Monday, June 23, 2008

Walser Sued to Stop Investigation and Get a Skateboard Park Named After Him

Upon initiation of the criminal investigation into Fred Walser's coverup of Caroline Pepperell's misdeeds in the Sultan Police Department, Walser responded with a $10m lawsuit against the City of Sultan.

This lawsuit claims that under the "unlawful coercion" of the "false 'criminal investigations,'" Walser tendered his resignation.

We now know, of course, that there was nothing unlawful or false about the criminal investigation, and that Walser was, in fact, guilty. He therefore dropped his lawsuit.

But months before his lawsuit was actually filed, and one month after the criminal investigation began, Walser offered to settle out of court with Sultan. Walser basically wanted, in addition to making sure his initial resignation date would be honored with all earned benefits (it would be), to have all investigations completed within 10 days and heard by an independent party, and to get a letter of appreciation.

Oh, and he wanted a skateboard park named after him.

Now, letters of appreciation and skateboard parks aside, Walser knew at this point that it was a criminal investigation that had been passed off to another jurisdiction (the Everett Police Department) to avoid a conflict of interest. Walser, if he knew how investigations like this work -- which he should know, as he was Police Chief -- knew that Sultan couldn't stop the investigation. The City of Sultan and its employees were potential witnesses to the crime, and not in control of the investigation.

The city's response says about as much.

Walser was literally trying to bully the city into interfering with a criminal investigation run by another jurisdiction (with a threat of an expensive lawsuit, despite claiming he was "concerned over the present financial problems the city is experiencing"). It was one of many attempts to cover up, including providing false information (which he was convicted for), and attempting to convince the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department to block legal public records requests.

Maybe he would have been better off just asking for the skateboard park, although by this point, I doubt he'd have even gotten that.

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