The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is recommending that prosecutors refile a charge of domestic violence assault against a Spokane police officer in a case that was dismissed in July.
A detective investigating the case also believes the officer should face two additional charges, including unlawful imprisonment, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory.
Spokane Police Officer John Scott was arrested in July on suspicion of fourth-degree assault stemming from an altercation at his home. However, Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor John Love dismissed the case the next day, saying he didn’t have enough evidence to show that Scott was the aggressor.
Sheriff’s Detective Mike Ricketts continued to investigate the case and the Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that Ricketts has recommended reinstating the original fourth-degree assault stemming from the July incident.
In addition, Ricketts has recommended filing charges of fourth-degree assault from an incident in August 16, 2016 and unlawful imprisonment from an incident on April 3, 2017 that previously was not disclosed to sheriff’s investigators, the sheriff’s office said.
In a press conference Tuesday, Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said police investigators began an internal review of Scott following the dismissal of his domestic-violence related charge in July.
“During the course of the IA investigation, our investigators uncovered additional allegations surrounding domestic violence incidents,” he said. “We suspended the internal investigation immediately and contacted the sheriff’s office with that new information that we received. The sheriff’s office had been continuing their investigation as well.”
He would not discuss either the sheriff’s department investigation or the decision by the prosecutor’s office to dismiss the July case or its current review of the new charges.
Scott has remained on paid administrative leave since July 10. If he is eventually charged with a felony in connection to the case, the officer could be placed on unpaid layoff status until the case is resolved.
Scott, 51, began working for the Police Department on March 3, 2013, Meidl said. Scott makes about $78,600 a year. Meidl explained that he did not have a clear picture of when Ricketts learned of the new allegations.
“During a criminal investigation, I completely remove myself from it,” Meidl said. “I don’t want people to think I am trying to sway it one way or another. So when we ask another agency to investigate something, we completely remain out of it.”
Police spokesman Officer John O’Brien later said that detectives alerted sheriff’s investigators on July 20 after speaking with the alleged victim.
Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory confirmed that Spokane Police turned over information to Ricketts, who had begun to develop the same information.
“The system worked as it should,” Gregory said.
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