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Spokane police officer fired for violating department policies after assault charges are dropped

UPDATED: Wed., March 21, 2018

The Spokane Police Department has fired an officer who was arrested on domestic violence charges last year.

Although the criminal charges were eventually dropped, an internal investigation found Officer John “Jay” Scott had violated several department policies, Chief Craig Meidl said in a statement Tuesday.

“We take all allegations of domestic violence and police misconduct involving our officers seriously,” Meidl said. “This type of behavior does not represent the vast number of honorable men and women who work for SPD and serve our community each and every day.”

Officer John O’Brien, a spokesman for the department, said he could not provide details about Scott’s behavior, but he listed four department policies that Scott was found to have violated.

Those policies spell out standards for job performance and insubordination, prohibit job-related conflicts of interest and require officers to “conduct themselves in a manner which does not discredit the law enforcement profession or the Spokane Police Department.”

Scott, who is in his early 50s, joined the police department in March 2013. He was placed on paid administrative leave immediately following his arrest last July. O’Brien said Scott remained on paid leave until he was fired on Tuesday.

Scott was arrested by sheriff’s deputies last July on suspicion of fourth-degree assault stemming from an altercation at his home.

Deputy prosecutor John Love dismissed the case the next day, saying he didn’t have enough evidence to show that Scott was the aggressor. At the time, Love said there had been a scuffle over a phone between Scott and another person that could best be described as a “mutual altercation.”

Detective Mike Ricketts, with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, continued to investigate and recommended reinstating the fourth-degree assault charge in October. He also recommended charges of fourth-degree assault from an incident in August 2016 and unlawful imprisonment from an incident in April 2017 that previously were not disclosed to investigators, the sheriff’s office said at the time. The charges were again dropped.

Editor’s note: This story was changed on March 21, 2018 to remove a file photo of an Officer John Scott who was a different Spokane police officer than the John Scott fired by Meidl this week.

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