(photos courtesy Mukilteo PD)
It’s been several days since a Seattle Police officer was arrested for DUI after rear ending another car in Mukilteo while driving an unmarked department car.
Despite a request for confirmation, the Seattle Police Department still won’t say whether 46-year-old officer John Fox was on duty. 97.3 KIRO FM’s Dori Monson argues the public deserves to know.
“This is an agency that’s had a ton of problems. We have legitimate, reasonable questions about this and I think that it is flat out wrong of SPD to not come and answer the questions,” Monson said on Monday’s show.
An SPD spokesman refused to answer further questions, saying only that the department stands by its original statement on the arrest.
The male employee is a 23-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department. The employee was driving an unmarked police vehicle assigned to him. It is not immediately clear whether he was on duty or off duty. He will receive an investigatory transfer pending the ongoing investigation.
The Department has initiated the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) complaint process. The OPA will actively monitor the ongoing City of Mukilteo criminal case for developments. Upon the conclusion of the criminal case, OPA will proceed with a separate administrative investigation into the employee’s conduct.
The officer refused a breathalyzer test and was released to an SPD supervisor.
“My guess is they would have said he was not on duty if that’s the case but they realize that admitting he was on duty is going to open up Seattle police to tremendous liability,” Monson speculates.
(Officers found a number of small bottles of alcohol in Fox’s SPD issued SUV)
The man who Fox hit is furious. “We could have been dead,” Scott Pratt told KING 5. “That’s not a mistake, that’s not an accident. That’s complete and utter negligence and is [inexcusable] in this world.” Pratt says the officer never got out of his car to check on Pratt or his 7-year-old son.
It’s not the first time Officer Fox was arrested for DUI. Court records show he served one day in jail, paid a fine and completed alcohol education after a September 1994 DUI arrest in Issaquah.
“More than ever, SPD needs transparency,” Monson says.
-Josh Kerns/97.3 KIRO FM