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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Brigham brouhaha
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Thursday, May 24,2012

Letters | Brigham brouhaha

Brigham brouhaha

(Re: “Unzipped,” cover story, May 17.) As usual, excellent journalism by Boulder Weekly.

Please inform Seth’s lawyer that, barring any radical changes in the situation, I would be proud to testify on Seth’s behalf. I’ve already marked the date on my calendar and will be at the hearing.

I’m suggesting that if the papers wanted a good story, they should go through the minutes of past meetings and interview frequent speakers at council meetings like myself. Ask them what they think about this restraining order and if they would support council members who advocated this.

Whether the issue is sustainability and social justice (me), process issues or pesticides, we are passionate, not dangerous.

Question to staff: Mr. Carr, did you, as reported in BW, issue a press report stating that “Brigham would undergo ‘court-ordered mental health treatment’”?

His attorney said, according to BW, that: “You should apologize publicly to Seth Brigham and admit publicly that there never was any court-ordered mental health treatment, that Mr. Brigham was only asked to show that he has in fact been under treatment and has coop erated with his treatment provider. And you should admit that there was a clear difference of opinion whether Seth did anything to obstruct officers, with other witnesses agreeing with Seth. You should admit that it was really not a ‘plea agreement,’ in that Seth never withdrew his plea of not guilty and it still stands.”

Staff question: Mr. Carr, do you have any medical or mental issues that we should know about? Have you ever been to a psychiatrist?

Respectfully, do we really expect this behavior from the city attorney’s office (CAO)?

I hope Ariel Callone is not watching the hard work he put into the CAO’s office being flushed down the toilet.

By the way, what is the number of emails that the CAO’s office considers threatening?

Crystal [Gray] used to call me the 10th council member, does that mean I’m exempt?

This is a new low for the city of Boulder.

P.S.: I saw Seth the other day in the coffee shop. He gave me a hug. I wasn’t scared. He’s a pretty small guy.

Respectfully and non-dangerously submitted, Tim “Black Cowboy” Thomas/via Internet

More on Carr

The Brigham story just barely scratches the surface of Tom Carr’s murky world.

During Tom’s tenure as Seattle city attorney, there were extensive “excessive use of force” complaints against the police department of the city of Seattle. Imagine you’re the mom of a developmentally disabled teenager who gets his face smashed by a Seattle police officer — an officer who had done something similar on other occasions, but was still on the force because of corrupt internal review. Let’s be clear: Under Tom Carr there were 400 back-to-back-to-back non-disciplined “excessive use of force” cases. In other words, the officer was not held accountable with removal or suspension of his job — and in many cases, where an adjunct review board did recommend to Tom that he take disciplinary action, which Tom was actually responsible for doing, he did nothing.

The Federal Justice Department came in, and the deputy attorney general of the Human Rights Division, Thomas Perez, cited the entire oversight process as broken. In point of fact, he could have cited Tom Carr, but instead cited everyone, including Tom. In point of fact, though, it was up to Tom to act when others wouldn’t — or at the very minimum, act more appropriately on a case by case basis with victims of brutality. Google “Seattle brutality.”

In other videotaped cases, an innocent Hispanic man is kicked in the head by an officer while lying on the ground. In another case, a pregnant woman was tasered multiple times by three officers, and Tom appealed a federal judge’s ruling to allow the woman to move forward with a civil claim for damages. Tom did not lose the 2009 Seattle city attorney’s race to a relative newcomer by some weird accident, or, as he claims, because it was a “bad year for incumbents.” No, he lost the race in an absolute landslide because people were sick to death of seeing reports about police brutality and suffering victims. Jon Kita, an Asian restaurant owner, interviewed in the Seattle press about the videotaped “excessive use” assault he endured, put it this way: “How is it possible to get to 400 cases in a row with no discipline?” Indeed, how is it possible? It must be noted, Tom absolutely oversaw the contracts for civil claims defense of police officers alleged to have harmed people. During Tom’s tenure, the bill added up to $18 million dollars, which all went to one law firm which Tom helped choose. If at any time during those 400 non-disciplined cases there was a turnaround towards implementation of discipline, that would have caused the costs for handling those cases — the billings — to nosedive. Tom prevented that from happening.

The question remains, at what point in time did Tom become aware that the city of Seattle was receiving bad publicity for its brutality problems? Was it a year before the election? Could Tom have a rational understanding that he would lose — that in fact, the other side could nominate a doorknob, and he’d probably lose? In other words, what was the nature of Tom’s commitment to having this highly paid bunch of lawyers defend brutal officers? Did Tom somehow feel that his own personal sense of justice and duty serving the city of Seattle was more significant than the information he was getting from the ever-growing list of injured residents seeking bare compensation for their suffering?

Or did someone pay him to take his election loss with a smile and the “it was a bad year for incumbents” remark?

And how did the city of Boulder manage to hire him, at a pay increase of about $50,000 per year, without ever discussing the 2-to-1 margin of loss in the 2009 election, and the brutality issues which always went unresolved and which were lead stories in the local news, time and again?

Rob Smoke/Boulder

The facts on Komen

(Re: “Funding cut hurts county breast-cancer programs,” Uncensored, May 3.) “Boulder County has been hit hard by a decrease in funding from Susan G. Komen For the Cure.” Oh really?

The Susan G. Komen Foundation in Denver had a reduction in donations from $2.9 million to $2.5 million, a 13.7 percent drop. Their grant to Boulder County Women’s Health Center (BCWHC) was reduced by $35,000 — a 1.2 percent reduction.

Of course, you failed to include in your whining little article that BCWHC had revenues of $2.82 million (more revenue than the Komen Denver affiliate) and a profit of $109,406 in 2010! $35,000 is a rounding error at BCWHC!

You lose any and all credibility when you whine so loudly over so little. You sound just like the typical Boulder trust fund baby — never understood there are times when everything doesn’t go up.

Don Sherwood/Boulder

Editor’s note: BCWHC Executive Director Susan Levy responds: “The surplus noted by the writer for 2011 was directly a result of a capital campaign and renovation. Contributions are reflected as revenue, while renovation expenses are depreciated, thus the large surplus. This is not indicative of BVWHC’s capacity to cover the loss of the Komen funding, nor the need to secure resources to pay for breast screening services to low-income, uninsured women. And the writer states that the grant was ‘reduced’ — it was actually eliminated entirely.”

Danish is right on fracking

(“Boulder’s lifestyle depends on the use of fracking,” Danish Plan, March 17.) Finally, finally someone who shows some common sense on this whole issue of fracking!

We farm in Weld County and I own a local business in downtown Longmont, and I am so tired of the lies that are being placed on the fracking process.

Thanks so much, Paul, for your great article. I will pick up more Boulder Weekly papers to read what you have to say!

Carleen Burch/via Internet

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