As a police chief in the City of Sultan, Fred Walser spent ten embattled years mismanaging the Police Department. He was constantly over budget, had a worse-than-average retention rate with his officers leaving to work for other departments, and got in trouble for hiring other police department's wash-outs.
One such hire would cost the taxpayers dearly, when he hired Caroline Pepperell to work as his top assistant in the Sultan Police Department.
Pepperell had been discharged from the City of Mountlake Terrace for misusing police computers to find potential "dates."
KIRO TV reported that Walser "admits he knew Pepperell had been caught using Mountlake Terrace police computers to find dates. He hired her anyway."
According to KIRO TV's Chris Halsne, Mountlake Terrace Police Chief Scott Smith said, "She ran over 200 license plates of individuals for personal use. The investigation determined she would attend various functions, rodeos or different establishments and typically would find an individual she would find attractive, get their license plate and run their license plate."
Fred Walser hired Pepperell as his top assistant and kept her history and wrongdoing a secret from officials and the public.
That's not where the story ends, but where it begins.
Under Walser, Pepperell once again used police department resources to snoop into sensitive files, this time to harass her neighbors in an ongoing spat.
The City brought in the Washington State Patrol to conduct an investigation of Pepperell. The Mayor of Sultan concluded from that investigation that she was guilty of a firing offense and terminated her.
A copy of the termination letter signed by the Mayor outlines the allegations and findings of the City of Sultan.
The cost of the investigation was about $40,000, all of which could have been saved if Fred Walser had the judgment to hire someone without a history of criminal behavior to work as his top assistant in the Police Department.
Copies of Police Documents