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Arrested sheriff’s sergeant reports for office duty

A Spokane County sheriff’s sergeant arrested for resisting arrest and obstructing justice is back at work but won’t be on patrol.

The move is part of a change at the sheriff’s office that came after Sgt. Pete Bunch was arrested Friday morning.

A woman had reported him prowling in her yard in the 3200 block of Marie Court on the South Hill, and Bunch refused police orders when they approached him down the street from the home, said Spokane police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

While the sheriff’s office has no policy on whether employees should remain on paid administrative leave while criminal charges are investigated, “the new course of action” will be to allow employees to do administrative work while an investigation is pending, spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said.

Bunch, who’s been with the sheriff’s office more than 30 years, returns to the office Thursday to continue work on an employee evaluation system he’s developing and other administrative duties.

He won’t have his badge, gun or patrol car, Reagan said.

“Sheriff (Ozzie) Knezovich really hates the idea of paying an employee to sit at home,” Reagan said in an email, adding that employees under investigation will now be given administrative work “assuming that the alleged policy or law violation is not so grievous that allowing the employee to continue working would create a risk to the community or other county employees.”

Several officers were needed to arrest Bunch, DeRuwe said. He later told police he was walking his dog, but DeRuwe said officers never saw one.