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Felony probation officer accused of harassment

Sat., Aug. 23, 2008

Man on paid leave for second time; officials probe accusations from woman he was supervising

A felony probation officer who spent seven months on paid leave after a stalking arrest is on paid leave again – this time for allegedly harassing a female probationer he supervised.

David L. Williams, 42, of Coeur d’Alene, was placed on his most recent leave July 11 after Wanda Arrington complained he called her at odd hours, sounding intoxicated and asking inappropriate questions.

Neither Williams, who has worked with the Idaho Department of Correction since 1992, nor Arrington could be reached for comment.

Among Arrington’s allegations: Williams called and asked if her fiancé was naked and what color panties she was wearing.

“We take those types of allegations very serious,” said Eric Kiehl, district manager for the Department of Correction Community Corrections Division. While the Office of Professional Standards investigates Arrington’s claim and decides on a course of action, Kiehl said, Williams remains on paid administrative leave, earning an annual salary of about $43,000 as a senior probation officer.

In his position, Williams supervises and counsels felons and has the ability to arrest probationers and parolees. He also carries a gun.

Kiehl said Arrington, who is on probation for felony DUI, was the only person among the 80 to 85 probationers Williams supervised who has complained.

At least one other person Williams supervised may have been interviewed after a review of Williams’ phone records, Kiehl said.

Williams was first placed on leave in March 2007 after he was arrested on charges of stalking his estranged wife. Tamara Dulhanty called police after her husband allegedly followed her as she delivered newspapers for the Coeur d’Alene Press.

She told police that an intoxicated Williams was driving erratically and called her and said he was going to “do something sick.”

Williams was taken to Kootenai Medical Center, placed on a mental hold, then arrested at the hospital.

The Coeur d’Alene City Attorney’s Office agreed to a conditional dismissal of the charges if Williams would seek treatment.

Kiehl said it’s not unheard of for probation officers to call clients at all hours.

“I’m not saying what Dave Williams is accused of doing is a normal operation, but it does happen,” he said. Officers might call to check if probationers are home by curfew or intoxicated.

While Williams is on leave, other probation officers and supervisors – including Kiehl – are handling his caseload.

“Offenders on his caseload aren’t just running around wild out there,” Kiehl said. “They’re being supervised.”

Reach Taryn Hecker at (208) 818-0054 or tarynh@ spokesman.com.

 

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