What 4 of our elected fire commissioners are not willing to tell you about where your tax money is going.

When they rushed to pass the motion to hire the attorneys Patterson, Buchanan, Fobes & Leitch to defend Brandon Church in the Department of Health investigation of his personal EMT license, Commissioners Bill Gates, James A. Fossos, Mark Thompson and John Rickert either knew about this deceit and chose to ignore it, or blindly took the word of someone who has been proven to be a cheat and a liar. Again.

Either scenario is bad and puts the department at risk. Serious risk. And shines a bright light on some very questionable, possibly unethical, behavior from your elected commissioners.

It is a proven fact that Brandon Church was found guilty of unprofessional conduct. And that he was on probation in October and November of 2012. Read the investigation report.

 

Renewal of much needed license to keep his job

 

In late October 2012, Brandon Church was required to renew his EMT license. Failure to have an up-to-date license meant he would not be able to do his job. We can all understand his motivation to keep his license current.

His application for renewal included the usual questions. All the important ones required a NO response. But considering Brandon Church was in the middle of a 12 month probation for unprofessional conduct, I am very concerned about his answer to one question in particular. And his attestation under penalty of perjury.

 

Applicant’s Attestation

On the application, there is a section titled Applicant’s Attestation which reads in part:

I, BRANDON D. CHURCH, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington that the following is true and correct:

  • I am the person described and identified on this application.
  • I have read RCW 18.130.170 and RCW RCW 18.130.180 of the Uniform Disciplinary Act.
  • I have answered all questions truthfully and completely.
  • The documentation provided in support of my application is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

 

There are a few more paragraphs then below is what has been accepted as the electronic signature of Brandon Church and the date of October 30, 2012.

 

 

Application for EMS Recertification.

See the answer to question 7? Brandon Church, while on probation for unprofessional conduct with our fire department, answered “NO” in big bold type to:

“Have you ever been found in any proceeding to have violated any state or federal law or rule regulating the practice of a health care professional?”

The problem though is that Brandon Church was found guilty by his supervisors at South King Fire & Rescue. Of Unprofessional Conduct. In March of 2012, a mere 8 months earlier.

 

RCW 18.130.180

What does the law that Brandon Church attested under penalty of perjury say?

Here are some pertinent excerpt from this chapter.

The following conduct, acts, or conditions constitute unprofessional conduct for any license holder under the jurisdiction of this chapter:

(1) The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption relating to the practice of the person’s profession, whether the act constitutes a crime or not.

(2) Misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in obtaining a license or in reinstatement thereof;

(7) Violation of any state or federal statute or administrative rule regulating the profession in question, including any statute or rule defining or establishing standards of patient care or professional conduct or practice;

(13) Misrepresentation or fraud in any aspect of the conduct of the business or profession;

(20) The willful betrayal of a practitioner-patient privilege as recognized by law;

 

So where does Brandon Church stand in integrity?

Remember that question on his renewal application?

 

“Have you ever been found in any proceeding to have violated any state or federal law or rule regulating the practice of a health care professional?”

Brandon Church, while on probation for unprofessional conduct, answered “NO” in big bold type.

 

It would appear that Brandon Church willfully and consciously perjured himself.

And 4 of our elected commissioners have duped us about giving a personal gift of our tax dollars for private purposes.

What can Commissioners Bill Gates, James A. Fossos, Mark Thompson and John Rickert possibly say to justify this?

 

 

Ask Your Elected Officials

Is there something in this article that you think needs to be addressed? Want them to explain themselves? Want them to know how you feel?

Use the links below to contact them at their official department email address. If you get a response, please share it with me.

 

Ask Chairman Bill Gates a question

Ask Commissioner John Rickert a question

Ask Commissioner Mark Thompson a question

Ask Commissioner Jim Fossos a question

Ask Commissioner Mark Freitas a question

Comments Comments Off on Looks like Brandon D. Church committed perjury. What say the commissioners?

How many times has your ire risen after reading of a police officer entering a home without a warrant?

