Firm hired for investigation into Bishop Police Department

By Deb Murphy

The Yorba Linda firm of Norman A. Traub Associates has been hired by the City of Bishop to investigate allegations made by seven members of the Bishop Police Department against retired Chief Chris Carter, City Administrative Officer Jim Tatum and Councilmember Joe Pecsi.


The City Council approved the contract at Tuesday’s special meeting; both Tatum and Pecsi left the Council Chambers for the discussion and vote.

Jeff Johnson, a 29-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department and an attorney, will be conducting the investigation. The consultant’s fee is $200 per hour, plus expenses; $250 per hour if he is called on to testify at a hearing and $130 per hour if he is placed on call for a trial, deposition or hearing. Traub has conducted investigations for cities, counties and school districts from Central to Southern California.

Councilmember Karen Schwartz asked for an estimate as to the final cost of Johnson’s work. Sitting in for City Attorney Ryan Jones, Peter Tracy explained the contract had to be open, “we don’t know what he’ll get into.” “We have to look at all the allegations,” said Mayor Pat Gardner.

The firm’s scope of work is equally broad: “to find the facts regarding recent allegations made to … City Council of misconduct said to have been engaged in by certain officials.” Johnson will report directly to the City Council.

The allegations, made in a widely publicized letter from seven BPD officers on Sept. 26, focus on Carter “fostering an atmosphere of hostility, retaliation and unethical behavior” within the department. Pecsi, a former BPD chief, was drawn into the controversy as a partner with Carter in Sierra Tactical Training and Active Response Resources, a fire-arm training company. The allegations against Tatum center on what the letter refers to as a failure to act on issues brought to his attention within the department.

The brief Tuesday morning meeting started with questions posed by “The Sheet” Ted Carleton regarding rumors of suspensions and leaves within the department. Tatum responded that there were no suspensions or leaves last week.

The Council also approved an agreement to name Carter the short-term interim chief for the next month or until a long-term interim chief is appointed. Carter will be paid $54.52 an hour, a sum determined by dividing his annual salary of approximately $130,000 by hours worked in a year. According to Tatum, Carter, who officially retired Sept. 30, will provide administrative duties as needed.

Council also approved a $26,000 contract with Ralph Andersen and Associates for the recruitment of a permanent police chief. While Carter announced his intention to retire two months ago, Tatum explained the active search for a new chief was delayed as a cost-savings tactic. “We’ll save adequate funds,” he said “to hire the search firm.”

Carter’s one-month term as interim chief will cost the City less than the $18,000 approximate monthly cost for the position, including benefits. In addition, the long-term chief will be paid the chief’s monthly salary but will leave open his former position’s salary.

The search for a new chief will take from four to five months; no timeline was set for the investigation.

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25 Responses to Firm hired for investigation into Bishop Police Department

  1. desert man October 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    You are right happy I can’t wait either for the truth to surface then happy may be sad

  2. Vons shopper October 13, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    I want to know if the female who received the perverted phone picture is suing the city?

  3. John R. October 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    It is a shame that your town has to deal with such nonsense in local government.And yet you deal with
    the nuts in Sacramento under Moonbeam Brown.One party control has destroyed California and illegal immigration only enhances the problem.
    Boxer and Feinstein are an embarrassmet to the state.

  4. Jeremiah Joseph October 12, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    Good! Far too long the ones without access to the monopoly on violence (law enforcement) granted by the state, have been perpetually silenced, unless your in the crowd or economically relevant, you hardly see the similarities compared to a powerless individual that is convicted of the same offense… you have to go along to get along, and we are only as free as our purchasing power allows us to be…
    It’s not a few bad apples when the whole force and up-standing citizens turn a blind eye to the policies or actions that reflect “fostering an atmosphere of hostility, retaliation and unethical behavior”. Law enforcement, and other authoritarian institutions have had the ability to unleash, or give the acquired amount of slack in the leash to give themselves a platform where any circumstance can be sold where it is protocol, standard operating procedure or justifiable use of the monopoly on violence practice..
    People who give blind faith to supposed authorities is the main component to how extreme calamities and genocide is carried out, or war, or blatant disrespect to a persons human rights and liberties…
    Tell it like it is how you see it, or just walk up to someone who you have no idea about and say “I have no strong beliefs, I bend in the wind like a blade of grass, so whatever I think is irrelevant because I would rather just keep my gut feelings to myself in order to uphold what your buddies think, because conflict isn’t fair when the odds are against me”..
    Now lets brainstorm the courage it takes to be in a position like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden to speak truth to power, obviously those truths and courageous selfless acts aren’t culturally accepted like the hostile agencies, beliefs and violent prone lawmen.. instead they reward the cowards (people who snitch or have deceitful ways to justify themselves).

  5. Christine October 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Whole thing is ridiculous, if you ask me. Sounds like a bunch of high-school girls with an axe to grind. Sad to know that these are the guys who are patrolling our streets. Just sad.

