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I N RE PAUL MURPHY BI LL ELFO VOL.

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COURT REPORTER: BETH DRUMMOND PROCEEDI NG DATE: November 9, 2012
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I N THE STATE OF WASHI NGTON FOR THE COUNTY OF WHATCOM
CI VI L SERVI CE BOARD
I n r e t he mat t er of : )
)
PAUL MURPHY )
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___________________________________________________________
DEPOSI TI ON UPON ORAL EXAMI NATI ON BEFORE TRI AL OF
SHERI FF BI LL ELFO
___________________________________________________________
DATE TAKEN: November 9, 2012
REPORTED BY: BETH L. DRUMMOND, #2064
CORPOLONGO & ASSOCI ATES
REPORTI NG & REAL- TI ME SPECI ALI STS
114 West Magnol i a, Sui t e 400- 100
Bel l i ngham, WA 98225
1( 360) 671- 6298
i nf o@cor pol ongoandassoci at es. com
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COURT REPORTER: BETH DRUMMOND PROCEEDI NG DATE: November 9, 2012
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A P P E A R A N C E S
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ROBERT D. BUTLER, ATTORNEY AT LAW
5 Law Of f i ces of Rober t D. But l er
103 E. Hol l y, Sui t e 512
6 Bel l i ngham, Washi ngt on 98225
360- 734- 3448
7 360- 734- 7975
Admi n@r dbut l er l aw. com
8 For Paul Mur phy
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10 EMI LY BESCHEN, ATTORNEY AT LAW
Law Of f i ces of Rober t D. But l er
11 103 E. Hol l y, Sui t e 512
Bel l i ngham, Washi ngt on 98225
12 360- 734- 3448
360- 734- 7975
13 Admi n@r dbut l er l aw. com
For Paul Mur phy
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15 DANI EL L. GI BSON, ATTORNEY AT LAW
What comCount y Pr osecut i ng At t or ney' s Of f i ce
16 322 Nor t h Commer ci al , Sui t e 210
Bel l i ngham, Washi ngt on, 98225
17 360- 676- 6692
360- 738- 2532
18 Dgi bson@co. what com. wa. us
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Al so Pr esent :
20 Paul Mur phy
Lor i Mur phy
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1 Deposi t i on upon or al exami nat i on bef or e t r i al
2 of SHERI FF BI LL ELFO, i n t he above- ent i t l ed cause, t aken at
3 t he i nst ance of ROBERT BUTLER, pur suant t o Not i ce, at
4 Execut i ve Conf er ence Rooms, Ci t y of Bel l i ngham, Count y of
5 What com, St at e of Washi ngt on, bef or e Bet h L. Dr ummond,
6 Cer t i f i ed Cour t Repor t er and a Not ar y Publ i c f or t he St at e
7 of Washi ngt on on November 9, 2012 at 2: 00.
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COURT REPORTER: BETH DRUMMOND PROCEEDI NG DATE: November 9, 2012
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2 EXAMI NATI ON I NDEX
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4 EXAMI NATI ON BY PAGE
5 By Mr . But l er 5
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EXHI BI T I NDEX
10 EXHI BI TS FOR I DENTI FI CATI ON PAGE
1 Document 5
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I N RE PAUL MURPHY BI LL ELFO VOL. I
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SHERI FF BI LL ELFO, havi ng f i r st been dul y swor n, was
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exami ned and t est i f i ed as f ol l ows:
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( Exhi bi t 1 mar ked f or i dent i f i cat i on. )
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EXAMI NATI ON
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BY MR. BUTLER:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Sheriff Elfo.
9 Your deposition today is related to your decision
10 to terminate Paul Murphy. Are you aware of that?
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 Q. Have you had your deposition taken before?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. So I'll just briefly run over the rules.
15 If my question is not clear, feel free to ask me
16 to clarify. It all needs to be verbal, so body language
17 doesn't count. We need to have audible answers and only one
18 of us at a time talking.
19 Do you remember all those rules?
20 A. I understand.
21 Q. All right. Did you review any documents prior to
22 the deposition today?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. What documents did you review?
25 A. I reviewed the investigative file contained in
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1 Administrative Investigation 2012-001 in the Whatcom County
2 Sheriff's Office, which also includes the letter that I
3 signed terminating Mr. Murphy from the sheriff's office.
4 Q. Okay. Any other documents you reviewed?
5 A. I've reviewed his personnel file, albeit several
6 weeks ago.
