The Public has read and heard ad nauseam from Sheriffs and Police Chiefs about how rotten the new laws are and how they inhibit law enforcement’s ability to do their job.
But one of the new laws I like is “ENGROSSED SECOND SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5051 PEACE OFFICERS AND CORRECTIONS OFFICERS—STATE OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY”.
The background check section of the new law was intended to prevent the long-standing practice of withholding derogatory information about a Lateral Transfer from one Washington State Law Enforcement Agency to another just to get rid of the guy/gal.
Because of some of my past experience I like to follow “Innocent Project Cases” including those here in the State of Washington, one that I have been following closely is the retrial of David Nickels in Grant County.
The Nickels case like almost all Innocent Project Cases has some dynamics the Public generally isn’t aware of so I just point them out for the Public. In doing my research for the Nickels case I became aware of some credibility issues which might come up with some of the Prosecution witnesses in the Murder case some of whom are Grant County Cops. The question of witness credibility could depend upon the outcome of an ongoing investigation by the Wenatchee Police Department of an alleged payroll fraud case involving the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to this story by iFIBERONE, I received information that Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones wanted the payroll fraud allegation kept quiet because the allegation involved several Grant County Sheriff Deputies being paid by a private security company while at the same time being paid by Grant County.
The handling of the allegation by Sheriff Jones is consistent with what I learned based on the response I received from this Public Records Request, and also provides some insight as to how some serious allegations involving law enforcement officers are handled by Law Enforcement Administrators and why the new law was enacted.
Another dynamic of the Nickels murder case is that the Grant County Prosecutor Garth Dano was removed from the case due to conflict issues and the case is currently being prosecuted by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
The problem for the Washington State AG because he is prosecuting the Nickels case is what to do about the Grant County SO allegations and it would be especially problematic for the AG if he has been notified by about the allegations by other Grant County law enforcement agencies.