  6. Trouble October 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    I guess my biggest problem with this whole investigation thing is why isn’t our DA or Grand Jury doing this? I can’t believe it doesn’t fall into their duties?
    And I don’t think this investigation can or will resolve a thing on this matter.
    Last I want it to be known that I believe the seven signees of that statement should have taken their complaints to the union they all belong to. Their actions disgraced many people’s images of our local law enforcement.

    • Get Smart October 10, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      The District Attorney investigates crime not personnel problems. Not his job.

      • Trouble October 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

        Get Smart, sure sounds like the magnificent seven accused at least three of their coworkers of crimes to me. Which article did you read?

        • A legal guy October 11, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

          What “crime” would they be charged with? Workplace harassment isn’t criminal, it’s civil and falls under workplace harassment. The D.A.’s office doesn’t handle civil cases with the exception of juvenile cases (which are actually classified under civil proceedings). I’m not sure why “Get Smart” is being called out for being incorrect when he/she is actually correct. And it’s in the best interest of the D.A.’s office to not get involved regardless what type of case it is, considering it would be a conflict of interest since the D.A. works with police on a lot of criminal cases in Bishop.

          • Trouble October 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

            They used the words embezzlement and fraud. But please understand I think this whole thing just adds up to wasted money on sour grapes!

        • Get Smart October 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

          Trouble, could you please name a few Penal Code sections that have been violated? I can’t seem to find any that apply.

          • Trouble October 13, 2015 at 6:26 am #

            Get Smart, I guess I sucked myself into to being the goat here. I don’t think any one should be prosecuted. I just think the investigation makes more of a joke out of this. I believe the seven officers that started this really screwed themselves up more than anyone else.
            I find it funny that I’m the one defended or top brass here, while being accused of supporting their prosecution.

      • Steve October 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

        That’s true. But what about the Grand Jury? If they don’t get involved, then why do we have a Grand Jury?

  7. Curley October 9, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    With so many people to question for a thorough investigation, this will cost into the thousands of tax dollars. Having the Chief continue watching over the police department when he will also be under investigation? No problem there. The fox will watch over the hen house. Nothing to see here, move along!
    Interesting that Tatum’s answer about the rumors of suspensions and leave was evasive. Nothing for the last week. What about the last month? Last 6 months? Did the texting pervert receive a suspension, loss of pay, or just a slap on the wrist? What to do about a “good friend?”

    • Happy October 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Obviously, Curly, you don’t have a clue. When the truth comes out (which it will), you’re going to look pretty stupid for making judgements (publicly) when you don’t have all of the facts.

      • Cheerful October 10, 2015 at 9:39 am #

        Happy do you have all the facts?? I heard Carters supporters are going around threatening the officers who wrote the letter. My favorite is his supporters saying “half truths”. There is True or not true. So basically Carter himself is admitting to wrong doing. I have heard many interesting things about employees at the PD. Stories the public would love to hear, that weren’t mentioned in the “magnificent seven’s” letter. So it will be interesting to see what will or will not come out when the investigation is over.

        • Happy October 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

          Sure will be! 😉

          • Excited October 14, 2015 at 8:26 am #

            You know what I find interesting Happy. Have you ever asked yourself why Carter is friends with men with no morals or ethics. Why he defends the officers who are known for certain things?.There are men at the PD with REAL morals and ethics and value their WIVES, Families and their Jobs. I can think of a few who I have the most respect for, TRUE family men, who don’t step outside. And you know what’s funny they signed that letter. So what does that say about Carter?? Skeletons will come out whether in the “investigation” or not, they will come out??

  8. Trouble October 9, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    Send thee money on something for the kids ,and fire the rest of them setting a bad example!

    • redneck October 10, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      Which ones are setting a bad example ? The ones that want the truth to come out or the ones that have many things to hide ? If you think what was written for all to see, was all there is, you are fooling yourself. Hopefully the other city counsel members aren’t buddies with anyone in the BPD and will be honest and true.

  9. Tinner October 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Good grief, I can’t help to think where that kind of money could be better spent.
    Money well spent? I think not.

  10. Trouble October 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    And the attorneys win again. What a beautiful bunch of legal beagles we got running this city.
    I’m sure glad we can afford this!

    • Russ Monroe October 9, 2015 at 6:51 am #

      The lawyers always win Trouble! The single most disastrous failure of our “founding fathers” was: they designed a government of lawyers getting together to make laws. We have 545 of them in DC that oversee the passage thousands of new laws every year, many of which are unenforceable garbage effectively designed to keep lawyers in work. Too bad there weren’t a few “founding mothers” in the room to slap those bozos up side the head. Gosh, and what if there had even been a few non-“rich white male land owners” in the room…..

    • Happy October 9, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      Well, you can thank the magnificent seven for the attorneys’ fees! When all of the chips fall, it will be obvious!


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