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Embattled cop resigns before being fired

Spokane County sheriff’s Sgt. Patrick “Pete” Bunch resigned Thursday shortly before a disciplinary hearing in which Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was going to fire him.

The move follows growing concern over Bunch’s on- and off-duty behavior, including a recent confrontation with Spokane Police investigating a report of a backyard prowler.

In that case, officers sought resisting arrest and obstruction of justice charges against Bunch following an encounter Feb. 6 near Ferris High School but a prosecutor dropped the case.

Officers described how Bunch refused their commands and acted in a way that made them afraid for their safety.

However, the resisting arrest and obstruction of justice charges were dropped by Spokane City Prosecutor Jim Bledsoe.

The confrontation was just the latest problem for Bunch. According to records obtained by The Spokesman-Review, Bunch has been disciplined for filing false time sheets, lying to superiors, obstructing a Fish and Game officer, and mishandling the investigation of a hit-and-run crash by an off duty WSP trooper who had been drinking.

Bunch has also been accused and later cleared in two separate assault charges where the two different men claimed that Bunch slammed them down on the hoods of cars.