Pruitt no longer new police chief; harassment claim, protection order come to light

Last week, after the Edmonds City Council moved up the decision date for selecting a new police chief, I promised that we would look into the process that Mayor Mike Nelson’s administration followed in the police chief selection. We have continued to do that work for the past week, and are publishing what we have learned so far because the process matters, especially since the mayor has announced the city will launch a new national search for a chief early next year. — Teresa Wippel, Publisher

Sherman Pruitt, whom the Edmonds City Council one week ago confirmed as the city’s new police chief, was terminated from his first law enforcement job in 2004. Our investigation also produced other documents on a harassment allegation, and Pruitt testified in federal court that he was investigated for domestic violence against his two wives in a span that goes back two decades.

My Edmonds News has also learned that city councilmembers, the mayor and the human resources director were provided with documents regarding the allegations of domestic violence before the 4-3 vote to hire him took place Dec. 8.

While a move to discuss Pruitt’s background was quashed during that meeting, Mayor Mike Nelson announced Tuesday that his preferred candidate would not become chief because he had “omitted relevant details from his application.” The city will conduct a new search for the next police chief.

In 2004, Pruitt applied to be a Seattle police officer. In July 2004, the department wrote to Pruitt, congratulating him on passing his physical exam, adding: “We would like to extend you a Final Offer of Employment as a police recruit.” Three months later, SPD terminated Pruitt from the force.

From the Seattle Police termination letter for Sherman Pruitt

My Edmonds News has obtained documents confirming Pruitt’s hiring and termination. When Seattle hired him, the department assigned Pruitt to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center rookie class in Spokane. Class began in July 2004.

Just two months into his academy training and while still a probationary recruit, Pruitt was investigated by police in DuPont (Pierce County) for a harassment incident at a local restaurant. Pruitt’s wife, Melody, worked at Farrelli’s restaurant, and had a confrontation with a manager and either left work or was sent home, a police report said. 

Witnesses told police that Sherman Pruitt then went to Farrelli’s and confronted the manager.

The manager told the officer who responded that Pruitt said “he was going to kick his ass, to go outside and take care of it right now. Yeah, I got your ass; wait ‘til you come to Seattle.” 

The manager said “that he (Sherman) has mentioned in the past that he was going to be a Seattle cop and had no problem saying it,” according to the police report.

(Excerpt of DuPont police incident report – 9/18/2004)

In the incident report, Pruitt told the investigating officer that “he did not make any threats like he was accused of.” The officer said Pruitt told him “he was in the (Police) Academy to be a Seattle cop and did not want to ruin that.” 

DuPont police warned Pruitt but did not file charges.

One month later, the Seattle Police Department terminated Pruitt for “Failure to successfully complete Probationary Period” with no further explanation.

Pruitt declined to comment when questioned by My Edmonds News, saying, “I’m sorry, I’d rather not talk about anything right now.” 

Asked about his time with the Seattle Police Department, Pruitt replied, “I don’t want to discuss anything” and hung up the phone.

Sherman Pruitt

What did the City of Edmonds know?

Prior to a Nov. 12 recruiting interview with Pruitt, all members of the city council received a city job employment information packet with Pruitt’s personal and professional background. We have learned that there was nothing in that packet regarding his time with Seattle police. There was also no information about domestic violence incidents involving Pruitt that were previously reported in testimony in a federal civil rights lawsuit he and his wife filed against the city of Arlington.

In that 2009 federal trial, attorneys for Arlington asked: “Now, Mr. Pruitt, you’ve been the subject of a domestic violence investigation involving your wife, isn’t that true?”

Pruitt answered: “Yes,” court records show.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in that case, he testified. When asked if he was also the subject of another domestic violence investigation involving his first wife when the couple lived in Oceanside, Calif., Pruitt testified that “we had some verbal arguments but not a domestic violence investigation, no.”

Pruitt was serving in the Marine Corps at the time. Following those arguments, his wife secured a “military protective order” to keep him away from her, he testified in the 2009 trial. His commander then ordered Pruitt to attend a 16-week men’s program because of his wife’s allegations.

None of those issues from the testimony in that federal civil rights trial were provided in the November background packet to Edmonds city councilmembers. 

