Seattle police chief fires veteran officer for allegedly lying about misplaced gun

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Seattle Police Chief-nominee Kathleen O'Toole answers questions from the City Council at her first confirmation hearing Wednesday. (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole has fired a 31-year veteran police officer for, among other things, allegedly lying to Kirkland detectives about his misplaced gun, documents showed Wednesday.

The Seattle Times first reported the story.

The officer, Ernest Hall, was fired Monday.

According to written findings by O’Toole, Hall reported to Kirkland police Oct. 3 that a bag containing his service pistol and other items were stolen from a truck he parked outside his home. He found the bag with the gun later in his home.

O’Toole said Hall  told Kirkland police later that he had recovered the gun and other items through his contacts in the “criminal element.”

O’Toole said, “A police officer’s obligations to be truthful, professional and forthcoming should have been clear to you from the first day on the job. Your decision to provide materially false information to another police officer who was investigating what he understood to be a crime is a fundamental violation of your role as a police officer and the trust placed in us by the community we serve.”

O’Toole also said Hall had worked two off-duty jobs throughout 2014 without department permission, flouted rules and had been suspended five times and reprimanded three times.

“After considering your acts, as well as your record, I have decided to terminate your employment,” O’Toole wrote.

The Seattle Times quoted the police officers guild as saying the firing will be appealed.