apply to the federal government though,as usual.

  14. Qlue
    August 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    David Tyson is ultimately in charge of enforcing the personnel policies as well as enforcing city codes, ordinances and charter. If he fails to do his sworn duty, maybe a writ of mandamus?

  15. Buster Brown
    August 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Anonymous :
    Mandatory retirement age was eliminated by the federal government some time ago. The city ordinance just hasen’t been caught up. The changes in the law don’t apply to the federal government though,as usual.

    That’s actually a flat out lie as has been documented right here at the HH several times over the last several years………

  16. Albert Einstein
    August 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

    We could do worse than Murl, and in fact, we have. There was a time not too many years ago when Eureka was notorious for beating up poor and minority people just to feed the twisted pleasure of certain individual police. To his credit, Murl wasn’t known as one who got his jollies by beating up powerless people. Admittedly, that its a pretty low bar, but we’ve had chiefs and police who were nothing less than bullies in uniform.

    I do find it kind of hard to believe that there isn’t ANY other candidate who might be more qualified or up-to-date. But at least we can be confident he isn’t using this as a stepping stone to another job.

  17. Reads a Lot
    August 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Age Discrimination in the Employment Act (ADEA) in part reads: The Age Discrimination
    Act allows compulsory retirement for firefighters, law enforcement officers, and in some
    circumstances bona fide executives or those in high policy making positions.

    A 78 year old cannot perform physically or mentally as well as a younger person. Acting
    as a police chief in a high crime city, such as, Eureka is very difficult and requires a
    much younger person. Per capita this city has one of the highest crime rates in Ca.
    What happened to the physical and mental test given to active police force members?

    As a over 70 person I know very well of what I speak. Think about the cost of pretending to
    hire a new police chief has been. What about the retirement cost to the city?
    The city has already paid to Garr Nielsen all the back pay they owed him. Did you see that
    in the newspaper? No. Think about the younger police officers that have quit, due to no
    advancement.

    I personally think David Tyson is being an ass, or is and has been an ass.

  18. Isaac Newton
    August 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Albert Einstein :
    We could do worse than Murl

    It looks like we could do worse than George Bush too, if you take the Romney candidacy seriously. Take no comfort.

    At age 50 or 60 age discrimination means something. At age 80 it means very little.

    Look at the other end. There may be 16 year olds who are mature enough to handle an alcoholic drink now and then. Does our mandatory minimum age of 21 discriminate against them? Yep.

  19. 69er
    August 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I stand by my first remark, “Like he said, he’s a soldier and will do his job as long as asked. Go Murl, a good and faithful man. It really pisses me off to read the remarks of those who can only condemn those who really care about this community and want to tear down every one who serves and attempts to make life more livable in society that is rife with crime.

  20. Anonymous
    August 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Apparently, Murl has many years of inside knowledge about the excesses of Eureka’s police force and a compliant city government…his silence is worth padding his retirement…Good Ol’ Boys take care of their own.

    Garr didn’t stand a chance when he failed to distribute the usual overtime awards to certain officers who used it in the office doing squat.

  21. Just Watchin
    August 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you Isaac….a George Bush reference on a totally unrelated subject. I knew you had it in you! But really people, what does it say about your city when you can’t find someone to fill the job? You can’t even pay people to move there.

  22. Plain Jane
    August 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Since the top choice was local from the sheriff’s dept, the logical question would be, “What’s wrong with EPD that no one wants to lead it?”

  23. Reads a Lot
    August 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    My comments are not to cast a shadow on Murl Harpham. But, to bring attention to the
    fact that the City, namely David Tyson does not enforce the city’s ordinances. Before, Nielsen there was a yes man. He retired with something like $130,000 a year in pension. David Tyson was in the position to stop the “Above the Law” blog about Tawnie Hansen.
    He did nothing. He did bring in specialist to keystroke count his employees at the cost,
    I have told at $150,000, to see if the city’s employees were making disparaging remarks
    about him in the Humboldt Herald. Save Larry Glass and perhaps Linda Atkins?, I know
    of no other councilperson to try and help Tawnie Hansen. I have her diary through the
    whole god damn ordeal. This should be made public. This should be made public,
    through a competent jury. That let’s the Humboldt’s Grand Jury out. Part of what was
    not printed in the paper was this young lady was given pension for life. Cost to tax-
    payers unknown. While the citizen of this city remain passive, this City will continue
    to go downhill. The sucking sound is not the tide going out.

    Computer expert. Why are my comments not printing correctly? Should I auction off
    the diaries I have for the cost of legal counsel?

  24. August 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    There were a number of applicants for the job so it’s unfair to say nobody wants the job. Their #1 choice may have had any number of reasons for not taking it. Perhaps a job offer elsewhere he preferred?

    My question, which I asked on my blog, was what about the city’s #2 and 3 choices? Weren’t there four in the final pool of candidates?

