Monday, July 22, 2013

Spokane officer suspended for policy violations

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM

A Spokane Police officer faces a 60-day unpaid suspension, mandatory ethics training and new direct supervision in order to save his job after an internal investigation recently found multiple violations of department policies. 

Police officials released the first details of the allegations against Officer Darrell Quarles this afternoon. Investigators say he violated department standards by knowingly associating with a criminal, a woman with previous issues with prostitution, methamphetamine possession and burglary.

In a second violation, Quarles also reportedly conducted an unauthorized inquiry to check the status of an investigation involving the woman.

Police Chief Frank Straub released a broad statement reinforcing the importance of professionalism throughout the department.

"As the chief of the Spokane Police Department, it is my obligation to hold all employees, police officers and civilians, to the highest ethical and professional standards," he says in the statement. "Unethical and unprofessional conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

A five-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department, Quarles was initially placed on paid administrative leave on May 7 over unspecified allegations. He was one of three local law enforcement officers placed on leave over misconduct allegations in early May.

The misconduct investigation into Quarles also played a role in the dismissal of a gun charge against a repeat felon in late May, a case in which Quarles was an arresting officer. When pressed to provide details of the allegations against Quarles, city officials refused and the gun charge was dropped.

In today's news release, police officials explain Quarles has signed a "last chance agreement," accepting several consequences and probationary obligations in order to avoid termination.

In addition to his two month suspension, Quarles will not be allowed to work without direct supervision. He will also be required to successfully complete ethics training and participate in community service assignments.

If he violates any other policies or fails to meet his training obligations within the next year, officials say he will be fired.

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Jacob Jones

Staff writer Jacob Jones covers criminal justice, natural resources, military issues and organized labor for the Inlander.