When Councilmember Vivian Olson brought them up during the Dec. 8 council meeting during which Pruitt was confirmed on a 4-3 vote, Edmonds Human Resources Director Jessica Neill Hoyson said she did not think it was an appropriate subject for a public meeting. 

When City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas asked if Pruitt had been convicted of domestic violence, Hoyson said the city’s background check revealed no criminal convictions.

Edmonds police officer qualifications

According to the Edmonds police webpage profile on the national police career search qualifications website, any domestic violence incident, not just a conviction, is an “automatic disqualifier” for any officer seeking a “lateral” move (in this case, chief-to-chief). “Applicants should not apply to our agency (Edmonds police) if they indicate any of the automatic disqualifiers,” the Edmonds webpage notes. Edmonds police say that means “admission of any act of domestic violence as defined by law, committed as an adult.”

During the December 8 meeting, when Olson questioned whether the background investigation had been thorough enough, Mayor Nelson replied: “I’m not going to have this be questioning the abilities of my human resources director.” 

A motion was made to discuss the issue in executive session and not in public; Councilmembers voted it down.

My Edmonds News has learned that on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 6, a 60-page copy of Pruitt’s federal testimony was emailed to all councilmembers, Mayor Nelson and Human Resources Director Neill Hoyson. That was two days before the confirmation vote.

The mayor’s spokesperson, Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty, said Tuesday afternoon the mayor wouldn’t be available for an interview to answer followup questions on what details Pruitt omitted from his application materials, adding Nelson “considers this a private, legal employment matter and can’t offer any more comment.”

Edmonds resident Alicia Crank, who was a member of the community panel that interviewed Pruitt, said she was “glad some resolution has come with the immediate issue,” but added she felt that the mayor’s statement “was slightly backhanded. Our police department, while not perfect, has been a positive example among other departments in the state.”

“I hope a positive behavioral shift in our city leadership will be transparent, in hopes of being able to attract great candidates for the chief’s role,” Crank said. “In the interim, I hope Acting Chief (Jim) Lawless will stay on board and help navigate the department and this process.”

Lawless, an Edmonds Police Department veteran, was the other finalist — along with Pruitt — for the chief’s job. We were unable to reach Lawless to confirm his future plans.
— By Bob Throndsen

 

 

 

57 Replies to “Pruitt no longer new police chief; harassment claim, protection order come to light”

  1. This is a sad tale. Sounds like Edmonds needs to clean house. First the Mayor rushes the selection process. Anytime I’m told to buy now I know it’s a scam. Why was this rushed? Then when due diligence was not performed the Mayor blames the citizens of Edmonds for the outcome!! What about the Edmonds Police Department? They seem to do a fine job in spite of the Mayor. This whole incident was shameful.

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    1. Dear Mayor Nelson,
      Coach Jon Wooden said “you are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes”

      1. You had a highly qualified and well respected internal candidate in Assistant Chief Lawless
      2. You rejected him (after praising his qualifications, and saying he was your man), for someone with a much lesser resume, and thin qualifications (police chief of a 300 person town).
      3. You rushed the process, and in that process you either ignored or glossed over serious lapses of judgement in the candidate you selected – most or all of which you and the City Council were aware of.

      YOU are the person responsible for those mistakes.

      Now you want to waste more Edmonds taxpayer funds on a national search for what purpose?
      Please explain to the good tax-paying citizens of Edmonds exactly what problem you are trying to solve with this convoluted, flawed, rushed and now expensive process?

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      1. Entirely correct, this is a self made mess, and Mayor Nelson has an opportunity to apologise and work to make this right for the city.

        So far, I have only seen him attack the citizens of this city with false accusations and frankly flat out lies. That may make the Mayor feel better about himself, but it certainly does not address the heart of the issue for why corners were cut, and mistakes from our leadership were made. Everyonee makes mistakes, I truly hope that the Mayor will take some time to calm down and deal with this in a rational and professional manor.

        Personally I find that people willing to admit their mistakes and strive to do better to be one of the most important traits of one’s character. Being Mayor requires that you put the needs of the city over your own pride.

        I hope that both the Mayor and Council president will take some time to try to address the lost trust and respect that they have diminished with this city.

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  2. Great thanks to all those who continued candidate investigations beyond the mayoral and council appointment decision. The performance of our elected officials and treatment of both Mr. Pruitt and Acting Chief Lawless has been appalling and an embarrassment to all of us who live here in Edmonds. Many apologies would seem to be in order and a personal Thank you to Chief Lawless for enduring this unjust process.