What would you say if members of the local fire department did it AFTER transporting you to the hospital? Knowing there wasn’t anyone else at home?

An aid unit responded to a call, treated the patient, cancelled the ambulance, then transported the young female patient to the hospital, turning her over for care.

Afterwards, they remembered they forgot the AED in the woman’s home.

No problem.

Since they knew the home was unlocked, and the only person they knew lived there was just moments ago confined to the hospital, they “went back into the house to get the monitor”

Probably never even told the patient they slipped in to grab the equipment.

Later she reported she was nervous to call 911, worried the same two guys would show up. Wonder why?

Just another wrinkle in the weird happenings at South King Fire & Rescue.

But one of the firefighters had something else on his mind. 

http://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/216847971.html

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So, is it Personal or in his Official Capacity?

Update: Read the entire investigation released by the fire department this week and decide for yourself.

You will see clearly that Brandon Church contacted the patient AFTER he ended his shift.

 

Let us add some background.

In the article published in the Federal Way Mirror, there are some of the actual documents dated February and March of 2012 which showed a proceeding which included an investigation, and findings that Brandon Church violated the laws of the Washington State and the Federal HIPPA Laws regulating the practice of a health care profession.

Other documents prove other occasions in which Brandon Church lied and cheated, to the point of receiving additional department discipline.

 

Now let us look at the current charges.

Apparently, every three years, health care professionals must renew their license with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). In November of 2012 Brandon Church was required as a condition of employment to renew his certification.

This includes filling out an EMS Recertification Application. On page 3 is question number 7:

Have you ever been found in any proceeding to have violated any state or federal law or rule regulating the practice of a health care profession? If “yes”, please attach an explanation and provide copies of all judgments, decisions, and agreements.
Since a July 2013 Public Records Request to the DOH showed no such record was submitted, what conclusion do you come to about how Brandon Church answered that question?
So, did Brandon Church do this in his personal capacity or in his official capacity?
And why again are we throwing your tax dollars at a high priced uptown law firm?
Meanwhile, I counter the opinion of the district attorney that withholding the name of the patients friend who works at another fire department is legal.  More on that later.

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…..does the meeting become an illegal act by your elected officials?

The first part of the meeting was Call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, commissioner comments (none), public comments (none) and adjourn into executive session:

 

After returning from Executive Session, is was a brief making and reading of the motion and 4-1 passage to use your tax dollars for defending Brandon Church in his PERSONAL defense of his license.

In the following recording, Commissioner James Fossos is heard saying:

“I would like to make the following motion. I move that South King Fire & Rescue board of fire commissioners approve retaining Patterson, Buchanan, Fobes & Leitch to represent Brandon Church in his official capacity as a district firefighter in the pending Department of Health investigation.”

Motion was seconded and passed 4-1, Commissioner Mark Freitas voting against.

 

 

 

Just last week South King Fire & Rescue Fire Commissioner and Chairman Bill Gates and the Board of Fire Commissioners voted 4-1 in a Special Meeting for the sole purpose of voting to use thousands of your tax dollars to defend FF Brandon Church in his Department of Health (DOH) investigation for ‘unprofessional conduct’ by contacting a female patient he had treated (less than three hours after he treated her) with what the department described as ‘sexual innuendo”.

Brandon Church was found guilty by department investigations of this and other questionable actions including lying and cheating, so we are just throwing good money after bad. Tax dollars, that is.

Bill Gates convened a special meeting to hold an executive session for the sole purpose of taking your tax dollars to defend a firefighter for his personal sexual actions. The DOH investigation is of the licensee Brandon Church. (Even the Federal Way Police Department recognize this was not proper as well as the city council of San Diego. The fire department thinks differently)

In very specific language by email the DOH has emphatically told me the department is NOT A PARTY TO THEIR CASE.

This is all about personal actions taken by Brandon Church.

Personal sexual actions that are costing you precious thousand$ of tax dollars deflected from safety.

