Seattle police officer arrested for DUI in 2022 still works for SPD

Apr 27, 2023, 6:55 PM

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Seattle Police Department vehicle (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Two Seattle police officers were arrested for driving drunk in Edmonds last year, according to newly-obtained court records. One of the officers has since retired, but the other remains employed at SPD.

Last May, homicide detective Thomas Michael Mooney was stopped by an Edmonds police officer in the 600 block of 9th Avenue South around 6:45 p.m. The arrest report states the officer observed Mooney swerving across the center line and speeding in a 30mph zone.

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When asked for identification, Mooney showed the officer his Seattle Police Department (SPD) badge and said, “well, I have this.” The arrest report further states that once Mooney “repeatedly asked if I could just take him home instead of jail, or if I could just release him from the handcuffs because he’s one of us and on the same side.”

Other officers arrived and arrested Mooney on suspicion of DUI. He refused a breathalyzer and field sobriety test but submitted to a blood test once he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

Edmonds municipal court records show Mooney pleaded guilty in October to reckless driving, a gross misdemeanor. His attorney Scott Leist said at his plea hearing, “I think he was just in a really hard job, and it bubbled over, and it just got the best of him that day.” Mooney also attended a treatment program in California after his arrest, according to Leist. The judge suspended a 364-day jail sentence and a $5,000 fine but ordered Mooney to be put on probation.

Two months later, Seattle SWAT officer Rafael Martinez was stopped by Edmonds police around 2:18 a.m. on July 24th after an officer saw him make a rolling stop. The arrest report says Martinez’s eyes were bloodshot and smelled of alcohol. Martinez told the officer he had “drank one Coors Light” approximately 30 minutes before, but the report notes he was slurring his words and, upon exiting the car, was unsteady on his feet and seemed “as if he was going to fall backwards.”

Martinez also refused all field sobriety tests and had his blood drawn upon being booked into jail. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor negligent driving and also received a suspended 90-day jail sentence and 24 months of probation.

A source within SPD confirms to KIRO Newsradio that Martinez remains an active employee with the department. When asked, SPD would not confirm whether an Office of Police Accountability investigation had been opened regarding Martinez’s arrest. Mooney retired from the force less than two weeks after his arrest and did not face professional consequences.

Two Seattle police officers charged with DUI

Seattle police also did not respond to questions regarding their policy when an officer is charged with or convicted of DUI. In December 2012, Seattle officers Sean Moore and Maria Gochnour were arrested when they crashed their car into a pole and then fled the scene. Prosecutors said Gochnour’s blood-alcohol level was three times over the legal limit. Just a few months earlier, Officer John Fox was accused of driving drunk in his unmarked police car, causing a chain-reaction crash.

Those incidents prompted then-Chief John Diaz to issue a memo to the department in 2013, warning officers not to drink and drive. Diaz said SPD employees go through the same criminal process as anyone else. They also face lost pay, demotion, and reassignment. On the second DUI offense, the employee would be fired.

A Seattle police spokesperson did not respond when asked if this remains the current department policy.

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Seattle police officer arrested for DUI in 2022 still works for SPD