ELECTION 2019: Brendan Kolding responds to questions after Seattle Times report on investigation before he left SPD

After Brendan Kolding entered the race for City Council District 1, he left the Seattle Police Department, where he had worked for 10 years and risen to the rank of lieutenant. Last night, The Seattle Times reported that when Kolding left SPD, he was facing disciplinary proceedings. The Times cites unidentified sources in reporting that Kolding “was investigated by the police department’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) over a complaint that he had harassed (an)other officer.” The Times report says Kolding “denied the allegations, saying he was the victim of retaliation.” We contacted him via email with questions after seeing the story last night, and he has responded. We asked for comment on what led to the investigation reported by The Times; he replied, “I will not comment at this time. Sadly, I may end up suing the City over a pattern of bullying and retaliation that I experienced, so I need to keep things confidential for now.” He said The Times’ story “is an accurate representation of the conversation I had with their reporter”; the newspaper also reports, “Even though he has left the force, Kolding has a July 25 meeting scheduled with the department in which he can seek to have his name cleared.” We asked if he had any prior disciplinary action; Kolding replied, “No. In more than a decade of service to the SPD I did not have so much as an oral reprimand.” Finally, we asked what he would say to a voter who was concerned by the report: “The residents of District 1 are welcome to contact me directly if they have any concerns. My e-mail address is Kolding34@gmail.com.”

42 Replies to "ELECTION 2019: Brendan Kolding responds to questions after <i>Seattle Times</i> report on investigation before he left SPD"

  • Lee July 11, 2019 (9:29 am)

    That was a pretty long-winded “no comment.” The threat of suing SPD and the city over a pattern of harassment also really undermines his message about forming a better relationship between SPD and the city council.

    • Brenda July 11, 2019 (9:53 am)

      Pointless Comment 

      • heartless July 11, 2019 (2:32 pm)

        Brenda: I’m not sure it’s pointless to alert people to the fact that someone who is running for office in part on the platform of good relations with the police department is contemplating suing the selfsame police department… 

        In fact it kinda seems the opposite of pointless (mainly in that it has a point).  

    • Gene July 11, 2019 (9:58 am)

      Pretty much any entity-if involved in possible lawsuit or ongoing investigation will say the same- can’t comment at this time. So Mr.Kolding should be an exception? Not saying Times shouldn’t have published the piece- but they know that if someone is involved  in possible litigation- or ongoing investigation- that person will likely not respond in detail. 

      • Lee July 11, 2019 (12:00 pm)

        Gene, my point was that he didn’t actually “no comment.” He said the words “no comment,” and then followed up with insinuations and legal threats against. I completely understand why “no comment” is the best strategy where there is pending or potential litigation, but that strategy was poorly executed in this instance.     

  • Everett July 11, 2019 (9:50 am)

    Unidentified sources?  In other word’s  Liberal FakeNews  *The Seattle Times*  He has my vote. Herbold is a *Do Nothing*

    • WSB July 11, 2019 (9:56 am)

      Actually, the Times’ editorial stance is anything but liberal. But that’s separate from their journalism and I do not take lightly anyone calling a legitimate news organization “fake news.” Speaking about their publication – not the merits of this particular report or lack of them – The Times is not “fake.” There’s a lot out there that is (social media is a particularly bad place to pick up aggregators, fabricators, etc.) so please use that phrase only when it’s truly merited. My lifelong profession is under enough siege as it is. – TR

      • L in WS July 11, 2019 (11:09 am)

        Hear, hear, TR.  We need experienced, balanced journalism now more than ever before.

      • Joe July 11, 2019 (9:12 pm)

        Unfortunately, the media is in part responsible for their reputation. While I receive and read the Times every day, it’s not accurate to say it’s not biased to the left. One of the good things about WSB is that it is taking the place of all of the local media that was lost in the conglomeration movement. (I am aware that ST is locally owned as well.) Another problem is that so many journalists consider  themselves activists now (just check out their twitter feeds). And not Edward R. Murrow activists, but rather belonging to a movement.

        • Nolan July 11, 2019 (10:28 pm)

          That you think the Times is “biased to the left” speaks volumes about your utter lack of perspective.

          • Joe July 12, 2019 (10:40 am)

            Surely there are idea to the left of the Times, but that does not make them right-leaning. What is your scale for such a determination, or is this just an ad hominem attack? 