    If the #1 choice didn’t want the job, why didn’t they offer it to #2? Maybe it’s just not done that way? It seems to me if #s 2 and 3 were good enough be be given that rating, wouldn’t that mean they’re good enough to take #1s place if #1 declines the job?

  25. Booster Seat
    August 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    If #1 declines the job, and the city then awards the job to Murl, who didn’t even apply, then applicants #2 and #3 who applied in good faith and followed the city’s prescribed personnel policies in their application (personnel policies have the force of law) then these two applicants can sue the city and win. If the city council and Dave Tyson awarded this job to Harpham in contravention of established policies then they committed an illegal act. Among other things this could mean that the council members are no longer bound by closed session confidentiality, since the council was committing an illegal act.

  26. Nadia
    August 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Mark Sailors :He abuses his authority. He stood over a young man while he was being beaten by an officer, while I filmed it, them went on tv and radio and claimed no force was used, and the victim was never taken to the hospital. Murl claimed on the radio and tv that if anyone had proof that officers had used batons on anyone that he would pay $1000 out of his own pocket.
    The case against the victim was dismissed, and there is a lawsuit pending for the abuse, yet I have not seen my $1000.00
    Murl is a disgrace to the uniform and should make ALL police officers cringe by association.

  27. Nadia
    August 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Have you posted this alleged video anywhere?

  28. High Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you Charles, for proving that not all the liberals here are haters.

  29. High Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Yeah Mark, put up or shut up.

  30. Anonymous
    August 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm
  31. Just Middle Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you High Finance, for proving that not all the conservatives here are haters Yeah,American, put up or shut up.

  32. Just Middle Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    “We could do worse than Murl,” Don’t worry Bert, we will.

  33. High Finance
    August 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Only a biased moron thinks that video proves anything.

    “Just Middle Finance” has again been proven factless. I swear to God I despair. I have very few intelligent liberals to debate against here.

  34. Anonymous
    August 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Ummm mark that was Sherif deputy in the vid supposedly beating the guy kicking him

  35. Anonymous
    August 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Anonymous :
    Ummm mark that was Sherif deputy in the vid supposedly beating the guy kicking him

    The statement was that Harpham stood over a young man while he was being beaten by an officer. The man is laying face down.

  36. Buckminster
    August 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

    The “left” in this town needs to grow a pair. It’s time to recall Brady. Please someone start a recall I pledge $100 if you do. What is it going to take to get you to get up off the ground and fight back? What level of corruption will get your attention?

  37. August 20, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Nadia :
    Have you posted this alleged video anywhere?

    Yes it is on my you tube channel (msailors95521) and it was aired on new channel 3.

  38. August 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    High Finance :
    Yeah Mark, put up or shut up.

  39. August 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Here are some links:

  40. August 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Here is the KMUD radio interview. the relevant parts start at 6:30
    http://archive.kmud.org/m3u.php?mp3fil=39252

  41. August 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

    PS,
    I am not a police hater, on the contrary, I have spent a good portion of my life teaching Martial Arts to Law Enforcement. On top of multiple black belts, I at one time was a certified defense tactics instructor. So lets not go with the “lefties hate the police rap” ok.

  42. Reads a Lot
    August 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

    What recourse does the public have, if the City of Eureka, violates its own
    ordinances? The Grand Jury, will ignore the question. I have proof of this.
    My next question would be: If you were to be arrested or issued a criminal
    violation during Murl Harpham’s tenure, would the accusation hold up in
    court? Could an attorney ask for a hearing on the capabilities of a police
    chief serving 13 years past the mandatory retirement age set by the
    City of Eureka?

  43. itsthebusinessstupid
    August 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Mike Newman has a firm grasp on Eureka’s future: http://shorl.com/pemalodragrefi

  44. 06em
    August 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    The link about looks harmful. Don’t click it.

  45. August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Plain Jane :
    Since the top choice was local from the sheriff’s dept, the logical question would be, “What’s wrong with EPD that no one wants to lead it?”

    A good question. The answer is Murl Harpham. Period.

    Eurekans get what they deserve. And those of us that don’t, we eat it either way.

  46. August 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Fred, the whole things a scam and it was right from the beginning.

  47. itsthebusinessstupid
    August 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    The link is legit 6em, I used shorl because Heraldo doesn’t like youtube videos in the threads. It goes to the same youtube video you posted.

    Back to the video, the important thing is not how stupid New Man is (there is afterall plenty of precedent for stupidity on the Eureka City Council) but please note the very helpful “unbiased” reporter (whats her name?) prompting the New Man with Marina Center talking points when he falters. I bet the reporter got a real nice candygram from Arkley the next morning.

    This is every bit as embarrassing for CH 3 and professional journalism as the poop and pee video. Both of them will be shown t in journalism schools for decades as hilarious examples of journalism FAIL.

  48. Anonymous
    August 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @ itsthebusine Which Ch 3 reporter are you referring to?

  49. 06em
    August 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Sorry to dis your link. That site wigged out my WOT add-on, and I thought it better to be cautious.

