Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond is decrying the loss of public trust after a deputy prosecuting attorney said in a Spokane courtroom Friday that his department was suspected of feeding information to murder suspect and former Pasco police Officer Richard Aguirre, a charge Raymond says is false.
But the source of the allegation remains unclear. Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell has not released details and Spokane police Chief Frank Straub has referred questions to Haskell.
The allegation, which also was leveled at the Pasco Police Department, created “community mistrust,” Raymond said in a statement.
“This perception quickly becomes a reality to the viewing public,” he said. “Most times it has no merit, but it is generally too late. The damage is done and the misconception continues to grow.”
Aguirre’s DNA, collected as part of a rape case in Franklin County, matched DNA collected at the scene of the killing of Ruby Doss in Spokane in 1986. Aguirre was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base at the time. He later served as a Pasco police officer for 27 years. He was placed on paid administrative leave in November after the rape charge was filed and resigned in April shortly after Spokane police searched his home for evidence in the homicide case.
Raymond said he spoke to Spokane Police Department officials over the weekend about the alleged leak.
“I was assured that they knew of no deputies or detectives involved in any leaking issues,” Raymond said.
Pasco police spokesman Capt. Ken Roske reported having a similar conversation with a member of the Spokane Police Department who told him that “no officers in Pasco are believed to have provided investigative information to Aguirre.”
In an interview Sunday, Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said the allegations made by one of his deputies in court Friday were based on information provided by the Spokane Police Department. He said he would look into the conflicting reports and release additional information Monday.
However, Haskell has not released any additional information and has not returned repeated phone calls seeking comment. Aguirre’s court file contains no documents addressing the allegations.
Straub declined to comment on the issue and would not confirm if he or members of his department had spoken to Pasco police or the Franklin County sheriff.
“It’s on him,” he said, referring to Haskell. “No one from the SPD has made any public statements nor are we going to.”
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