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Derek Young, Pierce County Ed Troyer
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Pierce County Council tags former US attorney to investigate Sheriff Ed Troyer

Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young. (Pierce County Television, YouTube)

Pierce County Council approved a motion Tuesday to contract former U.S. District Attorney Brian Moran to head up an investigation into Sheriff Ed Troyer.

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Troyer recently came under scrutiny following the revelation of a late-January incident, where he called the police on a Black newspaper delivery driver. Then in late March, Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young directed council staff to begin the process of investigating the incident.

The incident in question was first reported on by the Seattle Times, describing how Troyer had reported seeing a car moving in and out of a neighbor’s driveway at 2 a.m. with its headlights off. He then confronted the driver, identified as 24-year-old Sedrick Altheimer, before making a call to dispatch that had an estimated 42 units from around the region sent to the scene.

Moran served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington between 2019 and 2021, having been appointed by then-President Donald Trump. Speaking during the council’s Tuesday session, Young noted that choosing the former district attorney to lead the council’s investigation “hit all the right things that we were looking for in terms of background experience, and not being perceived as having a particular leaning.”

The investigation will look to answer a series of questions regarding the incident with Troyer, including what exactly occurred, whether the sheriff abused his position, whether he violated department policy, and if Troyer’s past conduct can provide added context.

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If he accepts the posting, Moran would be allowed to call witnesses to testify under oath, and subpoena evidence.

Although the council’s ability to actually regulate and oversee the sheriff’s office is limited, the hope is to get to the truth of what happened for the public good.

“I think this is an across the board belief, that the most important thing is that the truth comes out, whatever it looks like,” Young told KIRO Radio in March. “That’s important to me because I don’t want this to be political, and I don’t want this to be partisan, so I think it’s really important for the public to have trust in this, and that’s the way I’d like to keep it.”

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