Bellevue Police Chief responds after union alleges 'deceptive' conduct

Published: Sep. 13, 2017 at 8:36 PM CDT
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The Bellevue Police Officers Association say they no longer have confidence in their police chief to be a leader of their department. The union alleges they have evidence their chief of police acted deceptively — a charge Chief Mark Elbert adamantly denies.

The union that represents the officers, sergeants and detectives of the Bellevue Police Department wrote in a press release Wednesday, "Chief Mark Elbert had engaged in actions the reflect a pattern of dishonest and deceptive conduct in his carrying out the duties of the Chief of Police."

The union alleged there were tape recordings of the chief telling a member of the department to "intentionally deceive other members of the department." The release goes on to allege that recordings of others in the department confirm the chief's statements to the employee were untruthful.

Elbert said in a statement late Wednesday that he's confident that any review of how he's conducted himself regarding the personnel matters would find he acted in a "responsible and wholly appropriate manner at all times."

"I categorically reject the false characterization asserted by the Union and its attorneys in the statements they have recently published," Elbert's statement read. "I would note that I am not personally a party to any disciplinary or legal proceeding whatsoever. I am aware that there are other pending proceedings involving other Bellevue Police Department employees, but since those cases concern employee personnel matters, unfortunately, I cannot comment in any detail."

Jim Maguire, the President of the State Fraternal Order of Police, said he believes Chief Mark Elbert's actions were unacceptable. Maguire stated that: "These actions are intolerable for any leader of a Police Department. It violates everything that law enforcement officers commit to when taking the oath of office and committing to live lives of high ethical standards. The position he put this officer in is unacceptable."

Members at the meeting also alleged that Elbert made derogatory comments towards women and racial minorities. Accusations that Elbert vehemently denies.

"I would note, however, that I find the suggestion that I have engaged in making any derogatory comments towards women or racial minorities particularly offensive," Elbert said in his statement. "These allegations are not only entirely false, but also inconsistent with my professional conduct during my twenty plus year career in law enforcement, and my personal conduct as well, reflected, in part, by the fact that I am a father to minority children and a young daughter and would never tolerate such comments or actions."

The union says Elbert initiated multiple internal affairs investigations against union leadership as retaliation for union-related activities. Elbert said the union's accusations are fabricated and calls the claims "meritless."

"It is disheartening that rather than pursue their claims in a proper forum, certain individuals and Union counsel have attempted to retaliate against me and other members of the Department with false statements and innuendos, and have disseminated those false statements and innuendos to other department members. Regrettably, I was not afforded the opportunity to defend myself from these meritless claims before they were asserted, nor given the opportunity to point out the motivations of those individuals making these false assertions. "

The FOP voted to advise the city of Bellevue administration that its officers have no confidence in Mark Elbert to continue as the leader of the Department. Read statements from the

and Chief

attached to this article.