City manager won't face charges

BAKER CITY — No charges will be filed against a city manager accused of harassing an 8-year-old girl who had been rough with his daughter at a track meet.

Witnesses reported that Baker City Manager Steve Brocato grabbed the girl's face and scolded her May 19. But District Attorney Tim Colahan of Harney County declined to prosecute, saying there was insufficient evidence that Brocato intended to harass the girl.

Brocato told the Baker City Herald this week he would have no comment.

The Baker County Sheriff's Office investigated the allegation, but the local district attorney turned the matter over to Colahan last month because of a conflict of interest.

Colahan wrote in a memorandum that Brocato's actions were motivated by his concern about physical contact between the 8-year-old girl and Brocato's 6-year-old daughter, both of whom were competing at the meet.

According to a police report, Brocato admitted he grabbed the girl "by the face and turned her head to look at him."

He said he did not "squeeze her face or shake her head." Brocato told the police investigator he had been trained to use the technique to get a child's attention.

The girl has a disability, but Colahan noted in his memo that it "seems clear" Brocato did not know the girl had special needs.

"His actions did not appear excessive nor did they cause any physical injury," Colahan wrote.

The police report said Brocato met with the girl's father on May 23, and Brocato agreed to apologize to the girl and to the coaches who supervise at the track meets.

The girl's father told police that Brocato apologized to his daughter, but did not apologize to the coaches.

Share This Story