7 Q. Okay. Did you have occasion to discuss with
8 Investigator Cooley after his deposition anything about this
9 case?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And tell me about that discussion.
12 A. I had an attorney/client conversation with
13 Mr. Gibson, and he requested at the end of that conversation
14 that I have Mr. Cooley call him, and I asked --
15 Q. That was before his dep, right?
16 A. I'm sorry.
17 Q. That was before Cooley's dep, correct?
18 A. Oh, before -- no. That was -- yeah. That was
19 before his deposition.
20 Q. Okay. I wanted to narrow your focus to did you
21 speak with Investigator Cooley after his deposition during
22 the lunch hour here?
23 A. Other than to say "how did it go" and "just
24 fine," nothing really of the specifics.
25 Q. Okay. Do you know Steve Cooley?
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1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And how do you know him?
3 A. He works for the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office,
4 and I'm the sheriff.
5 Q. Okay. Does he do investigation work for you?
6 A. Yes, he does.
7 Q. Does he do good work?
8 A. Yes, he does.
9 Q. Have you ever known Steve Cooley to launch into
10 his own investigation without a directive from either you or
11 command?
12 A. I can't recall any instance of that.
13 Q. Would it be okay with you if he did?
14 A. No, it would not.
15 Q. Do you know Paul Murphy?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. How do you know Paul?
18 A. He's a former deputy with the Whatcom County
19 Sheriff's Office.
20 Q. You are aware that he opposed your re-election
21 last year?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Did you direct Cooley to monitor Paul's
24 Facebook page or other social media postings?
25 A. Yes, I did.
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1 Q. And were you aware that there was a Facebook page
2 titled Unelect Bill Elfo and/or converted to Boot Bill Elfo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'm showing you Exhibit 1 as an example. It's a
5 three-page -- July 30, July 31, August 6th.
6 Do you remember seeing these pages or similar
7 pages?
8 A. I don't recall seeing the first page here.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. It's rather entertaining. I do recall seeing the
11 second page, and I'll just take a minute to read.
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MR. GI BSON: What ' s t he number on t he exhi bi t ?
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MR. BUTLER: No. 1.
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MR. GI BSON: So ar e t hey number ed ser i al l y by
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wi t ness?
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MR. BUTLER: Yeah. Sor r y.
17 A. I do recall seeing the photograph on No. 2 -- or
18 on the second picture which depicts me riding a unicorn.
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BY MR. BUTLER:
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. And I do recall seeing the photograph on --
22 depicting me with a zipper across my mouth and a little hat
23 on.
24 Q. How did you come to see either the unelect or the
25 boot Bill Elfo pages? Were those referred to you or did you
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1 see them on your own?
2 A. No. Actually, we'd been -- I'd been looking at
3 Mr. Murphy's Facebook pages, including his personal page,
4 when I first got a -- I've had citizens and elected
5 officials bring concerns about the content, how they
6 affected the sheriff's office to my attention. I
7 periodically looked at them.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. I did look at Mr. Murphy's Facebook page where --
10 which is the Unelect or Boot Bill Elfo or whatever it's
11 called now -- certainly in connection with the election as
12 well as from my home computer.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Have you monitored other
14 deputies' Facebook pages?
15 A. No, I have not -- well, I take that back. I've
16 occasionally looked at Facebook pages, and I've communicated
17 with deputies through Facebook.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. But not because of concerns that were expressed
20 from the public or that gave rise for me to have other
21 concerns about how it reflected on the sheriff's office.
22 Q. Okay. Did you speak with Dave McEachran about
23 Paul's investigation prior to Cooley completing it in May?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Roughly how many times?
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1 A. There was more than one conversation. I don't
2 recall specifically how many.
3 Q. Did you do any personal investigation into Paul
4 Murphy that led to your decision to terminate his
5 employment?
6 A. You mean -- what do you mean by "investigation"?
7 Q. As I understand it, Steve Cooley was directed to
8 do an investigation and provide his findings and
9 conclusions, and then that gets run up the chain and a
10 decision is made what to do.
11 A. Well, he's supposed to report back findings.
12 Q. Right.
13 A. And then how those findings apply or whether
14 they're sustained or not moves up the chain.
