June 12, 2013 in City

Spokane officer subject of inquiry resigns from force

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Graves
(Full-size photo)

A Spokane police officer under internal investigation resigned Tuesday, the same day the investigation into allegations that he stalked and harassed a woman was turned over to prosecutors to determine if charges are warranted.

Officer Jeff Graves resigned “effective immediately,” police Chief Frank Straub said.

The department placed Graves on administrative leave May 9 after a woman alleged 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 involving similar allegations, Straub said.

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

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, declining to elaborate because the investigation technically will continue to remain open.

Attorney Rob Cossey, who represents Graves, said he and Graves delivered the resignation letter Tuesday 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.”

Cossey also would not discuss the allegations against his client.

“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 Facebook to find her apartment and harass her. 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.

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 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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