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Sheriff Fortney Rescinds Termination for Deputies Boice, Twedt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2020
CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-388-3377, Media line: 425-249-6263
SNOHOMISH, Wash. – Following is a statement from Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney regarding rescinding the termination of Deputies Matt Boice and Evan Twedt.
Last Friday, I issued a letter to Deputy Matt Boice and Deputy Evan Twedt regarding my decision to grant the grievance filed by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and rescind the termination they received for policy violations.
After an extensive review of the internal investigation, I do not believe either Deputy Boice or Deputy Twedt purposefully violated any laws, nor were they dishonest in any of the dealings related to this matter. I am, however, sustaining the findings of a violation of one policy (Knowing, Observing, and Obeying All Written Directives, Policies, Procedures), as they did not adequately document their full activities with regards to the traffic stop, arrest and search in questions. As a result, I am proposing to reinstate Deputies Boice and Twedt to their former positions, but have left in place a 3-year letter of reprimand in their personnel files for failure to adequately document their actions. The third deputy, a trainee disciplined by termination following a different investigation whose involvement in the incident is referenced in the letter, will not be reinstated.
After reviewing the evidence, I cannot find anything that suggests that Deputies Boice and Twedt actually believed there was anything wrong with conducting the inventory search of the vehicle in the manner it was conducted. Nor do I find any evidence that indicates they should have known there was something wrong with what they were doing. Thus, lacking any motive to hide what had occurred, I fail to see how they could be part of some broader conspiracy to cover it up. On top of that, I find absolutely no evidence Deputies Boice or Twedt did anything to keep their actions undiscovered. The deputy trainee was the one that submitted a knowingly incomplete affidavit, not Deputies Boice or Twedt. The evidence that they knew in advance what he was doing, or somehow directed him in this regard, is to me wholly inadequate. Rather, Deputies Boice and Twedt submitted reports that were less than complete. This allowed the prior administration to jump to conclusions, attempting to lay the blame for one deputy’s unethical actions (the trainee’s) on all of the deputies effecting the arrest that night. It is a leap that is unsupported by the evidence.
Unfortunately, Deputy Boice and Deputy Twedt made mistakes. A mistake as to the adequacy of a deputy’s documentation, however, is a far cry from conspiring to violate a suspect’s civil rights, or from actively deceiving the Court.
This is the last grievance filed by the DSA as the result of a termination under the previous administration that I will be reviewing, and I do not expect any further reinstatements for any other law enforcement personnel at this time.