image Ron Russell Editor’s blog

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For Berkeley’s chief, a blunder that keeps on giving

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

imageYou’ve got to feel for Berkeley police sergeant Mary Kusmiss, as the fall gal ordered by Police Chief Michael Meehan to go to Oakland Tribune reporter Doug Oakley’s house in the dead of night last week to try and get him to change a newspaper story the chief didn’t like. Meehan, who’s apologized for his lapse in judgment and had his knuckles rapped at City Hall, takes another pounding today from Trib columnist Tammerlin Drummond. An excerpt:

Meehan gave Kusmiss, the department's public information officer, a direct order. She was in a tight spot. But if someone tells you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, at a certain point you might want to say, "Hold up a second."

Oakley, his wife and their two children, 3 and 5, were asleep when the sergeant knocked at the door.

"She (Kusmiss) was very apologetic and said, 'I received a direct order from the chief to come over here and tell you he wants you to change some stuff in the article you wrote tonight, and he wants you to make the change right now,' " Oakley said.

A groggy Oakley said the sergeant then attempted to pull up the story on her phone to show him what Meehan wanted changed.

Add: For anyone expecting lots of people to show up at Berkeley City Council to sound off on the Meehan affair during last night’s public comments, it didn’t happen, says Berkeleyside’s Tracey Taylor.

Image: Oakland Tribune


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