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  3. The process was flawed. We did two things – 1. We accomplished what the goal was, to make the process more transparent. 2. We gave the Council and the Mayor a learning opportunity. Unfortunately, we (the Council is “We” collective) took us through some very difficult and very trying challenges, and it appears, they will spend additional money on another search. (Are there candidates that can be reviewed from the first search?)

    We have a responsibility to check authority. We have a responsibility to challenge authority. The only place we really have control in the way our futures are shaped politically is in local politics. When that right is taken away through maneuvering, it effects every one of us.

    I do not care where we attempt to place blame, that is for the courts or lawyers or philosophers to decide. The process, if more transparent, if more thorough, if more open, would have avoided this entire situation. The voters will reward or chastise our elected officials via their votes.

    The most important thing that came out of this for all of us – we can, as a collective, bring equity and justice to Edmonds through transparency, honesty, and an active citizenry. I encourage Council to do the same.

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    1. It is nice to see Mayor Nelson take stock of his decision, and decide to change his mind.
      Omission of serious past charges on his resume show a lack of honesty….to say the least. The fact that the omissions were done purposely should be noted also.
      There is something to be said about ” paying your dues”….which I consider acting police chief Lawless has done with his tenure here in Edmonds.
      I think it is important for the police officers in Edmonds who aspire to advance in rank; to know that they have a even shot at doing what Chief Lawless is now trying to accomplish.
      Hard work and dedication. What’s wrong with that?
      I wonder what keeps the Mayor from appointing the current chief as permanent one? Personal reasons? Does anyone know the truth?

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  4. What is unfortunate is that there was opportunity to “do right” by both Mr. Pruitt and Chief Lawless but an objective process – with the intent of determining who was the best-fit and best-qualified – was overlooked or ignored to address an apparent widespread issue that lacks supporting data.

    When those trusted to govern on behalf of all citizens in a non-partisan manner violate that trust and contract, no one benefits.

    The timeline of discovery is revealing, the mayor’s response is truly unbecoming and arrogant, and the damage to this city (not to mention the legal exposure and costs) is squarely on the shoulders of the Mayor, HR, the four councilmembers who voted to rush the process and the council president.

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  5. I listened to King 5 news and one of our council members called the town of Edmonds “Racist”?! Really? So this is why one candidate for chief is chosen? And now we find out the facts of Mr. Pruitt that would have been responsible for the town and its citizens safety over a push to show we are diverse?! Voters of Edmonds please wake up as this is how Seattle ended up in the mess that it’s in now. You hire talent based on their skills and merit, not skin color. The council and mayor need to resign, now. We have a wonderful beautiful little town we must protect it from people like these. I love Edmonds and this type of politics doesn’t belong here.

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  6. News Flash: public officials and their agents have an absolute duty ( financial and fiduciary) to account for, explain, justify, answer orally and/or in writing to the citizen taxpayers of the respective jurisdiction – absent attorney client privilege or statutory exception. The peevish, ill tempered, unprofessional and “small” response by MN below is arrogance and hubris to the extreme. The buck stops with you or at least it should. Remember – it’s not the mistake as much as the coverup. Except in this case on top of the coverup you have unjustly and unfairly hurt and damaged the reputations of two fine men. For no discernible reason. None of it makes sense. You know it doesn’t. All of Edmonds knows it doesn’t. Blaming your abysmal handling of this matter on your constituents is a shameful and transparent (please do research the concept of transparent and your lack thereof) attempt at deflection. Be sure to also alert the city’s liability carrier and budget in the city’s liability deductible for 2021.

    “Councilmember Vivian Olson questioned whether the background check on Pruitt was as thorough as it needed to be, which elicited a sharp reply from Nelson. “I’m not going to have this be questioning the abiilities of my human resources director,” he said.”

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  7. Several commenters have proposed selecting Asst. Chief Lawless as permanent chief, and on the merits that makes perfect sense. But has anyone asked Jim Lawless if he’s still interested? The way Mayor Nelson has treated him and bungled the whole selection process, now totally fallen apart, Jim may have already opted out. Relationships can be damaged beyond repair.

