City of Bishop releases information from PD Investigation

Bishop releases findings of the Police Department Investigation

by Arnie Palu
March 10, 2016

The City of Bishop has released details from the investigation of the Police Department following a “Letter of no confidence in Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter”  signed by 7 members of the department.  The letter was delivered to local media and the Bishop City Council on September 16, 2015.  The letter was released while Carter was on a scheduled vacation and after he had announced his retirement.  The letter alleged unethical behavior and misconduct by Chief Carter, City Councilman Joe Pecsi, and City Administrator Jim Tatum.

The City of Bishop hired Norman A. Traub Associates to conduct a investigation to determine the facts and circumstances alleged in and surrounding the letter.   Lead investigator Jeffry Johnson conducted 25 recored interviews and presented his findings to City Attorney Ryan Jones.  The final report, 623 pages, was delivered on February 23rd.  The report analyzed 17 allegations of misconduct and 13 allegations of mismanagement.

According to a statement from the city of Bishop, “The Final report determined that all of the allegations against Councilman Joe Pecsi, and City Administrator Jim Tatum were UNFOUNDED.  The Final Report also determined that with two exceptions all allegations against Chief Chris Carter were either UNFOUNDED or EXONERATED.  The allegation that Chief Carter had on two occasions used inappropriate language in dealing with police officers was SUSTAINED.  The additional allegation that Chief Carter failed to facilitate firearms qualifications to all sworn personnel on a quarterly basis as required by policy was also SUSTAINED.  With respect to the firearms qualification, the Bishop Police Department is taking steps to ensure policy compliance.  It is with the permission of Chief Carter, Jim Tatum, and Joe Pecsi that the findings noted above have been disclosed.”

The statement released by the city of Bishop also notes that, “All other allegations dealt with in the Final Report involve police personnel and are confidential under California law.  Because the Final Report addressed so many allegations, and in so much commingled detail, it is impossible to release any part of the report itself without violating California law.

The city is providing the Final Report to the Inyo County Grand Jury.

A link to the full City of Bishop statement

city of bishop california, bishop police department, police chief chris carter