I opine the entire meeting was illegal but the commissioners and administration took extreme measures to make sure that I was not aware of it until it was over.

http://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/216847971.html

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There is a belief that there are only 6 degrees of separation between you and a stranger. Given enough time and naming friends and acquaintances, you will find that in 6 steps, or less, you both know someone.

Ironic then isn’t it that here is a case with only 1 degree of separation.

The Courtesy Photo in the article on a police officer who resigned over alleged misconduct was taken at a South King Fire & Rescue commissioners meeting for which the office was being awarded recognition. What are the chances that FF Brandon Church was at the recognition ceremony?

And now we know that the fire department is suffering its own unprofessional conduct incident.

Just a few days ago Chairman Bill Gates and the Board of Fire Commissioners voted 4-1 in a Special Meeting to use thousands of your tax dollars to defend FF Brandon Church in his Department of Health (DOH) investigation for extremely similar actions. FF Church’s contact with a patient he treated (less than three hours after he treated the patient) is described as ‘sexual innuendo”.

Brandon Church was found guilty by a department investigation of this and other questionable actions including lying and cheating, so we are just throwing good money after bad. Tax dollars, that is.

 

Also of note is that even on the website of the Federal Way Mirror, with the exposure of charges, others are declaring their willingness to come forward with their stories about former officer Ashley Crispin.
Do you really believe it only happened once with Brandon Church?
Is there anyone else that FF Brandon Church contacted that wants to make a report with the DOH?

Case 2013-5661DE
Matthew Mahan, Health Department Investigator
16201 E Indiana Ave, Ste 1500
Spokane Valley, WA 99216-2836
Phone: 509-329-2177
Fax 509-329-2167
Email: Matthew.Mahan@doh.wa.gov

http://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/216847971.html

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Records show that in February of 2012, FF Brandon Church used patient information obtained in the course of his duties to make contact with a patient he had treated only hours earlier.

Has your confidential personal information been used illegally?

Were you also harassed?

 

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor. There had been some time pass since I needed medical services and I updated some information, and reviewed a copy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form.

 

This is a critical document that every health care provider in the United States must abide by, safeguarding your personal information they keep in their records. This information is strictly controlled and limited to use only by those you authorize and only for the care you sought from the person you sought it from.

 

It requires health care professionals to never use or release your Personal Health Information (PHI) to anyone.

 

Violation can mean losing your job. And placing your employer at great risk.

 

Suppose to be, anyway.

 

Misappropriating your confidential information, for person gain, sexual innuendo and possible harassment

 

Ever had someone use your personal confidential information for other than official and proper reasons?

 

Like maybe invite you to a party, or just want to ‘connect’?

 

Maybe the contact was even more upsetting. Possibly something like sexting? Think Anthony Weiner

 

This can be very uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. Even embarrassing. After all, it was a person of trust that violated your privacy. Who do you turn to for help? Who will believe your story? Will you be blamed for coming forward?

 

Even worse, since it happened to you, how many other victims are there? Each too embarrassed, or worse yet intimidated, to come forward. Is the person that violated your privacy, maybe even harassed you with sexual innuendo, still ‘getting away with it’?

 

What if it were actions by a public employee, like say of a fire department?

 

Had something like this happened to you by an employee at your local fire department, you may not be alone.

 

Locally there is the case of Dr. Greg Summers, a chiropractor in private practice in Federal Way who has some allegations against him.

 

First, there was one woman who filed a complaint. Until then, no one publicly suspected there might be something wrong. Then as news got out, others found the strength to come forward.

 

That is critical.

Because the public was unaware of the allegations of one woman, others who may have felt uncomfortable did not come forward. So as long as it remained a secret, potential victims remained silent.

And alone.

 

Doctor Summers maintains that he is innocent and proceedings may well bear him out. After all, he has not confessed any wrong-doing. Or been found guilty. The courts will be hearing his case soon.

 

This forum is not intended to weigh either way for Dr. Summers. I only mention is case as a study for how an investigation into a private sector citizen was conducted. Again, now that allegations have been brought to light, and an investigation form multiple authorities is complete, his innocence or guilt is for a court to decide.

