Bellevue Police have fired an officer who stopped a fellow cop for drunk driving, but let him go.
Officer Andrew A. Hanke was pulled over by Bellevue Police Officer Doug Brennan on November 20, 2013 along I-90 in Issaquah. According to a police report, Brennan was on his way home when he witnessed a Jeep driving at a high rate of speed and swerving.
Brennan later said he thought he recognized the vehicle and the driver turned out to be Hanke.
Brennan wrote in his report that he smelled the odor of alcohol inside the vehicle and that Hanke had a “glazed look on his face and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and droopy.”
Rather than making an arrest, Brennan called Hanke’s wife to drive him home.
That was a mistake and a factor in the decision to fire Brennan, according to Bellevue Police Deputy Chief Jim Jolliffe. “But the laser focus for the termination was on the providing false information, violation.”
A police internal investigation concluded that Brennan told an Issaquah officer on the scene that night that Hanke was affected by medication, even though Brennan later admitted that he knew Hanke was drunk.
Jolliffe concedes that Brennan was torn about what to do that night.
“I have a little bit of empathy for that. He was put in a bad position. I think his decisions, based on what he was faced with, could have been better. It’s a big nightmare for an officer to face,” said Jolliffe.
Hanke was immediately placed on administrative leave. He resigned from the department in January and pleaded not guilty to DUI.
Brennan was eventually placed on administrative leave in February. Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo, who was set to retire from the department on April 15, determined that Brennan violated their code of ethics and provided false information.
KIRO Radio’s Tim Haeck and Brandi Kruse contributed to this report.