Seattle police sergeant cleared in leak probe

Dec 23, 2022, 9:52 AM
(Photo by Bill Kaczaraba)
(Photo by Bill Kaczaraba)

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.


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Seattle police sergeant cleared in leak probe