 

Then today we read about another health care professional who has his license suspended for unprofessional conduct:

Federal Way counselor Scott Hale had his credentials suspended for five years by state health officials earlier this week, after the Department of Health (DOH) indicated Hale “admitted having sex with a client on three occasions.”

According to the DOH, Hale was counseling the client for the effects of childhood sexual abuse and other mental health conditions. Hale cannot seek reinstatement for at least five years, and he will have to meet “requirements designed to protect the public before being reinstated.”

Hale’s issues came to light in February, when it was alleged that he had sex with a patient at a Burien mental health clinic at which Hale worked.

 

Some parallel aspects can be discussed.

 

For example, as noted above in Dr. Summers case, one allegation became several. But only AFTER the public became aware. This is not surprising, considering actions of this type, if true, are rarely isolated. Notably, a person may be guilty of speeding for years before getting caught and fined.

 

Embarrassment or intimidation also tends to cause victims to retreat and remain silent.

 

Another truism is that almost all victims are reluctant to expose a suspected crime if they think they are the only ones. Who would believe them? Against a well known and respected member of the community?

 

Is there a Red Wall

 

If all accounts of unprofessional conduct can be contained within tight control of the alleged perpetrator, their office, employer, or in this case, the walls of the fire department, no one will ever learn of the problem. It gets handled internally and never sees the light of day. Or knowledge of other potential victims.

 

Hence, is there a Red Wall in the fire department? These folks live together and need to trust each other with their lives. The closeness requires that bonds be formed, brotherhood and sisterhood cliques created. Like family.

Similar to the Blue Wall of protection supposedly around the police department. Where the mantra seems to be we protect our own at all cost. Keep it quiet, keep it internal, contain it, deny it, defend it, then make it go away.

So how do you deal with a member you can not trust?

 

Now for the soul searching question and

CALL TO ACTION!!!

 

Have you experienced what you might consider to be unprofessional conduct form a member of the local fire department?

 

Did you decide not to do anything about it because a claim against a fire department employee could be particularly embarrassing? After all, it couldn’t have happened, could it?

 

Unless it did.

 

And the lid was so tightly secured that no one outside the department knew about the illegal behavior. No one was aware of the violation of public trust. No one suspected. Not the police. Not even the agency the fire department is required to report itself to. No one.

 

Because it was ‘handled’ internally. On the secret side of the Red Wall.

 

It just went away. The victim was presumably told this was the first time (right?) and that it would never happen again. Just sign here, let us take care of it and go quietly about your business.

 

Just an anomaly?

 

These types of activities can go on repeatedly for years before discovery.

 

If nobody is willing to come forward and expose the potential crime.

 

But as we have seen in Dr. Summers’ case, one person had the strength. And AFTER the allegations went public, others came forward with astounding stories of inappropriate behavior. Unprofessional Conduct.

 

Likewise, in the case I am presenting, a victim of HIPAA violation for confidential personal information did come forward. This person was proven through evidence to have told the truth. And the department concluded that a fire-fighter was guilty of using “privileged information to which he had access in the course of his official duties to make contact with a patient he assisted on a response”.

 

This one patient did complain. And they stand alone.

 

Secret Society

The problem was that since no outside agency, neither the local police, the state health department nor the federal health department (even though the law requires notification), was made aware of the proven violation. They were denied the chance of independent investigation. Or to ask the public for help. Or identify other potential victims as occurred in the Dr. Summers case.

 

Do you have the strength to stand beside the previous patient?

 

Or are you willing to just remain silent and let it possibly keep happening? To whom next? How severely next time?

 

Not saying there are others, but without making the violations as public as were made for Dr. Summers allegations, we’ll never know, will we?

 

Do you have a complaint that needs to be filed?

 

 

The public has a chance to help

On July 11, 2013, the Washington State Department of Health opened an investigation into Emergency Medical Technician Licensee Brandon Church.

 

A complaint was also filed with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The law states that a Breach Notification of personal privacy MUST be reported to the Secretary within the first 60 days of the calendar year following the Breach.

