Saturday, September 03, 2005

Blue Code alive and well with Jim Fuda's sheriff's candidacy

As the fellow who surfaced this issue, let me comment.

First, full disclosure.

I am an acquaintance (not a "friend", as the Times said) of Greg Schmidt. I have three months off work, so have some excess bandwidth. For kicks and giggles, I made a public disclosure request of ALL the candidates, and got 500+ pages on each of the King County employees, Rahr and Fuda, and only 80 pages from Seattle PD, who employs Greg Schmidt. Hmmmmmm. Also, please note that Rahr allowed more than was required by law to be disclosed about her, to her credit.

So, I am going through this stuff, and find a couple of interesting things. First, Sue (Go Cougs) Rahr was busted on a petty charge of using company email for personal use when she was Chief in the City of Shoreline for sending a Clinton joke--a really good one--to someone. It was her second violation of the rule, and she took an unpaid leave day for it as a sanction. BFD. Interesting that the first time she was busted for mis-using company email, it was for replying with “thanks” to a fellow KC employee not in the sheriff’s department, who was not disciplined. So much for equity.

Why are they wasting time investigating this kind of petty crap, instead of using the resources to catch the puke that ripped off my $99 car stereo last month? If she would have picked up the phone, and told the joke on the company phone, it would have been ok. But I digress.

The only other interesting thing about the sheriff’s candidacy is her contributors. She certainly is plugged in to the Seattle elite. Folks contribute to campaigns, based on my experience as a three time elected official, because you can do something for them, or prevent what your opponent will do to them. Or, because you are just a friend wanting to show goodwill, and making a nominal contribution. Now, Rahr’s contributor list shows amounts way beyond that, from folks who, frankly, it won’t make a tinkers damn bit of difference to regardless of who gets elected. Big money folks contributed the max, way beyond what could be reasonably be expected. I mean old and new Seattle names, besides the Governatrix, a former Secy. Of State, former US Senators, small town mayors outside of King County that want to run for state senator, known rad-fems that and the like. Very interesting mix and lotsa bux.

When I had Fuda's file, I was reminded that in both our frivolous youths, just a year or two ago, that he was busted back to patrolman for a year, for a) filing a false expense report, b) lying to the prosecutor and c) failing to rat out his partner over $300 bucks in drug buy money that disappeared. The “blue code” seems to be alive and well with Mr. Fuda.

That suggests to me a lack of veracity, and brings questions to mind as to his suitability and temperament for the top cop job.

So, my index finger is turning red paging though all this stuff, when I come upon a Highline Community College transcript, where I note he got B and C grades. I also note that the Sheriff was inconsistent in what they redacted on various docs. Some places grades are redacted, some places they are not. Pretty sloppy work, as either they disclosed stuff they shouldn't have, or didn't disclose stuff they should have.

Anyhow, I get to a diploma from the prestigious Kingsfield University, which had a stench about it to my brilliant and observant mind. Turning bullshit filter up to "high", I made a note of this doc, and also noted that he went from an 'average' student to one who graduated Cum Laude, and with Distinction. Hmmmmmmm, I said, scratching the three hairs left on my head.

So, the next doc is the memo saying give the ol' boy a 2% raise.

Fine. I go back to my trailer court hovel, and crank up the squirrels that power the internet, and discover (on a German website, no less) that this university is a diploma mill, closed by the FTC in 2002-2003. I additionally note that three states who boldly identify "diploma mills" on their state's education website mention that this is one of those schools. Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon are the states, if ya wanna know.

Being an inquisitive fellow, I call a nice lady in the cop shop’s personnel department, and ask if the pay bump depends on it being an accredited university, and she assures me it does. When I drill down and ask how they check it out, she replies the HECB. Well, the HEC Board doesn't give a rat's about out of state institutions, and I mentioned that. Her response was that the guy who usually does the checking retired, and she gives me to some young fellow, who assures me again, it must be an accredited institution, and assures me that he checks them very, very carefully.


Trucking back down to the cop shop to re-review the disclosed documents and verify that I saw what I thought I saw, I got copies this time. The legal department’s AA, a very sincere woman named Michelle Monohon, from Tacoma, is sitting next to me, and for giggles, I hold it up, point it towards her, and say, “Hey, Michelle, you ever see a diploma mill diploma? You are looking at one right now.”

She, rejecting the ‘blue code’, and being a good public servant, but unknownst to me, tells her boss as she is required to do, and that kicked off the investigation.

Seems that Ms. Rahr’s management failed to write a good policy, as the requirement that the degree be from an accredited institution is NOT in policy. In fact, it is in the labor union contract, where it is not spelled out clearly either. Sloppy, sloppy stuff.

So, Mr. Fuda could skate on this one, even though the Sheriff’s spinmeister, Sgt. John U., says it could be fraud. Tough cop talk methinks, on his part.

Now, if Mr. Fuda thought it was "cool" to have this (non) degree, please ponder this: It is NOT listed on his campaign website,, even though his Highline CC degree is. How cool is that, as my young sons would say.

Ok, the Geezers fingers are tired, but thought you may want to know the rest of this story. I did not make the complaint as reported in the Times fishwrapper on Friday. Michelle did, rightfully. It was not my intention to cause that, in fact, I didn't even consider that she would be required to report, just trying to engage in social conversation with a person who showed utmost courtesy in delivering and facilitating my public records request.

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