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  8. I am eternally grateful to MyEdmondsNews and our neighbors worked fast and hard to investigate and present this upsetting information to the public. I am extremely disappointed in everyone who worked fast and hard to hide this information from the public.

    I had been somewhat sympathetic to this process, having served on boards where we had access to sensitive information but we were bound by non-disclosure agreements not to share private employment history… it’s a painful situation to be in, but we still VOTED based on the information we had and ended up upsetting our members because we fired employees and not being able to share the details behind the decision, especially because children were involved, but I have no understanding for why all of those involved in the Edmonds Chief of Police process chose to continue down this path when they had the benefit of these truths. To say our trust is the system is shattered, would be an understatement.

    Edmonds deserves leadership that can help us heal, quickly. I hope we find some soon.

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  9. It is nice to see Mayor Nelson take stock of his decision, and decide to change his mind.
    Omission of serious past charges on his resume show a lack of honesty….to say the least. The fact that the omissions were done purposely should be noted also.
    There is something to be said about ” paying your dues”….which I consider acting police chief Lawless has done with his tenure here in Edmonds.
    I think it is important for the police officers in Edmonds who aspire to advance in rank; to know that they have a even shot at doing what Chief Lawless is now trying to accomplish.
    Hard work and dedication. What’s wrong with that?
    I wonder what keeps the Mayor from appointing the current chief as permanent one? Personal reasons? Does anyone know the truth?

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  10. I will add another note of appreciation for the superb due diligence by Teresa Wippel and Bob Throndsen. Thank you for gathering the facts and laying them out in a comprehensible manner.

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  11. In light of the serious missteps by HR, by the Mayor (who is hiding behind a technicality, because he did in fact know of the SPD information as well as the DV investigations prior to the vote), the council president and the four who pushed the Pruitt nomination through – causing undue emotional stress to the candidates and to this city, it only seems appropriate that you step down. Follow the lead of the former Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw:

    “I think it’s best for me (Mayor, HR, and the Five) and the city that I love to remove myself from the [council] at this time and from the mayorship so that the city can move forward and be the best that it can be, because I believe in the city.”

    It is time to restore trust and integrity back into our local government.

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  12. Thank you My Edmonds News for this timely, detailed, and comprehensive investigative journalism. I’m proud –as all Edmonds’ citizens should be– to live in a town where a local media organization can perform at such a high level –providing accurate, well sourced information– to keep the community appropriately informed, even when issues may be controversial or challenge the decision-making processes of local government. This is especially important in these times when government officials as well as some citizens cry out, “fake news” and promote unfounded conspiracy theories when reporting is not consistent with their expectations or personal interests. You are a credit to the Fourth Estate!

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  13. Despicable!
    Totally biased incompetence.
    The “buck” stops with those who elected these officials.
    How did these people get elected in the first place?

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    1. I voted for Mike Nelson when I was 18 and voting for the first time simply because I liked his statements on managing growth in Edmonds, and I appreciated his opposition to the waterfront connector. That’s it, because in my mind that’s the biggest sort of issue a mayor of a town of 40,000 should tackle. I clearly made a mistake.

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  14. Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
    Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

    ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practice to deceive’

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  15. This morning when I heard the news about this fiasco, the first thing I thought, great now we can give the Right Person, Chief Lawless the job. But then I see another National Search is being started. Why? The runner-up is available, do the right thing, hire him. If not who is this hire actually supposed to please? I thought it was our community as a whole. I want to congratulate Council members Vivian Olson, Diane Buckshnis and Kristiana Johnson (yes I support all of them) for their continuing to support the Edmonds Community in getting this to its proper resolution. I am somewhat disappointed that the Council and the Mayor had the information they are now using to disqualify Officer Pruitt, before they voted 4 to 3 to hire him. Then when Vivian Olson tried to discuss this information the Human Resources person and the majority of the Council quickly shut that down. It sounds like he was hired for other reasons and some of our representative’s wanted to do that and hide some things from us, their constituents. We need, as a community, to demand better representation.

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  16. When I was hired by the Snohomish County Sheriff in 2002 I had to detail every part of my life from high school onward (and I was in my mid-40’s). And, the SCSO investigated everything! The background was absolutely top-to-bottom though.
    The Seattle incident is a huge red flag that should have disqualified this candidate or at the very least been included in the employment packet for further discussion. If the city was relying on self-disclosure from the candidates…that is unacceptable. If the background investigation did not uncover this incident…that is unacceptable.
    We don’t want a David Brame incident in our city. Brame was the former Tacoma Police chief who murdered his wife and committed suicide. Twenty years before a psychologist stated he was not fit for police work. Due diligence is the key and let the chips fall where they may.
    Changes must be made to the process.