Oops, the department skipped this requirement, too. That’s okay, the regional office is now looking into it.

 

Records show that in February of 2012, FF Brandon Church used patient information obtained in the course of his duties to make contact with a patient he had treated only hours earlier.

 

That patient approached a member of a different fire department, and that person came forward to administration at SKF&R. The investigation showed that contact made by FF Church with the patient was personal and included sexual innuendo.

 

This resulted in findings of guilt by his supervisors at South King Fire & Rescue, and the decision for disciplinary action. That decision was approved all the way up the chain of command. All in the department in a position of power knew and agreed with the findings and process. And had to of known of the failings.

 

What the tightly controlled ‘investigation’ did not include is vital.

 

It did not include making the public aware of the unprofessional conduct of a fire fighter.

It did not include seeking information of possible multiple violations.

It did not include notifying state and federal regulators, as required by law, of proven unprofessional conduct.

 

 

CALL TO ACTION

If you believe this is the only time this happened, then do nothing.

 

If the Department of Health follows the same investigation techniques as SKF&R, then the public will again be denied a full accounting.  Without making the allegations, in this case proven unprofessional conduct, public knowledge and asking the public for help to identify other possible victims, then justice can not be served. The public will not be properly served.

 

If you know of anything like this happening, to you or someone else, then now is the time to take action. A PROPER investigation needs all the information.

 

Want to file a police report? Or email Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson?

 

Or you can contact the Department of Health to file a complaint.

 

If you feel you have a valid complaint, I urge you to reach out to both. Because the fire department has decided by keeping quiet that it will not help keep you safe from one of their own.

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INJAM – Its Not Just About Me, by Tony Crow

Tony Crow is a motivational speaker with a great gift.

Instead of striking it rich in storage lockers, flipping houses or marketing the next pet rock, Tony only wants you to wake up tomorrow with the same faculties you have today.

My employer asked Tony to speak at our safety meeting.

It was an emotional and moving event.

When was the last time you secretly wiped a tear from your eye? At work? So you co-workers would not notice? Then realized they were quietly doing the same thing?

If you ever get the chance, spend a few moments listening to him.

Just watching the 6 minute promo could be the best thing you did for yourself today. Really.

RIP Rudy.

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It is said that timing is everything.

 

And so it was Sunday night in Des Moines.

 

South King Fire & Rescue responded quickly to control the boat fire in a covered portion of the marina.

 

Injuring two people with burns, the fire spread from the boat to other vessels and then to the dock and major structures.

 

The quick work of our firefighters was critical to keeping the fire from spreading and others from being injured.

 

Timing is everything.

 

One can only imagine the undercurrent within the department for the past several months that the department fire boat was out of commission. How can we protect the citizens when the boat is not functional?

 

As the days and weeks passed, and the team worked to overcome the many mechanical issues, each day must have brought minor relief that the boat was not needed that day to save lives.

 

From parts that failed from the manufacturer to the ubiquitous trailer not meeting requirements leaving the boat high and dry, members of SKF&R worked hard to put the boat back into service as soon as safely practical.

 

That effort, and many other behind the scene activities, was well rewarded Sunday when the fully functional boat, crewed with our well trained firefighters, responded to a fire at the Des Moines Marina.

 

It wasn’t that long ago that waiting for a boat from Seattle or Tacoma was protocol, which could have added several minutes to the response and unknown additional damage.

 

Thanks for a job well done!

 

 

 

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021263467_marinafirexml.html

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A couple of years ago I stood up for the rights of gun owners after South King Fire & Rescue commissioner Jim Fossos made a big deal about guns being banned at the public meetings. He even got Chief Church to declare it to be true.

Of course, they were wrong.

Even their attorney tried to bully the public when he cited Cherry v City of Seattle to bolster their position. Cherry v Seattle correctly states employers may dictate firearms policy for employees. However, much the surprise of the fire departments attorney, chief and commissioners, they can NOT dictate to members of the public. So the chief, commissioners and the attorney are prohibited from carrying according to district policy in place as of this writing.

