A Spokane police officer who pleaded guilty in August to covering for his daughter after she assaulted and kidnapped a woman likely would have been fired last month.
But he already retired.
Police Chief Craig Meidl said an internal affairs investigation found termination necessary for 51-year-old John Arredondo, who pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanors in August.
After the criminal trial, Meidl said, an administrative review panel analyzed the completed internal affairs investigation, which was forwarded to his desk Jan. 10 for another formal review. However, Arredondo had retired Oct. 20.
“It was, from my perspective, very straightforward,” Meidl said. “Someone who has committed those crimes and admitted to those crimes obviously cannot wear a badge or be a police officer.”
The former officer, who had at least 18 years of experience in law enforcement, was charged in August 2017 with felony rendering criminal assistance and evidence tampering. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors elected to downgrade the charges to gross misdemeanors. He did not serve jail time.
The charges stemmed from a May 17, 2017, incident in which Arredondo’s 33-year-old daughter Ashley B. Arredondo apparently called him and told him she and two others had assaulted and kidnapped a woman. Arredondo apparently met them at his northwest Spokane home and proceeded to drive the victim to the hospital in his patrol car.
Ashley Arredondo pleaded guilty in June 2018to second-degree assault, a felony.
Despite other members of the Spokane Police Department looking for the suspects at the time, investigators at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Arredondo, who was on patrol on the opposite side of town, intervened and failed to alert his supervisors or arrest his daughter and her boyfriend before taking the victim to get medical treatment.
In the ensuing investigation, detectives also alleged Arredondo deleted text messages between himself and family members that “directly correspond to the investigation and crimes referenced.”
A day after the incident – and the same day Arredondo was placed on paid administrative leave – an internal affairs investigation was generated. However, it wasn’t until after the criminal trial that it was officially underway.
The report, which does not name Arredondo directly, indicates the officer was in violation of two internal policies: giving false or misleading statements to a person of authority and violating felony or misdemeanor statutes.
Arredondo declined to be interviewed by the internal affairs unit.
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