State Attorney General to investigate Pierce County Sheriff for ‘potential criminal violations’

Apr 23, 2021, 2:41 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm
pierce county sheriff ed troyer...
Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday that he has formally directed state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to open an investigation into Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, stemming from a late-January incident where Troyer called the police on a Black newspaper delivery driver.

Conflicting accounts after sheriff calls police on Black delivery driver

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 to the scene.

The goal of the AG’s investigation will be to determine whether the sheriff committed any “potential criminal violations,” particularly regarding numerous claims from Troyer in his dispatch call that Altheimer had threatened his life. Altheimer denied he made any such threats, while a statement taken by a Tacoma police officer at the scene says that the Pierce County Sheriff later said he was “never threatened.”

In a letter addressed to Criminal Justice Division Chief John Hillman, Inslee noted that “initial reports of these events were very concerning to me.”

“I had hoped to see some action taken to initiate a criminal investigation at the local level. But, to my knowledge, that has not happened almost three months after the incident,” he noted. “So now the state is stepping in.”

‘Important’ that investigation into Pierce County Sheriff isn’t political

Responding to Inslee’s request, Ferguson vowed to “conduct a diligent, fact-based review.” At the conclusion of the investigation, Ferguson’s office will “make the decision whether to initiate prosecution” against Troyer.

The Pierce County Council will soon be conducting its own inquiry into the events of that night, having tagged former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran to lead the effort. Because the sheriff is an elected office, though, the council’s ability to regulate and oversee Troyer should it conclude he violated any laws is significantly limited.

The Attorney General’s office has more latitude to investigate and potentially prosecute Troyer, with state law only requiring that it have approval from the governor or a county’s prosecuting attorney.

Troyer issued a response to the AG’s upcoming investigation shortly after it was announced, saying the following:

Just like with the local investigation being conducted by the Pierce County Council I welcome any and all inquiries into the event that occurred on January 27th. I and the department will fully cooperate with the investigation and look forward to it being done.

Earlier this week, the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance (WBLMA) issued a letter to the FBI’s Seattle office, similarly asking for a criminal investigation into Troyer.

Local News

End restrictions...
Nick Bowman

UW modelers: State might finally be able to end ‘major restrictions’ once omicron wave passes

Modelers at UW's Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation believe that we could be nearing the end stages of major virus-related restrictions. 
17 hours ago
Long term care insurance...
Nicole Jennings

Analyst’s advice for Washingtonians who got private long-term care insurance

An Association of Washington Business analyst explains the outlook for private long-term care insurance now that the WA Cares tax will likely be delayed.
17 hours ago
COVID tests...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington households can order at-home rapid COVID tests at no cost

The state Department of Health is going live with its portal to order free at-home COVID tests that ship directly to households.
17 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Bobcat watches from side of road as WSDOT crews plow SR 20 near Colville

WSDOT crews had an unexpected observer while plowing snowy roads near Colville earlier this week, with a bobcat watching them work.
17 hours ago
State Senator Bob Hasegawa, income tax...
Nick Bowman

‘I have no illusions the bill will pass’: Why state lawmaker is leading latest push for income tax

Sen. Bob Hasegawa admits his income tax proposal won't likely pass this session, but there's another reason he's sponsoring the bill.
17 hours ago
lacey police...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Lacey police kill man who shot officer wearing body armor

A man who opened fire on two Lacey police officers, striking one in his protective vest, was shot and killed by police Thursday night.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
State Attorney General to investigate Pierce County Sheriff for ‘potential criminal violations’