Seattle police sergeant cleared in leak probe

Dec 23, 2022, 9:52 AM

A Seattle Police Department vehicle (Photo: Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest)

(Photo: Bill Kaczaraba, MyNorthwest)

A Seattle Police sergeant has been cleared of leaking an internal memo to the media.

The Seattle Times reports a Seattle watchdog group performed the investigation.

The report showed that police leadership initiated the inquiry concerning Sgt. Pamela St. John.

The Times reports Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette filed the complaint with the backing of police Chief Adrian Diaz.

According to public documents, St. John sent a memo outlining severe understaffing in the department’s sexual assault and child abuse unit. The memo was later leaked to the media.

“The community expects our agency to respond to reports of sexual violence,” St. John wrote, “and at current staffing levels that objective is unattainable.”

St. John went on to say that she was not “able to assign adult sexual assault cases” that came into her unit. Cases involving children and adults cases that had a suspect in custody were being prioritized.

The unit now maintains a list of new adult sexual assault cases it’s simply unable to investigate for lack of detectives, according to internal communications at the department obtained by KUOW.

Thirty adult cases were waiting to be assigned to detectives at the time St. John wrote the memo. 116 alerts showing that identifiable DNA from rape kits had been uploaded to a federal database and needed attention, the memo said.

After KUOW and The Seattle Times published a story about the memo in June, the Office of Police Accountability launched a leak investigation into St. John.

The report cleared St. John, but did not identify the source of the leak.

The report said many people had access to the memo and there was no evidence that St. John leaked the memo.


MyNorthwest News

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

14 hours ago

Image: A Bellingham Police Department vehicle is seen on a city street in 2015....

Julia Dallas

Bellingham sixth grader allegedly punched by man in racist attack

A Bellingham 6th-grader was allegedly attacked by a man who was spewing racist comments during a school field trip on Wednesday.

15 hours ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle school to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

18 hours ago

Image: A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health cli...

Sam Campbell and Steve Coogan

Measles case reported at West Seattle clinic; know the symptoms

A child, now confirmed to have measles, went to the Franciscan Health Urgent Care clinic in West Seattle, officials said in a release Friday.

19 hours ago

Image: The Supreme Court building can be seen from a distance on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washin...

Associated Press

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, gun accessory

The Supreme Court has struck down a ban on bump stocks, an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.

1 day ago

Image: A multi-vehicle collision including a semitruck on Interstate 5 in Fife slowed down traffic ...

Steve Coogan

1 killed in multi-vehicle crash on I-5 south in Fife; morning traffic affected

The Washington State Patrol is on the scene of a deadly multi-vehicle crash that occurred on I-5 south in Pierce County early Friday.

1 day ago

Seattle police sergeant cleared in leak probe