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Jason Rantz


King County Sheriff sues former deputy for defamation

Sheriff Urquhart. (File, Associated Press)

A new lawsuit was filed in connection with allegations against King County Sheriff John Urquhart, this time by the sheriff himself.

Sheriff Urquhart told KTTH’s Todd Herman he will sue former deputy Brian Barnes over allegations that he groped Barnes years ago. After Barnes made those claims, Urquhart turned them over the to Renton Police Department for investigation.

RELATED: Todd Herman supports Mitzi Johanknecht for King County Sheriff

Urquhart released polygraph test results that he says prove his innocence.

“Polygraph completely cleared me — 100 percent — and this investigation is going to go nowhere. This is just an attempt by him to get me unelected,” he said.

Urquhart is suing Barnes for defamation, calling the allegations “heinous and outrageous” and a “last minute” attempt to sway the upcoming election.

Barnes has claimed that he was given $160,000 in a settlement to cover up the incident. He is currently a police officer in Massachusetts.

“This is the third time in his career that he’s accused an elected official, right before an election, of some sort of criminal activity,” Urquhart said of Barnes.

Urquhart accused of trying to intimidate critics

Supporters of a woman who accuse King County Sheriff John Urquhart of rape say he is trying to intimidate them, KIRO 7 reports.

They claim he threatened to release accuser’s medical records.

Now the accuser has obtained a temporary sexual assault protection order against the sheriff.

In court proceedings, sheriff’s investigators said Urquhart told them not to document the rape allegation that was made last year.

​That’s what caused Equal Rights Washington to withhold its endorsement in next week’s election.

Ultimately Seattle police and a King County prosecutor cleared Urquhart of the charge.

“My name has been smeared quite substantially in the press today,” Urquhart said in a statement.

But ERW Board Chair Monisha Harrell said the sheriff’s lawyers tried to intimidate her with an emailed letter just before a news conference on Wednesday. It says they would be “watching” the event. And it also said “it would be unfortunate if the election outcome were altered by an improper intrusion by anyone.”

Harrell also accused Urquhart’s office of also trying to discredit the woman who says Urquhart assaulted her by releasing her medical records.

A hearing on the protective order is scheduled for next Tuesday, Election Day.

Find out how Jason Rantz, Michael Medved, and Todd Herman are voting in KTTH’s voter’s guide.

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