15 Q. Okay. And so my question is: Did you do any --
16 anything other than review his work to arrive at your
17 decision?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What work did you do other than reviewing
20 Cooley's investigation?
21 A. I read Cooley's investigative report.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. I read the report of Chief Criminal Deputy
24 Chadwick. I conferred with Undersheriff Parks, who had also
25 reviewed the file. I conferred with the assistant chief
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1 civil prosecutor at the Whatcom County Prosecuting
2 Attorney's Office.
3 Q. That'd be Dan Gibson?
4 A. That would be Mr. Gibson.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. I communicated with the elected prosecutor,
7 Mr. Dave McEachran. I reviewed Mr. McEachran's letter,
8 commonly referred to as a Brady letter, that was issued
9 subsequent to the investigation being completed and
10 carefully reviewed Mr. McEachran's conclusions. And I
11 considered that there was sufficient evidence to support
12 Mr. McEachran's conclusions.
13 Q. Okay. So other than reading the report that
14 Cooley did, are you telling me that Chadwick did an
15 investigation that led to a report --
16 A. No.
17 Q. -- or Chadwick's review of Cooley's --
18 A. I read Chadwick's review of Cooley's report.
19 Q. Okay. And the same with Parks, or did Parks do
20 an investigation that created an original report?
21 A. There was no original report. I had a
22 conversation with him and we discussed the merits of the
23 findings.
24 Q. Okay. So other than what's in the notebook in
25 front of you, did you personally investigate any additional
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1 evidence in the -- in the case?
2 A. I'm not sure what you mean by "investigate."
3 Q. Did you go talk to IT? Did you go do any
4 investigation that's not contained in what you reviewed?
5 A. Yeah. At some point, I had a briefing with the
6 county -- Whatcom County's information technology manager,
7 Mr. Perry Rice, regarding some of the terminology that was
8 used.
9 Q. Okay. Was that after Cooley concluded or is that
10 during the course of the investigation?
11 A. That was during the course of the investigation
12 and/or prior to the investigation.
13 Q. Okay. Did McEachran provide you conclusions in
14 writing, other than the Brady letter, or when you
15 referenced -- you looked at what's commonly referred to as
16 the Brady letter and his conclusions?
17 A. To the best of my recollection, I don't think
18 there were any other documents other than the Brady letter.
19 Q. Okay. Have you ever spoken with Janice Corbin
20 regarding Paul Murphy in 2012?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When did you have that conversation?
23 A. It was some months ago. I don't recall the exact
24 date, but she came and interviewed me regarding a
25 whistleblower complaint that Mr. Murphy had made to the
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1 county executive, I believe.
2 Q. Okay. I think I got out of that answer that it
3 was in person?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And the location was your office?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you recall in that conversation -- did she
8 record the conversation? Was it taped?
9 A. I don't believe so. I believe she took notes.
10 Q. Okay. Do you recall what her note-taking form
11 was? And by that, I mean: I'm writing on paper. Emily
12 here is writing on a computer. Both of us are taking notes.
13 A. I know she was writing.
14 Q. And so there's paper notes?
15 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.
16 Q. Okay. Do you remember how long the meeting was?
17 A. It was probably under -- under 30 minutes.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. More than 15 minutes.
20 Q. Do you remember how the meeting came about? Did
21 somebody tell you, you need to meet with this person? Did
22 she just call you and say, "Hi, I'm Janice. I need to talk
23 to you"?
24 How did it -- how did it happen?
25 A. You know, I can't recall specifically how it was
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1 arranged. I know I had it on my calendar. Whether that
2 came from Mr. Gibson's office, I can't recall.
3 My secretary runs -- or my administrative
4 assistant runs my calendar. They may have made an
5 appointment directly with her. I don't recall.
6 Q. All right.
7 That's all I have.
8 A. Thanks.
9 MR. BUTLER: Okay. Thank you.
10 ( Deposi t i on concl uded at 2: 14 p. m. )
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2 STATE OF WASHI NGTON )
) SS: C E R T I F I C A T E
3 COUNTY OF WHATCOM )
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I , BETH L. DRUMMOND, Cer t i f i ed Cour t
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Repor t er i n and f or t he St at e of Washi ngt on do her eby
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cer t i f y;
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That t he f or egoi ng i s t r ue and cor r ect
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t o t he best of my ski l l , abi l i t y, and knowl edge,
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t aken on t he dat e and at t he t i me and pl ace as shown
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on Page Two her et o;
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That I amnot r el at ed t o any of t he
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par t i es t o t hi s l i t i gat i on and have no i nt er est i n t he
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out come of sai d l i t i gat i on;
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Wi t ness my hand and seal t hi s 6t h day of
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May, 2014.
