North Bend Police Chief Robert Kappelman

Chief Robert Kappelman

One week after they retired after they retired as the top officials in the North Bend Police Department, former Chief Robert Kappelman and former Capt. Curt Bennett explained the reason for their quick departure.

In a letter from their attorneys, the former leaders of North Bend police blamed City Administrator David Milliron for their quick departure.

The city and David Milliron know that Captain Bennett’s and Chief Kappelman’s retirements stem from their lack of confidence in David Milliron as North Bend city manager,” attorney Roland Iparraguirre wrote. “Specifically, the city and David Milliron know that Captain Bennett and Chief Kappelman (as well as other city personnel) have logged repeated complaints about David Milliron.”

When reached for comment, Milliron said the city could not comment on HR issues or pending litigation.

The two former officers specifically referred to a June case, where four people were killed in three separate incidents. A man was later arrested after he turned himself in to authorities in Wisconsin.

“Chief Kappelman and Captain Bennett endured a year of David Milliron’s increasingly bizarre and abusive behavior, culminating in his inappropriate interjection into a quadruple homicide case in June of 2021,” the letter read.

The former officers also voiced concerns about the city council, saying the council ignored their concerns when they were raised.

The letter also said the North Bend Police Department flourished under the leadership of Kappelman and Bennet. Kappelman served as chief for eight years, while Bennett was an officer in North Bend for 29.

The retirement announcement came days after the North Bend City Council met in executive session before coming out and voting unanimously to hire an outside consultant to do a complete overview of the police department. The city announced the review would continue despite the changes in the department.

In their letter, the former officers said the review could be viewed as “retaliation.”

After their retirement, North Bend asked the city of Coos Bay for assistance. Coos Bay Police Chief Chris Chapanar agreed to oversee the department and offered one of his captains to run the day-to-day operations. Despite having no chief, operations have continued as normal.

The city has begun a search for an interim chief and is likely to name the interim chief in the near future. North Bend will begin the search for a permanent replacement after the review has been completed.

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