Bellevue police officer at center of alcohol-fueled controversies resigns
A Bellevue police officer at the center of several alcohol-fueled controversies has resigned, the Bellevue Police Department announced late Thursday afternoon.
Officer Andrew Hanke had been charged with driving under the influence and placed on administrative leave after he was pulled over by a fellow officer who let him go home with his wife rather than investigating and arresting him.
Hanke had previously been disciplined for his drunken behavior at a Seahawks game in 2012.
“As we move forward, my hope is that we rebuild the public’s trust and continue our focus on the great work that the men and women of this department do every day,” said Chief Linda Pillo in a press release.
The department is continuing an investigation into Officer Doug Brennan, who stopped Hanke on November 20, 2013 on Interstate 90 near Issaquah, Pillo said. Brennan recognized Hanke’s car and the officer, and acknowledged in a report that Hanke was clearly drunk.
“I told him that he was drunk. I pointedly asked him ‘what the (expletive) are you doing driving?’ I told him that he was hammered,” Brennan said.
But rather than investigating him for DUI, Brennan called Hanke’s wife and let him go home.
Brennan later reported the incident to supervisors, who launched internal and criminal investigations.
Hanke and another member of the Bellevue Police Department previously came under fire for drunken and disorderly behavior during a Sept. 16, 2012 football game at CenturyLink Field.
A 580-page internal report detailing the incident revealed that Hanke and his supervisor, a then-Corporal Dion Robertson, attended the game with two females, consuming an unknown amount of alcohol at home, at a tailgate party, and inside the stadium.
According to the report, the officers admitted to drinking several Coors Light beers, shots of whiskey, and two batches of “Pink Panty Droppers,” each batch being a two-gallon jug filled with one-fifth of vodka, eight beers and lemonade.
As the group approached CenturyLink Field that day, witnesses recalled how they harassed a Seattle Police officer directing traffic who caught Hanke’s wife littering.
“Are you really going to make my wife pick that up?” Hanke asked the officer, according to witnesses. “I am a Bellevue Police Officer.”
Problems continued once the group went inside, where Hanke was accused of making racist comments and using vulgarities.
The group was eventually escorted from the stadium by alcohol enforcement officers. Hanke later told investigators during an internal review of the incident that he did not remember driving home from the stadium that day.
The incident led to Hanke’s removal from the bomb squad and a 30-day suspension.
Hanke was hired in 2001 as a police support officer and in 2005 became a commissioned police officer.
Reporting by KIRO Radio’s Brandi Kruse is included in this report