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20 ________________________________
21 BETH L. DRUMMOND, CCR #2064
CERTI FI ED COURT REPORTER
22 I N AND FOR THE STATE OF
WASHI NGTON, RESI DI NG AT
23 BELLI NGHAM.
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I N THE STATE OF WASHI NGTON COUNTY OF WHATCOM
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CI VI L SERVI CE BOARD
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I n Re: Paul Mur phy
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TO: DANI EL L. GI BSON
What comCount y Pr osecut i ng At t or ney
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322 Nor t h Commer ci al , Sui t e 210
Bel l i ngham, Washi ngt on 98225
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Pl ease have SHERI FF BI LL ELFO cont act our
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of f i ce t o r ead and si gn hi s deposi t i on t o not e any er r or s
t hat may have been made i n t he t r anscr i pt . Thi s needs t o be
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done wi t hi n 30 days of t hi s l et t er , pur suant t o Washi ngt on
Repor t s 34A, Rul e ( e) , or t hr ee days pr i or t o t r i al ,
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whi chever occur s f i r st .
I f t he si gned cor r ect i on sheet i s not
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r et ur ned wi t hi n t he speci f i ed t i me per i od, t he or i gi nal
t r anscr i pt wi l l be f i l ed wi t h t he quest i oni ng at t or ney.
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Your pr ompt at t ent i on t o t hi s mat t er i s
gr eat l y appr eci at ed. I f t her e ar e any quest i ons I can
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assi st you wi t h, pl ease f eel f r ee t o cal l .
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________________________________
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PATTI E LONG, ADMI NI STRATOR
Cor pol ongo & Associ at es,
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114 West Magnol i a, Sui t e 400- 110
Bel l i ngham, Washi ngt on 98225
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( 360) 671- 6298
May 6, 2014
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C. C. Rober t But l er , Paul Mur phy
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COURT REPORTER: BETH DRUMMOND PROCEEDI NG DATE: November 9, 2012
1 TO THE WI TNESS:
2 PLEASE READ YOUR DEPOSI TI ON CAREFULLY. On t hi s cor r ect i on
sheet make not es of any er r or s I have made. Pl ease si gn
3 t hi s sheet at t he bot t om, and r et ur n t hi s t o me at 114 West
Magnol i a St r eet , Sui t e 429, Bel l i ngham, WA 98225. I f you
4 have any quest i ons, pl ease f eel f r ee t o cal l me at ( 360)
671- 6298.
5 _______________________________________________________
Page- l i ne cor r ect i on
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Si gned and dat ed t hi s ____ day of ___________, 2014.
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See: Wash. Repor t s 34A, __________________________
25 Rul e 30( e) USC 28 SHERI FF BI LL ELFO
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I N RE PAUL MURPHY BI LL ELFO VOL. I
COURT REPORTER: BETH DRUMMOND PROCEEDI NG DATE: November 9, 2012
1 I N THE STATE OF WASHI NGTON COUNTY OF WHATCOM
CI VI L SERVI CE BOARD
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4 I N RE: PAUL MURPHY
_____________________________
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RE: Deposi t i on of : SHERI FF BI LL ELFO
6 Taken on: November 9, 2012
Dat e f i l ed:
7 Pl ease be advi sed t hat t he above- r ef er enced deposi t i on wi l l
be f i l ed wi t h:
8 PAUL MURPHY
1215 East Smi t h Road
9 Bel l i ngham, WA 98225
10 ____ The Deponent wai ved si gnat ur e.
____ The deposi t i on has been r ead and si gned by t he
11 Deponent .
____ No changes have been made t o t he deposi t i on.
12 ____ The at t ached CORRECTI ONS sheet r ef l ect s t he changes
made.
13 ____ The Deponent f ai l ed t o appear at our of f i ce or
not i f y us pur suant t o CR 26. 30( e) .
14 ____ The Deponent r ef used t o si gn t he deposi t i on.
____ Ot her .
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_____________________________
17 PATTI E LONG, MANAGER
CORPOLONGO & ASSOCI ATES, I NC.
18 114 West Magnol i a, Sui t e 400- 100
Bel l i ngham, WA 98225
19 ( 360) 671- 6298
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C. C. Mr . But l er
21 Mr . Gi bson
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