Judge Blocks Reinistatement of Officer Fired for Dishonesty

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee March 3, 2010

A King County Superior Court judge has blocked the reinstatement of a Seattle police officer who was fired last year for dishonesty.


Officer Eric Werner, who was fired for failing to disclose that he had punched a suspect, won't be allowed to return to work while city attorneys appeal his reinstatement in January by the Public Safety Civil Service Commission.

"We have a public safety agency and a sustained finding of dishonesty," said Judge Paris Kallas in rejecting a request from Werner's attorney to allow him to return to duty while the appeal is pending.

In granting the city's request to block the reinstatement, Kallas found the city had raised sufficient issues to allow the appeal of the commission's ruling.

Werner's case has emerged as a key test of the Police Department's honesty policy, which presumes officers will be fired for dishonesty in their official duties and was a cornerstone of new rules adopted in 2008 to address community concerns about police accountability.

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