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Spokane officer resigns amid investigations

UPDATED: Tue., June 11, 2013, 5:02 p.m.

Jeff Graves (Courtesy Spd / The Spokesman Review)
Jeff Graves (Courtesy Spd / The Spokesman Review)

A Spokane Police officer under internal investigation has resigned and the investigation has been turned over to Spokane County prosecutors to determine if charges are warranted.

Police Chief Frank Straub said today that Officer Jeff Graves has resigned “effective immediately.”

The department placed Graves on administrative leave on May 9 after a woman made allegations that Graves was stalking and harassing her after they met on Facebook and had sex.

After he was placed on leave, investigators learned of another complaint, but Straub did not elaborate.

”A second internal affairs complaint was received subsequent to his placement on administrative leave, and both investigations were initiated,” Straub wrote in an email response to questions. “Graves resigned in lieu of Department completing the two internal affairs investigations.”

Asked about details of the second complaint, Straub said only: “Similar allegations.”

Straub also said the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Police have completed the investigation into criminal allegations and turned over the cases to prosecutors for a charging decision.

“Spokane Police Department employees, both civilian and commissioned, are held to a high standard of behavior,” Straub wrote ” Misconduct will not be tolerated as the Spokane Police Department works to reduce crime and protect the community we serve.”

Jack Driscoll, chief deputy Spokane County Prosecutor, said the case has been turned over for review, but he would not discuss the nature of the allegations.

“It is not a referral for charges,” Driscoll said. “As it is still an open investigation at this point, that is the most I can tell you.”

Attorney Rob Cossey, who represents Graves, said he and Graves delivered the resignation letter earlier today but it had nothing to do with the timing of the investigations being handed over to prosecutors.

“He’s got a family,” Cossey said of Graves, who is married. “He doesn’t want to go through the stress and the media attention.”

Asked the nature of the allegations, Cossey would not say.

“I do not believe, based on what I know, that there was any criminal conduct by him,” Cossey said. “He’s been a police officer for 23 years. He’s burned out. He’s looking forward to another career, something different.”

The woman from the first complaint told sheriff’s detective Kirk Keyser that she met Graves on Facebook.

She said Graves used the social network to find her apartment and harass her. She said he came to her apartment and workplace, called her, texted her and messaged her on Facebook. His messages were sexually aggressive, according to the search warrant.

Graves did not deny his involvement with the woman but told detectives the woman was harassing him. He said he and the woman messaged, texted and called each other.

The woman told Keyser the Facebook messages spanned from early April to early May. Although she forwarded some of the Facebook messages to friends, she deleted his text messages, she told Keyser.

Although the search warrant is focused on the possible charges of stalking and harassment, the woman also alleged to detectives that Graves had sex with her without her consent. However, Detective Andy Buell did not present sexual crime as a probable cause to a judge when obtaining permission to search Facebook, phone and email records.

Graves said he believes the woman attempted to access his phone records by logging into his Verizon account. He said his mobile provider told him there had been three attempts to log into his account online, prompting him to lock down his account.

Graves also told detectives he believes a series of anonymous emails sent to him and his wife are from the woman. He described the messages as harassing and similar in nature to the text messages she sent him.

The police officer gave a copy of his phone records to detectives, the search warrant said. The record shows several calls and messages between Graves and the woman.

The woman, who has since deleted her Facebook account, forwarded messages from Graves to two sheriff’s deputies and a Yakima dispatcher, court documents show.

Graves earned the Spokane Police Department’s Lifesaving Award in 2010 for reviving a man who collapsed at a bus stop by performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

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