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  17. Teresa and Larry you are examples of the best of journalism. People need to support you and others who adhere to high standards.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, but I must beg off on this one. All credit for the great work that went into this story goes to Bob and Teresa. So proud to be on the same team with them.

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      1. MEN, possibly the best local reporting I’ve ever seen. Also wish the process pumped the breaks long before this much dirty laundry needed to be seen. There’s no need to put Pruitt through this. I hope he talks to an attorney.

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  18. Shame on you Mayor Nelson and Council Members Luke Distelhorst, Adrienne Fraley-Monilas, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson!!!

    You rushed a very important decision to make a feel good political statement. The police chief plays one of the most important roles in a community and you took this very important decision and turned it into a progressive political agenda. Shame on you. Do you forget that you represent us, the citizens of Edmonds? Why do you think you have the power to rush a process, especially when you have information that should raise a red flag and give you pause to make sure the road you are going down is the right one. What the 5 of you did is not leadership its actually a dictatorship. You ignored the wishes of the people you represent, rushed a process that is very important and called the citizens of Edmonds racist in the process. You also decided to not select someone based on the color of their skin which is in and of itself racist. And now you deflect the blame on your horrible decisions and cannot except ownership??? Who do you think you are? Don’t you know that you have accountability to the people that live here? Do the right thing and make Mr. Lawless our Chief. I know that would be really hard for you to admit your mistake, but you have a duty to correct the mess you made and do the right thing here!!

    I will do everything I can to make sure the 5 of you are never re-elected in Edmonds again. Go back to Seattle!!!!

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    1. I will do the same in the next election. These people Should all be voted out and I will do everything possible to help that happen.

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  19. I, along with others in Edmonds want to know why you are starting another nation wide search for a police chief?
    What is wrong with chief Lawless and why are you discarding him from the choice?
    These are important questions we as tax payers and citizens deserve answers to.
    It is time for the mayor and city council to be respectful and honest with the citizens of Edmonds.
    These questions deserve answers and we are waiting to hear them.
    Spending more tax payer money for another search is not what we want at all.
    Just the truthful answers.
    Ingrid Wolsk

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    1. The mayor and council have awakened to find out that their attempt at being “Woke” has backfired! The new search is “Woke” again trying to find a person that is diversified rather than give the assignment to the runner-up, a qualified and respected police officer, Mr. Lawless.

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  20. YES!! what rod james schick said….to a T.

    THIS in a nutshell, is why I hate politics so much….and stupid political decisions, which this whole process was.

    shameful.

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  21. At this point I would be calling for a special investigation by either the city attorney or outside council to determine who knew what, when. This should never have unfolded the way it did unless something else was going on behind the scenes. The warning flags were there before the vote, which itself was advanced by a week. Once we get all the information transparently, then we can decide if a recall is warranted, assuming resignations don’t come first.

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  22. …and in addition, the mayor in his public comments suggested that it was the public’s fault in how we reacted that changed his mind, that he is disappointed with us, and that he hopes it never happens again. Like a parent scolding their children. This is the same person who when asked if more time could be taken to review Pruitt’s qualifications for the job became unhinged simply by being asked for more time and transparency, taking it as a personal affront on him and his HR staff whose job it is to make sure this process is vetted with taxpayer money. Frankly, at a loss of words to how angry it makes me that an elected official is so dedicated to saving face versus humbly admitting that the situation was mishandled. Yes, Edmonds does some have problems, the main ones being Seattle’s “problems” quickly moving up to our community as they cannot seem to figure out their own governance. I say that with a deep understanding of the ills society is facing right now. But those problems are partially solved by a police force that understands and respects the community they serve.

    I see another major problem forming now in our city: our mayor. I had deep concerns when Nelson was elected, and those concerns have now increased exponentially. I hope citizens remember all that has happened here when it is time to vote again.

    Extremely thankful for a local news outlet and involved citizens that decided to get involved in this. It is THIS process that makes me proud of our city, not our elected officials who are walking all over us.

