A four-month investigation into allegations of misconduct by Chewelah Police Chief Ryan Pankey has concluded, but its findings have not been released while Pankey and his attorney are given a chance to respond.
A hearing presenting the allegations and investigation report was held last Friday. Pankey’s written response to the allegations is expected by the end of Friday, a City of Chewelah news release reads.
Pankey and his attorney, Joe Kuhlman, did not respond to requests to comment.
The specific allegations against Pankey are unclear as the mayor’s office has not shared further details.
“Our intent is and has been to maintain discretion with regard to communication during an internal employee investigation out of fairness to any employee,” Mayor Gregory McCunn said at a June 1 City Council meeting, according to the meeting minutes.
Pankey has been on paid administrative leave since May 3. Sgt. David Watts, who is also chief of the Chewelah Fire Department, is serving as the interim police chief.
Another officer in the department is also under investigation, but it is not clear whether the two cases are related.
Officer James Glover, 49, was suspended Sept. 13, another Chewelah press release said, when a Spokane County District Court judge issued a 10-year protection order against him. The reason for the protection order was listed as sexual assault.
Glover had been on desk duty since Aug. 5, when the city learned of a temporary protection order from July 28 requiring him to surrender his firearms.
“The city immediately removed Officer Glover from patrol and prohibited him from carrying and/or possessing any and all weapons (duty and personal),” the press release said. “These weapons were confiscated by Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.”
Glover is not to come within 1,000 feet of the protected person, their vehicle, their residence, El Ranchito restaurant or a carpenter shop in Chewelah, according to the Sept. 13 protection order. No criminal charges have yet been brought against Glover.
The city press release said it was “seeking documentation” about the case from the Spokane County District Court.
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