As much as they would like to restrict your rights, the fire department is not on the list of exemption.

Concerned that a member of the public would be illegally harassed, I took action.

The district has used bully tactics in the past. Notably when they illegally forced a citizen to stop video recording their open public meetings. This was corrected a month later when they ‘changed their policy’ to align with state law. That lead to a Cheer and Jeer for the year, and a state award for Andy Hobbs for best short story of 2011.

With some help from Nick Smith, a few of his Open Carry Washington friends, and a hastily called Special Meeting with police guard ‘in case needed’, the record was quickly set right.

And I was immediately branded “a potentially disruptive participant who has been known to carry an unconcealed gun”. (Lies from the gitgo, but if you can get enough people to believe…)

Now Commissioner Fossos is making more wild and false claims to officials in Olympia about me.

His paranoia railings raised enough fear that Andrea Doyle, Executive Director for the Public Disclosure Commission who, solely on the unconfirmed rant of one man, took the exemplary measure in making sure the state patrol has me on their list.

Ms. Doyle rushed through a contract with the Washington State Patrol to have a trooper guard the meeting, costing taxpayers 2 hours overtime, plus travel.

Read more about this saga on a blog written by a local firearms lawyer Mark Knapp

http://firearmslawyer.net/blog/index.php/b/2013/03/30/washington_state_public_disclosure_commi

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It couldn’t happen here, could it?

 

Recent articles in the Seattle Times sparked a memory with local connections.

 

April 8, 2013, Seattle Times – “State feels bite of workers’ ‘pension spiking‘”

 

April 9, 2013, Seattle Times – “Disabilities plague government retirees, even golfers

 

Our district is carefully managed by responsible elected officials and a deeply concerned administration, right?

Lets look at how one employee turned a paltry $84,718 salary into $236,214 in just 5 years! But more about Robert Stinnett in a minute.

 

From Mike Baker:

 

In his Seattle Times series about how public employees use your tax dollars to benefit their brotherhood, several former employees, an unusually high number, were manipulating the system for personal gain with full knowledge and encouragement from leadership.

So when you read about late employment raises to enhance retirement benefits or ‘disability’ claims to collect tax-free payments, you remain calm and comforted knowing that the South King Fire & Rescue board of commissioners would not tolerate such flagrant taxpayer abuse.

 

Right….<turn sarcasm font on>

Now to spotlight a local connection.

 

The Details on retiring RICH from public ‘service’

What is your reaction to one employee turning a measly $84,700 wage in 2007 into a whopping $236,214 in a mere 5 years?

 

You read that right. This “cash-strapped” district, publicly decrying a “crisis”, not only nearly tripled this man’s annual income, just to boost his retirement pay, they approved so much ‘Bonus’ pay for an administrator that they could have put another firefighter on the street!

 

 WHY?

Well it is actually pretty simple and a trend among public employees.You see, your retirement benefit is based on the last three years you worked. SO, if you are making a piddly $85k per year, and want a $120k retirement income, just pad the income for the 3 years before retirement.

Even if the department is screaming crisis. Even if the firefighters take wage freezes. Even if revenues DECLINE. Even if the chief sends out letters saying we need to raise revenues or people will die.

 

Robert Stinnett retired in late 2011. Jumping from $84,718 in 2007, to pad the retirement at your expense, his last three full years have incomes $90,492 in 2008 (modest 6.8% raise), $125,718 in 2009 (39% increase from previous year), $132,721 in 2010 (modest 5.5% increase from previous year) and for the first 8 months of 2011 he ‘earned’ $236,214.(78% increase from previous year) Some of that was probably from other sources but was still declared as wages so unless you can correct me, it counts towards his lucrative retirement check at taxpayers expense.

No wonder he was so desperate to get his buddies re-elected.

Retirement from public service is very lucrative when you have friends that will help you pad your nest egg.

 

Another great example of how the current leadership is actively seeking ways to take your taxes and reduce your services. For the oldest reason of them all, selling you out for the money.

 

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020737830_pensiondisabilityxml.html

 

 

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