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  23. Great and courageous reporting by Bob and Theresa. You shined a bright light into a very dark corner. We now know why Mayor Nelson and City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas rushed the vote to confirm Mr. Pruitt. They knew then what they now claim has just come to light about Mr. Pruitt. NO transparency, just back room politics to advance their social justice agenda for Edmonds. I have known every Mayor of Edmonds going back to Gordon Maxwell. None would try this stunt and I suspect those former Mayors still alive are embarrassed for the City of Edmonds by this action. Trust and respect are the attributes of a true leader. Hardest thing for one to attain and the easiest to lose. Sadly, Mayor Nelson and City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, along with Council Members Luke Distelhorst, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson have lost the trust and respect of Edmonds citizens.
    They could start restoring trust by honoring the Mayor’s original commitment to appoint Jim Lawless as our Chief of Police.

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  24. This is ridiculous. I agree with Mark that this is the reason the vote was rushed. City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Mayor Nelson need to point blank say exactly why they thought Mr Pruitt was a better choice than Assistant Chief Lawless, giving the specific reasons for their choice. Because right now it looks like they just wanted to virtue signal about how progressive they are to hire a police chief a particular race.

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  25. And in addition, the mayor in his public comments suggested that it was the public’s fault in how we reacted that changed his mind, that he is disappointed with us, and that he hopes it never happens again. Like a parent scolding their children. This is the same person who when asked if more time could be taken to review Pruitt’s qualifications for the job became unhinged simply by being asked for more time and transparency, taking it as a personal affront on him and his HR staff whose job it is to make sure this process is vetted with taxpayer money. Frankly, at a loss of words to how angry it makes me that an elected official is so dedicated to saving face versus humbly admitting that the situation was mishandled. Yes, Edmonds does some have problems, the main ones being Seattle’s “problems” quickly moving up to our community as they cannot seem to figure out their own governance. I say that with a deep understanding of the ills society is facing right now. But those problems are partially solved by a police force that understands and respects the community they serve.

    I see another major problem forming now in our city: our mayor. I had deep concerns when Nelson was elected, and those concerns have now increased exponentially. I hope citizens remember all that has happened here when it is time to vote again.

    Extremely thankful for a local news outlet and involved citizens that decided to get involved in this. It is THIS process that makes me proud of our city, not our elected officials who are walking all over us.

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  26. If anyone would like to join me I am having some signs made at Russell Signs and will carry them around downtown and city hall this weekend. I am not sure a lot of people in this town know what has happened. I actually found out from a friend of mine who lives in Maple Valley. I am not going to let this go away. WE need to let our community know what our leadership is doing and what their agenda is. If you are interested email me at:

    rjpar3@yahoo.com

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    1. Oops, I goofed. I meant to credit Bob. Senior moment! Excellent job , Bob. Larry is a great journalist also.
      Dorothy

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    2. Given what we knew about Mr. Nelson’s character before the election, his current behavior does not surprise me. I think you make a very good point that too few get (or seek) information about those they are voting for. Thank you to MEN and others who investigated and letters for keeping us informed.

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  27. Why search for another Chief of Police when we have Jim Lawless ?… He has faithfully dedicated over two decades to the Edmonds Police Dept and our community. I also commend him during his time as acting chief of police and the dept for recruiting and hiring minorities to serve and protect our community.
    I’m sure the majority of Edmonds residents feel our taxes should not be wasted on another search for a police chief when we have Jim Lawless.
    Our 4 council members and mayor need to swallow their pride and vote Jim Lawless as our cities
    “Official ” Chief of Police ASAP !!!
    Thanks Bob ,Teresa .and Vivian …
    Happy Holidays to All !!!
    Debbie Ryden

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  28. Michael Nelson, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Luke Distelhorst, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson have intentionally harmed the citizens they were elected to represent. If they had any honor they would resign immediately. Failing that, they must be recalled. Is there a recall effort in progress? If not, how do we start it?