          • Joe July 12, 2019 (10:42 am)

            You must be referring to all of the republican candidates for office the Times has endorsed over the years, I stand corrected.

    • walter stawicki July 11, 2019 (10:37 am)

      dragging more into this, as you want because the press chooses to keep sources confidential is not wise.  ever hear of retaliation?  the secrecy cuts off that route, plausability irrelevant.  Tqking the safer course is the way to go and Times did it.  Your comments show little understanding of S.O.P. and a lot of your biases.

    • Lagartija Nick July 11, 2019 (12:19 pm)

      I am so sick of conservatives claiming any news story they don’t like is “fake news”. Especially because they are the ultimate consumers of questionable media outlets i.e. FOX, Breitbart, Infowars, Limbaugh et al. Kolding himself said it was an accurate representation of the conversation with the reporter.

      • JVP July 11, 2019 (10:03 pm)

        Nick, both sides of the political spectrum are certainly capable of political bias. MSNBC, Fox, HuffPo, Brietbart, etc. None of them even try to be unbiased, and they are heavily weighted toward opinion vs reporting.I find the Seattle Times reasonably traditional and objective. Editorial board is slightly conservative, a few columnist are slightly liberal, but their actual news feels about as neutral as you can get. 

        • Lagartija Nick July 12, 2019 (8:48 am)

          JVP, there is a huge difference between political bias (opinion) and fake news (lies). Yes, most media outlets are editorially biased but that’s not what ‘fake news’ is. And media outlets like FOX, Breitbart, and Infowars etc. regularly “report” lies. The “Seth Rich”, “Uranium One”, “Pizzagate”, and “Sandy Hook Hoax” stories were prime examples of that. 

          • Joe July 13, 2019 (9:27 am)

            Just went to breitbart and didn’t see anything that was “fake.” And as for the Times, do you demand 100% ideological purity before you consider them not leaning conservative? One r presidential endorsement since Reagan is too much?

    • wscommuter July 11, 2019 (4:56 pm)

      @Everett … The Orwellian evil – I use those words deliberately – of people like you  who have decided to imitateTrump in shamelessly lying by calling anything you don’t like or agree with “fake” is a cancer on our society.  You are entitled to believe whatever you want – and god help you if you actually think that way.  But start throwing around “liberal fake news” and it stops being about conservative versus liberal and it is about lying versus truth.  And ultimately, it is about stupid versus using your brain.  The “fake news” scam is exactly what Joseph Goebbels did so effectively 80 years ago; what Stalin’s USSR thrived on for 70 years and what Putin’s Russia is doing today.  The intentional branding as lies the ideas or information that you don’t like is nothing but a con; a scam played by hucksters and cowards.  Shame  on you for playing that game.  

      • anonyme July 12, 2019 (6:31 am)

        Excellent observation!

  • Karen July 11, 2019 (9:55 am)

    Interesting timing by the Seattle Times.  Hmmm

    • CAM July 11, 2019 (6:03 pm)

      If you read the article from the ST it notes that they have been waiting for a response to a FOIA request from SPD and that they have not had a response yet. They’ve been told they’ll get the records next week. It’s only interesting timing because they just got the information. 

  • anonyme July 11, 2019 (10:18 am)

    Nothing unusual about his comment.  Pretty standard under the circumstances.  It’ll be interesting to see what the evidence is; as it stands, this is an accusation and nothing more.  These days if you look at someone the wrong way (or insist that they do their job) they will accuse you of harassment, so I’ll hold judgment until some facts are presented.   I also agree with Karen that the timing is interesting…

  • Jethro Marx July 11, 2019 (10:34 am)

    If he lied to people who were looking into his work as a cop, he would expect to be fired, and an unsuccessful run for city council might be a good excuse to ease out the back door by resigning. I guess he’s angling for some kind of administrative policymaking position. I’m a little wary of people claiming they were “bullied” as an excuse for their own actions. But now he’ll sue the city from a slightly more powerful position, probably settle, and ooze off to some city in Arizona or something to run a tent-based detention center. Watch for the classic politician’s gambit of “I can’t comment because of pending blablablah…” smoothly transitioning to “I can’t comment because I settled and signed a non-disclosure agreement.”

