King County Sheriff John Urquhart has been accused of raping a woman 14 years ago and then, more recently, directing his office not to formally investigate the matter.
“He adamantly denies the rape allegation,” Seattle Times Reporter Lewis Kamb told KIRO Radio in December. “He also denies a separate complaint … that a deputy brought forward alleging that the sheriff had an affair with the same woman when he was her supervisor years ago.”
The Seattle Times stands behind its story on the King County Sheriff.
The Seattle Times stands behind Lewis Kamb’s reporting about Sheriff Urquhart.
We have a long history of holding public officials accountable to the community, and the idea that stories about the sheriff represent any kind of personal attack simply is not true. We have taken great care to ensure the stories are accurate and fair.
Lewis has repeatedly asked to interview the sheriff and he has declined. He will continue reaching out to the sheriff for comment before any future stories are published.
Urquhart said that he doesn’t “have much use for Lewis Kamb,” and argues that he has answered all the questions put to him by The Times. He said he will not be interviewed by the reporter because he does not trust the fairness of his writing.
“I don’t feel targeted at all,” Urquhart told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don on Wednesday. “I am not pissed. I am not mad. I feel very, very badly for this woman. I really do. And I think she’s being victimized by Lewis Kamb and The Seattle Times.”
“It’s a legitimate story to write, if it’s written fairly,” he said. “Lewis has had all kinds of information that he left out of the story …”
That information would speak to how Seattle detectives and a prosecutor opted not to pursue the allegations against the King County Sheriff, or why the FBI concluded there were credibility issues with them, Urquhart said.
“The other allegations that she made; blowing up her apartment; the fact that supposedly I went up to Capitol Hill at 5:30 in the morning and watched her run for 5 hours all dressed in motorcycle leather; the fact that I followed her all over the country from San Diego, to Houston, to New York, to Boston; the fact that I tried to run her down in a black SUV; the fact I surveilled her outside her Capitol Hill apartment in a black SUV. He knows about all these allegations. He’s aware of those, and yet he hasn’t reported them.”
Urquhart notes that after the FBI informed the Sheriff’s office that it looked into the allegations, the matter was brought up with the county’s civilian oversight group, but that organization could not investigate it.
“They came to me in October of 2016 … I said, ‘Tell her to go to the Seattle Police Department. This supposedly happened in Seattle, they should do the investigation,’ Urquhart said. “So off she goes. They take a report and all sorts of weird allegations came out of that.”
King County Sheriff union
In February 2017, the union, “Puget Sound Police Managers Association,” addressed a letter to Urquhart demanding he focus on clearing his name of the allegation.
“How can citizens remain confident in a Sheriff’s Office when its highest officer and most visible member abdicates any obligation to this standard of conduct?” wrote president Carl Cole.
Urquhart responded to the police union saying he was confused by a request to investigate the allegations “thoroughly and transparently by an independent authority” because indeed, the Seattle Police Department and the King County Office of the Ombudsman are investigating. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had also investigated.
“Given the nature of the agencies involved, I assume they will be thorough and the results transparent,” Urquhart wrote. “My name was already cleared by the FBI.”
The sheriff said he will remain in his position, as he was elected to do.
“I feel very, very badly for this woman,” Urquhart said. “I feel like she’s being victimized by Lewis Kamb and The Seattle Times.”