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Tacoma Manager Fired for Promoting Chief

July 09, 2003  | 

The Tacoma, Wash., city council fired the city manager because it holds him accountable for making David Brame the chief of police.

City Manager Ray Corpuz took voluntary administrative leave a few days after then-Police Chief David Brame killed himself and his estranged wife on April 26. Since the shootings, the Washington State Patrol has been investigating Brame’s career, as well as the decisions that led up to him assuming the role of chief.

The Tacoma Police Department hired Brame in 1981, although a psychological test found him unfit for duty. In 1988, he was accused of date rape several months after the alleged incident. The department did not substantiate the complaint. Corpuz, who came on as city manager in 1990, promoted Brame to chief in January 2002.

Corpuz offered to resign Aug. 31 if he was guaranteed six months of severance pay and pension funding and retirement benefits for 30 years of service. Instead, the city council fired him.

Relatives of Brame’s wife have filed a $75 million claim against the city, saying top officials knew or should have known he was a violent man who had been accused of rape and domestic violence. The day before Brame killed himself and his wife, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on accusations and claims of abuse and violence in the couple’s divorce papers.

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