On-duty deputy arrested New Year's Eve for physical control of a motor vehicle
The Bellevue Police Department has completed its investigation on a King County Sheriff's Deputy who was arrested in Newcastle last New Year's Eve. The case has been submitted for review to prosecutors and charging decisions are up to the King County Prosecutor's Office.
The three-month investigation was conducted by a certified drug recoginition expert and showed the deputy was impaired by prescription medications. On February 12, the toxicology results from the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab were received by Bellevue Police. The toxicology report indicated "None detected" for the standard screening conducted by the WSPTL.
These findings were inconsistent with observations of the suspect and statements made by the deputy that he took prescription medications during his shift. WSPTL was contacted and stated they did not have the ability to screen for these other drugs. On February 28, blood samples were sent to NMS Labs in Pennsylvania for additional testing. NMS Labs is the contract lab for screening substances outside the abilities of the WSP Toxicology Lab.
On March 31, a copy of the NMS Lab results was received by Bellevue PD. The King County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney were notified that the deputy's blood analysis had returned a positive result for presence of multiple prescription drugs. All have impairing qualities and contain warnings about operating machinery or vehicles.
The findings of this investigation have been released to the King County Sheriff's Office. The Bellevue Police Department considers this case to be closed.
According to the Sheriff's Office, their internal investgation for policy violations is still open. The deputy is on "light duty" status, which means he has no police power but is performing clerical duties.
A King County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested December 31, 2013 for physical control of a motor vehicle after a citizen called to report the deputy passed out behind the wheel of his parked, fully-marked police car.
The Bellevue Police Department was asked by the Sheriff Urquhart to handle the criminal investigation of the 46-old deputy who worked for the Sheriff's Office for 15 years and prior to that was an officer in Hawaii.
NOTE: Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle is the legal equivalent of DUI when no driving is observed.
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