9/20/2014

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King County sergeant with history of complaints is demoted

King County sergeant with history of complaints is demoted
Casey Saulet
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SEATTLE -- A sergeant who has racked up more than 100 complaints during his tenure with the King County Sheriff's Office has been reprimanded by Sheriff John Urquhart and demoted to deputy.

Already on paid leave for allegedly threatening a local newspaper reporter, Casey Saulet has now been demoted to deputy for violating the department's rules of conduct.

The demotion stems from a December 2012 altercation with a family who had accidentally driven into an off-limits area of a Seattle bus tunnel.

In that incident, Saulet allegedly threatened to arrest the driver and his pregnant wife and told them he could "take away your daughter," according to the sheriff's office.

The driver later filed a complaint about the interaction, saying he felt threatened over a minor mistake. The driver's wife also complained, saying, "I do not understand why the officer even had to threaten us with such a scenario and prison custody."

At an official hearing to address the complaint, Saulet denied threatening the family, but Urquart said he finds the driver's "statement far more persuasive than (Saulet's) denial."

The December incident was far from the first time Saulet has been accused of acting inappropriately with the public.

During his time with the sheriff's office, Saulet has had at least 120 complaints made against him, which Urquhart says is by far the most in the department. The next closest sergeant has 23 allegations, according to Urquahart.

Twenty of those allegations were sustained, and Urquhart said the majority concern courtesy, use of force and conduct unbecoming.

In a strongly-worded letter to Saulet, Urquhart said the department has repeatedly worked to help the sergeant improve his behavior.

"The Sheriff's Office has shown considerable restraint and support, and has made every reasonable effort to improve your performance and help you be successful in your career. Still, the problem continued," the letter reads.
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