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In brief: Sheriff’s deputy on paid leave after receiving complaint

Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Todd Saunders has been placed on paid administrative leave while the agency investigates a complaint his marked patrol car was parked for lengthy periods at a home on the West Plains.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich confirmed Saunders’ leave Monday. He said the woman who lived at the home and her adult children were not cooperating with detectives looking into the allegations. The complaint was originally lodged by a man who lived in the neighborhood, Knezovich said.

The witness told a sheriff’s deputy Saunders’ marked car could be seen at the residence at “all hours of the night, with the engine running, to the point that many people thought he lived there,” Knezovich said.

The home did not belong to Saunders, Knezovich said.

Kip Hill

Wintry weather will continue

Wintry storms bolstering the region’s snowpack will continue through the weekend, forecasters said Monday.

The latest rain and snow arrives today over the Inland Northwest.

A much larger storm looms this weekend as forecasters eye the potential for a “pineapple express” bringing substantial valley rain and mountain snow Friday and Saturday. The storm on Friday and Saturday may cause rivers to rise once again after reaching flood flows earlier this month.

The scenario means that the heavy current flowing over Spokane Falls in recent weeks will continue for the foreseeable future.

Middle and upper elevation snowpacks are likely to stay intact for the most part with daytime mountain temperatures dropping to the 30s later in the week.

Since Jan. 1, Spokane has seen 5.4 inches of precipitation, which is an inch above normal. But since Oct. 1, the 7.7 inches of precipitation at Spokane International Airport is 2.4 inches below normal through Sunday.

Mike Prager

Sciortino could face charges

A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy accused of working a second job while on duty might be charged with misdemeanor theft.

Prosecutors have been asked to review the case, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.

Deputy Charles Sciortino was placed on administrative leave March 10. At the time, Knezovich said Sciortino took as much as $700 in pay from the county while working another job.

With the conclusion of the criminal investigation, Knezovich said the Sheriff’s Office will open an administrative probe into Sciortino’s conduct. He had said the behavior, if proven true, would be grounds for Sciortino’s dismissal.

Kip Hill

Passenger attacks bus driver

Police jailed a 44-year-old bus rider Saturday afternoon for attacking a driver who asked him to leave because he had no money to pay the fare.

Jose Arredondo faces assault charges. A Spokane Transit Authority driver told police Arredondo pushed and spit on her after she came to the aid of another driver who reported his unruly behavior. That driver told police Arredondo would not get off her bus at the Valley Transit Center.

A witness told police Arredondo swore at the women and called them names as he was led from the bus.

Kip Hill


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