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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 | Vol. 112, No. 37 | WWW.BAINBRIDGEREVIEW.COM | 75¢

GET ON YOUR BABYPANTS: Popular kids’ musician to play at Taste of Lynwood. A10

Chief Fehlman calls it quits BY RICHARD D. OXLEY AND BRIAN KELLY Bainbridge Island Review

Bainbridge Island Police Chief Jon Fehlman resigned from his position this week. His surprise departure was announced by city officials Sept. 11, and came just minutes before the city released an investigation into alleged misdeeds by the chief made Chief Fehlman by the city’s police union. Fehlman was apprised of the investigation’s outcome, but still opted to resign. Interim City Manager Morgan Smith said Fehlman’s leaving was his own decision, and his last day would be

Three Boy Scout troops and two Cub Scout packs gathered at the Masonic Lodge Saturday for a Scout Expo. The Expo included a Pinewood Derby ramp, a camping display, campfire, hot dog barbecue, rope-lashing demonstrations and other fun. At top, Boy Scout Cole Emerson holds two logs as his fellow Scouts practice their lashing techniques. At right, Josh Miller of Cub Scout Pack 4496 watches with Nick Grant as his Pinewood Derby racer, piloted by Darth Vader, takes off.

Saturday, Sept. 15. “The city wishes Jon the best in his future endeavors and thanks him for his service to the city,” Smith said in a statement. The city council approved a separation agreement for Fehlman on a 5-0 vote at the council’s Wednesday meeting. Fehlman will receive six months severance pay, plus an additional 5 percent, and 18 months medical coverage. The city will also pay for any unused sick and vacation time. The city will not oppose any unemployment benefits Fehlman applies for. The salary payout is expected to be approximately $72,450, based on Fehlman’s annual salary of $138,324. The city council was unaware of his decision as the city announced his departure. One council member said he did not know the city had developed a severance agree-

ment until after the announcement of his departure. “I knew that the city manager was talking to Fehlman as to where the city was going, but that’s all I knew about it,” said Councilman Steve Bonkowski. Other council members could only speculate on the resignation, but understood it. “I have felt that over the last few months that he has received a series of unfortunate and undeserved blows, so I don’t blame him for resigning,” said Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos. “But I don’t know what his decision is based on.” Fehlman came to Bainbridge in 2008 from the Santa Rosa Police Department in California where he held the rank of lieutenant and worked in the Special Services Division of the Investigations Bureau. In California, Fehlman sat on SEE CHIEF, A21

Outside report on police chief finds most allegations unfounded BY BRIAN KELLY Bainbridge Island Review

An outside investigation has largely exonerated Bainbridge Island Police Chief Jon Fehlman on claims made by members of the city’s police union that the chief had violated police department and city policies and state and federal laws. The 27-page report, issued publicly by city officials Tuesday, said most of the

allegations made by the Bainbridge Island Police Guild against Fehlman could not be fully substantiated. Other claims of misdeeds showed nothing amiss. Several allegations made by the union were found to be “partially true, but inaccurate in significant respects,” wrote Rebecca Dean, a Seattle lawyer and workplace investigator who was hired by the city in June to look into the union’s allegations against the

city’s top cop. Fehlman could not be reached for comment Tuesday. City officials announced that he had decided to step down from the chief’s post on Sept. 15. The guild’s allegations of wrongdoing followed the union’s vote of “no confidence” in Fehlman in early June, and guild officials presented the city with a long list SEE REPORT, A8

Bainbridge Island Review, September 14, 2012  
Bainbridge Island Review, September 14, 2012  

September 14, 2012 edition of the Bainbridge Island Review