    • JAFO July 11, 2019 (8:32 pm)

      … “ooze off to some city in Arizona or something to run a tent-based detention center.” Nice smear. I’ve laughed at your comments many, many times, all the while recognizing that you are but a shameless Seattle homer and an endlessly staunch defender of its destructive liberal policies. Fair enough, but no need to project your superiority/self loathing on other states. Perhaps he, like many of your neighbors, might just be fed up with the status quo and eventually choose to go somewhere (anywhere) else where the local government is actually more concerned with law abiding folks over criminals and doesn’t allow a once beautiful city to be turned into a garbage dump? 

  • WSOwl July 11, 2019 (11:03 am)

    Vote Herbold!

  • wsres July 11, 2019 (12:27 pm)

    I will vote for him over Herbold as long as he has a plan to rehab and reduce the homeless by drugs and by choice population in our city. 

    • Jon Wright July 11, 2019 (1:47 pm)

      He has an actual plan? So far, all I’ve heard is “FEMA tents” and a whole lot of vague generalities.

      • KM July 11, 2019 (7:41 pm)

        “Accountability” and “audits” aren’t enough policy for you, Jon? But, it’s the battle cry of the more conservative challengers in all districts!

  • onion July 11, 2019 (12:50 pm)

    I have to second WSB’s comments. 

    Lagartija Nick

    also. Well said.   West Seattle is not Trumpistan.

    • Everett July 11, 2019 (1:25 pm)

      If if there is no unbiased comments, how did a anti President Trump comment get posted? When it has nothing to do with this story.  Hmmmmm

      • Jim Walker July 11, 2019 (4:30 pm)

        Nearly all comments on here are biased, good grief,  what do you think the comments are for. I assume most people on here are adults and can handle listening to othe people’s opinions, whether or not you agree with them. My biased opinion is stop being so sensitive. 

  • DogTheBuntyHunter July 11, 2019 (1:28 pm)

    Times article is a smear job.  they have no facts. We’ll see what the public records release says.I’m still voting for Him. He has the best ideas.   Bye Lisa !

  • raybro July 11, 2019 (1:32 pm)

    Seems to me that we all should withhold judgement until all the facts are out in the open.  After reading the Seattle Times article, it is obvious all the facts are not out in the open. 

  • Koldingsupporter July 11, 2019 (1:34 pm)

    Sorta questionable timing on this release and it’s sorta funny how the news is running all these feel good stories about cleaning up homeless camps as of lately sounds like Seattle city council is trying to save face…still voting for kolding

  • Mj July 11, 2019 (2:26 pm)

    Vote Tavel

    • kj July 11, 2019 (3:45 pm)

      Tavel’s the best!

  • M July 11, 2019 (7:19 pm)

    Voting for Kolding! 

  • EB July 12, 2019 (6:53 am)

    Still voting for Kolding. I’ve worked on a committee with him for 2+ years and he is a no nonsense, by-the-book guy. 

  • Peter July 12, 2019 (10:02 am)

    I do not believe Kolding’s story at all. I will trust the OPA over the word of any cop 100% of the time. It’s tempting to vote for one of the other two dolts just to keep Kolding out of office, but I can’t bring myself to vote for any of them, they’re all horrible choices. West Seattle deserves better representation than any of the options we have.

  • shauna levine July 12, 2019 (12:01 pm)

    Herbold has to go.                                                                                                                                                                                      I have gotten to know Kolding and have seen integrity , conviction to helping homeless get off the streets and into housing, concern for public safety.  Lets see how this plays out….I don’t know what will be the outcome but….Herbold needs to be replaced. That much I do know.

  • Ann July 12, 2019 (12:53 pm)

    Kolding still has my vote.  Most of those pointing one finger have two or three pointing back at them.  I don’t really trust any of those who are currently I office.

  • Gerry July 16, 2019 (9:23 am)

    Mr. Kolding, I am asking you to consider dropping out of the race and endorsing Phillip Tavel.It may well be that you have a legitimate grievance with SPD.    But perceptions matter, and I think your ongoing dispute is a distraction which can split votes and result in Lisa Herbold getting re-elected.How about resolving your issues with the City, then running for election next term if you believe we need new representation at that time?

Sorry, comment time is over.