Pacific mayor: Police chief review unnecessary

Pacific mayor: Police chief review unnecessary »Play Video
Mayor Rich Hildreth
PACIFIC, Wash. -- When the KOMO 4 Problem Solvers investigated a local police chief, we stepped on some toes. Our investigation focused on Pacific Police Chief John Calkins and whether he had misused his office. Now the mayor of Pacific has jumped into the middle of the controversy.

KOMO News finally tracked down Pacific Mayor Rich Hildreth after he'd refused to go on camera about Calkins and asked who had investigated allegations of professional misconduct against the chief.

"Right now, I'm not going to comment on that. The thing is right now there's nothing to look at," he said.

KOMO's earlier investigation found that four separate times since 2001, Calkins had been the subject of a police incident for intimidation with a weapon, drunk driving, witness tampering and trespass. While in each case the chief was either acquitted or prosecutors never filed criminal charges, he also allegedly flashed his badge or used his position to intimidate.

In the trespassing case from 2007, Del Knee said Calkins "pulled out a badge, showed me a badge and then flipped it back, said, 'I'm gonna have you arrested.'" The four cases raised the question: is the chief misusing his office?

One of those cases occurred in Bonney Lake, leaving a bad taste with the town's police chief, Mike Mitchell.

"It takes one person, one cop, to give the rest of us a black eye. And this, to me, was a black eye," he said.


Watch the full interview with the mayor

After the KOMO News report aired, Hildreth e-mailed constituents accusing KOMO of misleading them and arguing the city has already "fully investigated" the "allegations."

We tracked down the mayor and asked him, point blank, "Mayor, why did you tell people that the State Patrol has investigated this? They haven't investigated it."

Hildreth responded, "The state, State Patrol has investigated various different things on this."

The Washington State Patrol had already said it never investigated, but we went back to double check.

"There has been no investigation done by the Washington State Patrol against the chief of Pacific for intimidation of a witness. We have done no criminal investigation," said Sgt. Freddy Williams.

The State Patrol will do either criminal or professional conduct investigations if they are asked.


Police chief refuses interview

"We have not even received a request," Williams said.

When asked who had told him the Sate Patrol had investigated, Hildreth answered, "I would have to go back and look at the files."

Hildreth said the city has just authorized its insurance carrier to review the cases involving Calkins, but has no plans to ask the State Patrol or any other police agency to get involved.

"We're not against having any review done. We just don't feel it's necessary at this point," he said.

However, other law enforcement leaders aren't so sure of that. After seeing KOMO's investigation, the Sequim police chief filed a complaint with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. He wants them to investigate Calkins' actions.