New Report Finds City of Arcata Spent $15,000 on Unlicensed Investigator to Produce Biased Investigation into Councilmember Brett Watson

From Brett Watson/Oct. 16, 2022, 5:34 a.m.

Originally released on October 4th, 2022


New Report Finds City of Arcata Spent $15,000 on Unlicensed Investigator to Produce Biased Investigation into Councilmember Brett Watson

Statement from Brett Watson:

Dear Community,

The City-funded investigation into me earlier this year was incredibly problematic, ignored crucial facts and evidence, and inaccurately portrayed the events of what happened between me and a City employee. In my determination to provide the truth to the public, I hired an experienced and licensed Northern California investigator, Baker Street Investigations (BSI), at my own expense, to conduct a new independent and unbiased investigation into why the City-funded Kramer Workplace Investigations (KWI) (owned by Karen Kramer) was so poorly done, and what really happened.

Unlike the Karen Kramer (KWI) report, Baker Street Investigations used a professionally accepted scientific approach and found significant problems with Kramer Workplace Investigation’s entire report. Some of BSI’s findings in their 17-page report are as follows:

-According to the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Karen Kramer is not a licensed investigator.

-It appears that Karen Kramer (KWI) experienced Expectation Bias in her reporting.

- “…Although outward appearances tend to indicate a dedication to thoroughness and professionalism…the substance on which KWI conclusions were formed was insufficient for investigative use.

- “The preponderance of allegations appears to remain supposition, hypothesis, postulation, speculation, and/or assumption.”

- “Witness statements, including Complainant, fail to show that Watson used his position of authority to leverage compliance with his requests for ongoing contact of a personal nature.”

-The City of Arcata is in violation of the California Public Records Request Act by refusing to turn over public documents and audio recordings pertaining to this investigation.

-A City staff member who is currently under investigation for misconduct during the investigation into me, was also the person who selected Kramer Workplace Investigations.

-A witness implies that the employee may have had a similar relationship with one of her subordinates which may have resulted in the termination of her subordinate. (This is currently under investigation.)

It appears as though the City investigator failed to use any professionally recognized methods used by licensed and trained investigators to form her conclusions, resulting in a poorly done and biased report.

Please don’t let the media form your opinions for you. Please use your own judgment of the facts to form your own conclusions. There are many more details to this story and I implore everyone to read the full version of my summary and a timeline of events on my website, as well as the new 17-page investigation report.


I’m deeply sorry to everyone in our Community who’s been affected by this and I ask for your forgiveness for my role in this. I was in a state of very poor mental health, and I lost sight of my duties as a council member. I also apologize to those of you who may have been retraumatized by this with memories of past experiences you may have had. I’ve worked tirelessly this last year to heal myself. As I approach one year of sobriety on October 17th, I see things clearer now than I’ve ever seen them.

Again, please read my full-length summary on my website, and if you have any questions, you can always reach me directly at:



Brett Watson