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  29. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the outstanding investigative reporting done by My Edmonds News journalists Teresa and Bob. Many of you think Mayor Nelson made a mistake in this debacle. I do not believe it was a mistake but a deliberate calculated effort by him and Council President F-M to ram the Pruitt nomination to an early vote. The Mayor stated in his press release “new” information was discovered requiring withdrawal of his appointment. New? Baloney! The domestic violence issue was known by the Council prior to the Dec. 8 meeting. Is there some avenue that can be taken to avoid the nonsense of starting a new Police Chief search? Enough already!! We were told that lawfully the Council needed to produce three candidates for consideration. Only two were considered because they could not, by their own admission, find a third. Now we’re down to one again who should have been the nominee in the first place…..Acting Chief Lawless. He has not only the experience and qualifications but overwhelming support from this community. Acting Chief Lawless has already accomplished all the requirements on the Mayor’s new list of requirements. Come on Mayor Nelson; get off the power trip and listen to your constituents!

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  30. While not an Edmonds resident, I anticipate my Esperance neighborhood will be someday.

    The precedent for the omission of highly pertinent and relative information seems to have started with Mayor Mike Nelson during his 2019 campaign for Mayor. Nelson never brought up his personal debt to the IRS ($52,000). That information came to light anonymously, but was verified to be true.

    Nelson appeared to be slow to take personal responsibility. From My Edmonds News (Election 2019: Nelson writes letter to address ‘whisper campaign’ about IRS debt)(July 8, 2019) part of his response included…

    have spent a lot of time reflecting over our family’s experience. What did I learn?

    1. No family should have to experience what we went through because everyone deserves a fair shot at the American dream.
    2. We have a government that spends more time pushing us down rather than lifting us up.
    3. And no matter how hard times get, no matter how impossible things seem, don’t give up. Don’t walk away when times get tough. Try to find a way forward.

    Bullet point number 2 especially bothers me. It demonstrates blaming for others, rather than taking responsibility.

    In any event, the omission is troubling. A mayoral candidate should disclose personal financial information. Managing personal finances is very indicative of how city finances may be handled.

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  31. Echoing and affirming comments re the razor sharp investigating and reporting of MEN. The Who What When with no extraneous commentary or distraction. The Why of course is at the heart of this matter. I have been guilty/remiss in not financially supporting MEN. Rectifying that today. In this difficult time extra $$ in short supply but every contribution no matter the size will help keep professional timely journalism available and accessible.

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  32. I have lived in Edmonds now for 16 years, and have generally been proud and supportive of our city government. And proud of our city employees and departments, including the Edmonds Police Department. Suddenly, the City situation has changed. We need to trust our city government officials to act in our collective best interest, with integrity, honesty and transparency. This fiasco has shown none of that. Mayor Nelson and Council members Luke Distelhorst, Adrienne Fraley-Monilas, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson rushed judgement and approved the appointment of a Chief of Police candidate even with concerning information. And now, the Mayor explaining it as the candidate missing something in the application. Really? Seriously? Like the City didn’t discover gaps in the application when doing due diligence? I doubt that or suggest incompetence. And Council President Fraley-Monalis declaring our community as racist. What a great community ambassador she is. Not. Now, we have to start all over for some reason? And spend more taxpayer dollars for another search after the Mayor declared Interim Chief Lawless a great choice. I’ve worked in the private sector, nonprofit, government and as an entrepreneur, and I have to say this is no way to run a city. Good grief! Our wonderful community of Edmonds deserves so much better. And, my thanks to MyEdmondsNews for your work. Everybody, let’s please subscribe to them and/or increase our contribution. They are a fabulous guardian of our community!

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  33. If the mayor and some council members tried a rush job to hire a new police cheif based on his color over a well vetted, highly qualified, prepared and respected canddate, is that the same as calling Asst. Chief Lawless a racist that can’t be trusted to treat people fairly? I don’t think Asst. Cheif Lawless is a racist.
    Is Mayor Mike Nelson the same Mike Nelson that ommited his executive job with the SEIU on his application for the Edmonds city council?

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  34. I have lived here for more than fifty years Shame on you mayor and city council for calling Edmonds racist, I can think of many minorities, teachers, business owners, just plain folk etc. that have been accepted and part of our city. Where do you live.

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  35. Unfortunately for Edmonds, this whole process has been a nightmare. It has uncovered that the Mayor and select council members made poor choices and continue a path of “sleazy” politics. Luckily our safety isn’t based on their transparency and integrity. Our Police administrative command staff has established a great system for hiring the best police officers. These officers patrol our streets with integrity, compassion, professionalism, and dedication. We will continue to support our police officers and their current command staff.

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