Yakima City Council will not further investigate police union allegations against city manager

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Yakima City Council will not pursue further action regarding allegations made against City Manager Cliff Moore by the police union.

At the Tuesday council meeting, Moore responded to accusations levied at him by the Yakima Police Patrolmans Association in a March 19 letter.

In his letter of response, Moore addressed the allegations line-by-line — including the YPPA’s claim that he “fostered a culture of distrust, hostility and lack of transparency.”

After convening an executive session to review Moore’s letter, the council publicly voted 6 -1 — with Kay Funk voting against —  to accept Moore’s explanation of events.

 “After considering all of the information presented by both the city manager and the patrolman's union, this seems to be the most logical conclusion moving forward — for the time being,” council member Dulce Gutiérrez said.

While the council effectively closed the door on further action, council member Brad Hill pointed to Moore’s invitation to YPPA in his letter to provide evidence or information to contradict his statement.

“I would be interested in seeing that, if they have any,” Hill said.

Moore did not attend the executive session, but said he was happy with the decision made by council members when they came out of the private meeting.

"I don't know what they said in executive session but I was very pleased with the outcome,” Moore said. “From a council perspective, the matter is closed.” 

Moore’s letter received both warm and heated responses from the crowd, including that of community member Joey Anderson, who advised council to pay attention to the police union’s statements.

"These are serious matters that your police officers — your city employees — are trying to tell you that there are problems inside the organization," Anderson said.

City of Yakima employee Maria Mayhew said she came to represent employees in support of the city manager, bringing with her 168 signatures in Moore’s favor

"While I genuinely appreciate the police department and everything they do for our community, I'm here to clarify that YPPA does not speak for all of us — although they presented it in that manner,” Mayhew said.

YPPA President Ira Cavin said the union’s desire is not to sow division between city employees who support Moore and those who don’t.

Cavin said the union wants council and members of the public to be aware of how the union feels Moore’s day-to-day operations, policies and procedures are negatively affecting public safety in the community.

“The core of the matter is that public safety employees are affected negatively by the way Cliff Moore manages the city,” Cavin said. “So until that changes, we'll continue to do what we can to bring awareness to this issue … We truly hope that the city council listens.”

Cavin said the union’s next step is to read and dissect Moore’s response and then determine an appropriate course of action.

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