SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said Wednesday she has reassigned an officer and asked for an investigation after discovering he had written about 80% of the marijuana citations issued this year, with many of them directed to the attention of City Attorney Pete Holmes, whom he referred to as “Petey Holmes.”
Holmes was a vocal supporter of the legalization of marijuana in the state.
“The ongoing review of the officer’s ticket reports also found that, in one case, while contacting two people for public use of marijuana, the officer used a coin toss to determine which of the two individuals would receive a citation,” O’Toole wrote in her initial report on the Seattle Police Department blotter.
“In another ticket report,” she wrote, “the officer refers to Washington’s voter-enacted changes to marijuana laws as ‘silly.'”
O’Toole wrote that the veteran officer, who was working with the West Precinct Bike Unit when he personally wrote 66 of the 83 marijuana tickets issued in the city this year, was being reassigned to non-patrol duties and that he is now the subject of an investigation by Office of Professional Accountability, which will review his conduct and professionalism.
The discovery of the officer’s penchant for writing pot citations stemmed from SPD’s first biannual report relating to marijuana enforcement.
“Please know that officers who perform professional and constitutional police service and enforcement will always have my full support,” O’Toole wrote.