Rob Smoke, columnist

Boulder’s City Attorney Tom Carr professes Seth Brigham a growing menace, progressing daily closer to violence against the Boulder city council. It’s an entertaining notion — Seth kidnapping council and turning them into his personal slaves would make a great horror-flick — however it is crap.

Interesting that Brigham-gate should touch on that issue of unpredictable violence, when the most discussed issue of Tom’s 2009 lost Seattle city attorney campaign hinged on the same issue in another context.

2012 Boulder City council has called upon Superman to protect them from Seth Brigham'sevil menace

During Tom’s tenure as Seattle city attorney, there were extensive “excessive use of force” complaints against the police department of the city of Seattle. Imagine you’re the mom of a developmentally disabled
teenager who gets his face smashed by a Seattle police officer — an officer who had done something similar
on other occasions, but was still on the force because of corrupt internal review. Let’s be clear: Under
Tom Carr there were 400 back-to-back-to-back non-disciplined “excessive use of force” cases.

In other words, the officer was not held accountable with removal or suspension of his job — and in many cases, where an adjunct review board did recommend to Tom that he take disciplinary action, which Tom was actually
responsible for doing, he did nothing.

Boulder City Attorney Tom Carr now under fire for heavy handedness.

The Federal Justice Dept. came in, and the Deputy Attorney General of the Human Rights Division, Thomas Perez, cited the entire oversight process as broken. In point of fact, he could have cited Tom Carr, but instead cited everyone including Tom. It was, however, up to Tom to act if others wouldn’t — or at the very minimum,
act more appropriately on a case by case basis with victims of brutality. Google “Seattle police brutality”.
In other videotaped cases, an innocent hispanic man is kicked in the head by an officer while lying on the ground.
In another case, a pregnant woman was tasered multiple times by three officers and Tom appealed a Federal judge’s
ruling to allow the woman to move forward with a civil claim for damages.

Tom did not lose the 2009 Seattle city attorney’s race to a relative newcomer
by some weird accident, or, as he claims, because it was a “bad year for incumbents.”
No, he lost the race in an absolute landslide because people were sick to death of seeing reports about police brutality and suffering victims. Jon Kita, an asian restaurant owner, interviewed in the Seattle press about the videotaped “excessive use of force” assault he endured, put it this way, “How is it possible to get to 400 cases in a row with no discipline?”

Indeed, how is it possible? It must be noted, Tom absolutely oversaw the contracts for
civil claims defense of police officers alleged to have harmed people. During Tom’s tenure, the bill added up
to over $18 million dollars, which all went to one law firm which Tom helped choose. If at any time during those

Superman and Lois Lane in Boulder yesterday:

400 non-disciplined cases there was a turnaround towards implementation of discipline, that would have caused the costs for handling those cases — the billings — to nosedive. Tom prevented that from happening. By the way, Tom’s replacement in Seattle, made it a first order of business to dissolve that highly questionable contract — and guess what? The firm itself has since dissolved.

Seth Brigham back for more money

The question remains, at what point in time did Tom become aware that the city of Seattle was receiving bad publicity for its brutality problems? Was it a year before the election? Could Tom have a rational understanding that he would lose — that in fact, the other side could nominate a doorknob, and he’d probably lose? In other words, what was the nature of Tom’s commitment to having this highly-paid bunch of lawyers defend brutal officers? Did Tom somehow feel that his own personal sense of justice and duty serving the city of Seattle was more significant than the information he was getting from the ever-growing list of injured residents seeking bare compensation or apology for their suffering?

Bormann, Goering Hitler, and Keitel take stroll in Crimean.

Or did someone pay him to take his election loss with a smile and the “it was a bad year for incumbents” remark?
And how did the city of Boulder manage to hire him, at a pay increase of about $50k per year, without ever discussing
the 2-to-1 margin of loss in the 2009 election, and the brutality issues which always went unresolved and which were
lead stories in the local news, time and again — the hallmark of his term as city attorney?

Rob Smoke is a columnist for Boulder Channel 1. He writes about city of Boulder Politics