Emails show city staff reacting on the fly

Story updated from original version of the text. The incorrect date was given for the day Councilor Roland Herrera forwarded a city email to himself containing the former city manager’s incident report. Updated April 18, 1:18 p.m.

When former city manager Chris Eppley discharged a gun in his office on March 4, it triggered numerous emails among members of the city staff. 

Keizertimes requested copies of any emails sent in the wake of the incident using city servers and received 13 pages in return. It includes the full incident report Eppley filed in the wake of firing a gun in his offices and matches, identically, a description Keizertimes obtained two weeks ago. 

Eppley reported that the discharge happened at noon on Thursday, March 4. 

The first email sent came from Kristen Meyers, a human resources generalist with the City of Keizer, at 12:54 p.m. Meyers had to “quickly” create a new form since the typical incident report was only made to include events resulting in “injury, illness, or exposure to a contagious disease.” 

Meyers states that she called Machell DePina, Keizer’s human resources director, who said “at a minimum detail the incident completely.”

At 1:09 p.m., the chair of the Keizer Civic Center Safety Committee, requested a “private chat” with Meyers. An hour later Meyers responded she could not discuss the “current situation” and told him to document any information he wished to share. 

At 5:06 p.m. Meyers emailed DePina with an update on how the rest of the day played out. DePina had apparently reached out to Tammie Harms, an employee of the city’s legal department, who was also in the civic center and heard the shot fired in Eppleys’s office.  

Meyers states that Eppley called her into his office where “he apologized for the incident and that it was awkward for me.”

Heyen had also stopped by to ask who would complete the supervisor’s portion of the incident report and if it would be him. 

“I steered clear of giving definitive answers,” Meyers wrote. 

On Friday, March 5, Debbie Lockhart, Keizer deputy city recorder, sent out a notice that an executive session would be held the following Monday, March 8, at noon.

City Councilor Roland Herrera forwarded the message with the executive session notice that included the incident report and two image files to a personal email on the same day.