In brief: If candidate elected, he’d hire Kirkpatrick
A candidate for King County sheriff said if he wins in November, he’ll appoint former Spokane police chief Anne Kirkpatrick as his chief deputy.
Candidate John Urquhart, 64, announced the decision earlier this month, saying in a news release the agency has come under scrutiny after audits criticized its leadership, response to citizens and use of force.
He met Kirkpatrick for the first time earlier this year and said she has the résumé and reform skills he’s looking for.
“And she’s a woman and I want more variety in our command staff. I thought it would be a very good fit,” Urquhart said Thursday.
Urquhart is challenging King County Sheriff Steve Strachan, who was appointed by the King County Council in April.
Burglaries net arrest; second suspect flees
One man was arrested Thursday afternoon and one was still at large after a pair of burglaries in Post Falls, police said.
Shortly after a home in the 3600 block of Alfalfa Loop was broken into and property was stolen, another home in the same area was burglarized, Post Falls police said in a news release. Neighbors reported that two men in a small black car had left the area.
Officers saw a car matching that description and conducted a traffic stop near 16th Avenue and Jag Street. The passenger in the vehicle, later identified as 22-year-old Samuel Zachery Fetterhoff, fled. Officers arrested the driver, James Edward Porter III, 22, after finding property stolen in the burglaries in the car, the release said.
Fetterhoff was wanted on a $100,000 warrant.
Woman sentenced in embezzlement case
A former Walla Walla County undersheriff has pleaded guilty and been sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars of inmate bail money.
The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported that Carole Lepiane pleaded guilty Thursday in Federal Court in Spokane to one count of theft from a federally funded local agency. She was given 10 months of confinement – six in a federal facility followed by four in a halfway house.
The woman was also ordered to pay more than $80,000 in restitution. That includes more than $67,000 she stole over five years at the sheriff’s office and money paid by the county to the state auditor’s office as part of the investigation.
Neither Lepiane nor her lawyer had any comment after court.
Coalition wants stop to wolverine trapping
BILLINGS – A coalition of groups trying to halt wolverine trapping in Montana filed a lawsuit Thursday that aims to provide new protections for an animal that scientists warn will be imperiled by climate change in coming decades.
Montana is the only state in the Lower 48 to allow wolverine trapping. As many as five can be trapped annually, a level state officials said is sustainable.
But eight wildlife advocacy and conservation groups represented by the Western Environmental Law Center want state District Judge James Reynolds in Helena to halt the practice. They said trapping should not resume until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines whether new protections are warranted for the animal.
Suitable habitat for the animals in the contiguous U.S. is expected to decrease by 23 percent by 2045 and 63 percent by the end of the century, according to federal biologists.
The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are 250 to 300 wolverines in the continental U.S. Most are in Montana and Idaho.