SELAH, WA - A controversial leader in Selah has forced the head of police into early retirement. Former Police Chief Rick Hayes sent the Mayor of Selah an exit-interview letter with the reason he went into early retirement.
In the letter, he stated City Administrator was one of the reasons he decided to retire early.
Hayes said “I spoke with you[Sherry Raymond] on July 31, 2020, and told you that because of Mr. Wayman, I was retiring one year and 2 months earlier than I had planned. I told you that he micromanages to the point I no longer felt like I was an effective leader within the police department and that I felt he was using the police department as a tool in this conflict over chalk art being done by persons aligning themselves with a support group of black lives matter."
In response, Mayor Sherry Raymond told me that's the first she's heard of Wayman micro-managing departments.“That micromanaging word is because of the fact that we gave the department a directive to get names of people chalking the streets and they didn't do it. We asked again.”
She added “I mean if that's micro-managing, to me that's good leadership. It would've been good leadership to pass that along to the officers and tell them this is what the mayor wants you guys to need to do it. She wants you to do it in a safe manner if you feel unsafe don't do it. It's not like I asked them to fly to the moon and back,” said Raymond.
In that same letter, Hayes brought up other complaints made against Wayman…. saying "Employees have complained about the conduct of Mr. Wayman toward them and others. Nothing was done. I was told by both Mr. Wayman and Mr. Case that the police department was a bunch of malcontents."
When it comes to complaints made towards Wayman the Mayor said he is a military man with years of experience. “I support Mr. Wayman I have seen him, to be honest with you I have seen him and heard him talking to people and then within hours, we'll get emails. I will get an email saying how rude he was on the phone or what profanity he said on the phone. Those things did not happen,” said Raymond.
Raymond says she has looked into the complaints. “I have looked into them you know the one complaint in particular from another officer. I mean their complaints there just, they are complaining about their feelings about how they felt.” She added “He speaks with authority when he speaks. So, if you take that wrong then that's your opinion. Everybody has a different opinion,” said Raymond.
However, the Mayor said she has talked to Wayman to consider how he talks to other employees.
Now for the vacant police chief position -- the City announced Dan Christman as the new chief. He was a program manager at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. According to his Linked In Profile he has about 20 years of law enforcement experience having worked with the Sunnyside Police Department and Bothell Police Department.
Mayor Raymond says she wanted to look at other candidates outside of the department to give other candidates an opportunity. “Well, part of it is because we are under such scrutiny of anything we do. If we had chosen somebody from within I don't know if they would've ever had a chance because "Don and Sherry chose them" would be the perception.”
She also said “I really think that the board did a good job choosing our chief and nothing against our Selah officers. Sometimes just a change is good. And I think that's what we're looking at.”
We did try talking to Former Police Chief Rick Hayes for this story but have not heard back.