Letters to the Editor

Letters from June 2, 2007

In the Patriot

Article left out pertinent information

I wish to set the record straight about an egregious article appearing in the Bremerton Patriot on May 12. Since the “story” was sensational enough to warrant front page coverage, along with my picture downloaded from the Bremerton Fire Department Web site, it probably also should have been researched by (Charles) Melton prior to going to press. After doing some research, I found that he based the total article on a memo, before the settlement was signed, and unfortunately the memo too did not contain the pertinent information.

The article contained several major errors and omissions and caused deep pain and embarrassment to me, my family, friends, and colleagues. I wish to correct the information which I feel is germaine.

FACTS:

I never…repeat never filed a “Claim for Damages” against the city (contrary to the article);

I never…repeat never filed a “Lawsuit” against the city (contrary to the headlines).’

Anytime a complaint is file against a city employee, an ensuing investigation must proceed. There was a complaint, and an investigation took place…in the settlement agreement I wish to quote…”The investigation is closed and the allegations were not sustained.”

Further, I was not “interviewed” or an appropriate “hearing” convened to deal with the investigation, at any time which is normal operating procedures.

I did not agree to, or was I requested to “Resign,” however because of an injury I sustained just prior to this process, and the ordeal of having my integrity in question, I and my husband decided this was the time to put in motion a plan for my retirement, effective Feb. 1, 2008. I will complete 38 years of service to the wonderful citizens of Bremerton and very proud of both my dedication and accomplishments during my tenure.

I had not put in my “Request for Retirement” to Chief Al Duke until last week when I executed the agreement, May 16, so the reporter certainly had ample opportunity to get the information correct.

What has me most disturbed is that Mr. Melton made no attempt to contact me or my legal representative through the city’s Legal or Fire Department. The document was approved by the City Council, but was not executed at the time the article went to press.

I have read the Bremerton Patriot over the years and enjoyed its hometown flavor; however I am now concerned that one can only assume that half of every article is accurate. News publications are only as good as their journalist’s research.

Thank you for letting me set the record straight.

CAROLE J. HEAVENER

Bremerton

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