Antioch councilwoman claims city attorney told all council members former police chief interfered with investigation of December incident with her sons

Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker and Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks.

“…the first initial communication from the city attorney’s office to the full Council notifying us all that the chief had it [sic] in fact interfered in the outcome of at least one or two of the final findings.” – Councilwoman Torres-Walker

City staff has called for a new investigation due to a recently discovered impropriety and to avoid unfairness

Resident claims city attorney email to “city leaders” was “released” and she read it

Staff, other council members and Brooks can’t or won’t answer questions about allegations against him

By Allen Payton

In announcing her resignation as chair of the Antioch City Council’s Police Oversight Standing Committee on Tuesday, District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker claimed that former Police Chief Tammany Brooks “took the liberty to modify the report” of the outside investigation of the incident involving police officers, her sons and her last December. They were riding an ATV and dirt bike illegally on city streets. Her younger son was stopped, but the older one drove off, went home and returned with the councilwoman. (See related articles here and here)

She demanded an independent investigation of the incident, making several accusations against the officers. The executive summary of the report from the investigator showed all Torres-Walker’s claims were either unfounded or not sustained. (See related article)

However, last Friday, Oct. 2nd, the City of Antioch announced that a second independent attorney will be hired to investigate her complaint due to “recent evidence” and to avoid “impropriety”. (See related article)

In a portion of the Tuesday announcement on her official Facebook page, Torres-Walker wrote: “Mr. Brooks received an impartial independent investigation report, and he took the liberty to modify that report. It’s this type of abuse of authority that must be called out which and [sic] fans the flames of tension in our community.”

Torres-Walker’s post on her official Facebook page on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Claims City Attorney Informed All Council Members of Brooks’ Interference in Investigation

In an email late Wednesday night, Councilwoman Torres-Walker was asked, how do you know the details of what happened with the first investigation and reasons for the need for a second? Was that information shared with you by city staff? Was it Ron Bernal, Thomas Lloyd Smith or someone in the Antioch Police Department? Was it shared in closed session with all council members since it’s a personnel matter? Also, were you given a copy of the complete report from the first investigation?

She responded Thursday morning, writing, “First, I had decided to step down as chair long before my colleagues made the request given what I know regarding Chief Brooks’ interference in the first investigation.

No, I was not allowed in closed session to be debriefed on all the details of how Chief Brooks interfered, but I was involved in the first initial communication from the city attorney’s office to the full Council notifying us all that the chief had it [sic] in fact interfered in the outcome of at least one or two of the final findings.

I never requested a second investigation I think it is a waste of city dollars. What I would like and what I wanted was the original report to be released so that we could move on.”

Questions for City Staff, Brooks

In an email sent late Wednesday night, City Manager Ron Bernal, City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith, Acting Police Chief Tony Morefield and Chief Tammany Brooks (who is still in his position through Saturday) were asked the following: Is what she wrote (in her resignation announcement) correct? Is that the impropriety that occurred that was recently discovered and the basis for the call for a second outside investigation?

If so, how does she know the details of what happened with the first investigation and reasons for the need for a second? Was that info only shared with her, or all council members?

Was it shared in closed session since it’s a personnel matter? If so, did the councilwoman violate closed session regulations by revealing it publicly?

Also, was she given a copy of the complete report from the first investigation? If what she wrote isn’t correct, can you please clarify for the public and respond to what the councilwoman wrote?

No Response from Staff, Questions Resent, Council Members CC’d

No response had been received as of 6:00 p.m. Thursday. The questions were then resent to the same individuals, as well as all five council members. The following additional questions were also asked: Did Chief Brooks modify the report from the investigation of her complaint, as she claimed? Is that what the impropriety was, and unfairness referred to in the press release about the need for a second investigation? If not, what was it?

Ogorchock responded Thursday night with, simply, “I’m not at liberty to say at this time.”

More Questions for Staff, Council

Torres-Walker’s response and the following, related questions were sent to the same staff members and all five council members Thursday night: Is that true that Attorney Smith said that to the council about Chief Brooks? If so, when was Chief Brooks informed of the allegations against him, and was he given an opportunity to respond and share his perspective with the council members?

Did Chief Brooks consult with Attorney Smith prior to responding to the draft or preliminary report of the investigation?

Two Council Members Respond But Can’t Comment

In response, District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock said, “It’s a personnel matter, so I can’t comment.”

“I can’t comment on any of that, as it’s a personnel issue and with confidentiality at stake, I can’t comment,” District 2 Councilman Barbanica also said in response.

Resident Claims She’s Read Email from City Attorney to Council Members

Antioch resident Lacey Brown’s comment on Torres-Walker’s official Facebook page below the post about her resignation as chair of Police Oversight Standing Committee on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (See highlighted section)

A comment was made by Antioch resident Lacey Brown (aka Ferguson on Facebook) on Torres-Walker’s official council page on Tuesday, below the post about the councilwoman’s resignation as chair of the Police Oversight Standing Committee. In response to the question in another comment, “How do you know Chief interfered with the investigation?” Brown/Ferguson claims “the email from the city attorney telling city leaders verbatim was released and I read it.”

That information, a screenshot of the conversation and additional questions were then emailed to city staff and council members, including: what email is she referring to, an email from Attorney Smith to the council members? To whom was it released? Who shared it with Ms. Brown/Ferguson for her to read?

Attempts to reach Brown asking her what email from the City Attorney has been released, where, to whom and how did she receive that email, were unsuccessful prior to publication.

As of Friday, Oct. 8 at 3:00 p.m. no one on city staff, Mayor Thorpe, Mayor Pro Tem Wilson nor Brooks had responded.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Lacey Brown’s comment on TTW’s ofcl FB pg 10-05-21 hilited

Torres-Walker & Chief Brooks

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