    I think that without the prompting by the reporter he would have gone stumbling on – not finishing sentences – for, easily, the next 20 minutes.

  50. Amy Breighton
    August 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    It’s unbelievable that Ron Kuhnel lost to this wanker. Thank you for the video!

    Mike Newman said there needs to be change…Ha Ha…looks like Eureka ain’t never gonna get none thanks to the development community, the Chamber, the Rotary and their Church.

  51. Calvin Coolidge
    August 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Thats hilarious. Dude was hammered, I believe. Otherwise, how do you explain incoherence? He couldn’t even remember the ‘business of america is business’ mantra that I spake to all republicans back in the 1920’s, and which still resonates with the important folk today.

  52. Amy Breighton
    August 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Yeah…just like all those other local council candidates on election night in public settings…

    NOT…

  53. Anonymous
    August 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Mark, whatever happened with the pedi cab business you started?

  54. August 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Word has it on the streets that Harpham receives a salary and a pension check. It is NOT on the City Manager’s ‘job’ description to hire or fire a Chief of Police. Eureka’s colorful brochure describing the position, has the Chief of Police under the direction of the City Manager. Hiring and firing of a Chief of Police has ALWAYS been a Mayor’s decision.

  55. August 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Anonymous :
    Mark, whatever happened with the pedi cab business you started?

    We had some insurance issues this summer, but have finally secured a new carrier at an affordable rate. You should be seeing the pedicab back on the streets in the coming weeks.
    Thanks for asking

  56. Anonymous
    August 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I am glad to hear it. Thanks for answering.

  57. Anonymous
    August 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Forest Queen is wrong on every letter. Hiring and firing the police chief is the job of the city manager. Word has it on the streets that Forest Queen and many on this thread are just making shit up as they go along.

  58. August 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Anonymous,
    I can see you know your his story.

  59. Anonymous
    April 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I mean seriously, Mr. Murl Harpham, when your training officer gets arrested for excessive use of force will you take responsibility? Does the buck stop with you?

    How much more do we need to endure just so you can spike your pension like Tyson did?

  60. April 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Contrary to what many beLIEve, the Mayor (as an elected Official, with an Oath to the people, and a Bond to back that Oath up in the public) legally and lawfully hires and fires a City’s Chief of Police. ALWAYS has! Why would any one of us accept a STATE Corporate employee, labeled City Manager, who is not elected, has no Oath to the people, and is not Bonded, to hire or fire the people’s Chief of Police? Duh.

    BTW – the City of Eureka can’t produce their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Why? Ahh, oh gee, BEEcause it isn’t finished. This is now 10 months after the close of their June 30, 2012 fiscal year. All of those Accountants and Auditors on the city payroll and they just can’t seem to close last year’s books. Pathetic!

    Not to worry, perhaps the City of Eureka will follow in the footsteps of the Supes. and ‘Amend’ an audited CAFR 18 months after the fact. P.S. There ain’t no such animal as ‘Amend’ in accounting.

  61. April 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Anonymous @60,
    How much more do we need to endure so M.H. can spike his pension? Last week CalPers “considered” voting to give themselves a 50% hike in their wages over the next 5 years.

    Coincidentally (Not), early last Monday (8th) in the case of the City of Eureka as Plaintiffs v the people as Defendants, the alleged judge received papers (from City’s Attorney/Counsel) into the court record, what was later labeled as a “VALIDATION ACTion,” and ruled in favor of the City either late Wed., or Thurs. CLOSED the case so that none of the people can file into that court record. This is a matter about paying the STATE employees’ CalPers amounts, that legally requires a 2/3 in the Affirmative BALLOT vote by the people of Eureka.

    It gets better – the Notice of the ‘ruling’ came via mail from a SACRAMENTO law firm, Orrick.

    “An attorney for the plaintiff cannot admit evidence into the court. He is either an attorney or a witness.” Trinsey v Pagliaro (1964).

    “Valid ACT” – my snow-white ass.

  62. Just Watchin
    April 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Forest Queen…. BEE….LIEve me…..no one pays any attention to what you say. Did you think that a little time off would make you more beLIEvable? You’re a fucking idiot……accept it.

  63. Just Watchin
    April 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Citizens alert……on another blog, Forest Queen has stated that she knows “facts” that connect the murders in Aurora, Sandy Hook, and the Boston bombings. Anyone knowing the identity of Forest Queen might want to contact authorities.

  64. April 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    When people here in the Pacific Northwest are confronted with an opinion, of a PERSON,
    on the other side of the map, should be concerned, and bothered . . . BEEcause?

    Right, let’s not discuss what’s in front of our faces, breathing down our necks, extorting our wealth and energy, mainly via fraudulent conveyance of language (with no agreed-upon definitions). The problems will just go away huh? Just sweep’em under the rug.

    Should we instead turn our attention/energy to this week’s media-spotlight-Show,
    The Boston Massacre? – also on the other side of the map.

  65. Just Watchin
    April 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Again…….if you know the identity of Forest Queen, contact local authorities or the FBI.

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