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Richland City Council candidate responds to sheriff's charges being dismissed

RICHLAND, Wash. - The woman accused of having an affair with Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher released a statement Wednesday night. The statement from Lisa Thomas, a woman running for Richland City Council, comes after criminal charges were dropped against Hatcher.

"Recent dismissal of charges supports that my name was inappropriately used in allegations, now discredited, that appear to have been driven by Andy Miller, who is the subject of my own report to the Richland Police Department. I hope the multiple conflicts of interest are investigated to a just conclusion.  It appears certain elected officials may have used their positions to cause needless anxiety to our county, for both personal and political motives, without regard to the harmful effects on citizens, including myself.

This is Domestic Violence Awareness month. A tainted investigation does not reflect genuine empathy for victims or respect for the accused.

I will not make further comment on the investigation of my complaint by the Richland Police Department."

Hatcher was charged with assault in the fourth degree with domestic violence and witness tampering. Allegations of assault stemmed from Hatcher's wife, Monica. She claims Hatcher choked her after she presented him with evidence of an affair with Thomas.

Thomas recently filed a police report with the Richland Police Department, claiming Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller made unwanted advances towards her. In a Facebook post, Miller posted screenshots of a conversation between the two of them. He says she invited him to her home.

KAPP-KVEW learned Washington State Patrol was asked to investigate the allegations. According to the Communications Director at WSP, the chief declined to do the investigation. The Richland Police Department told KAPP-KVEW its an ongoing investigation.

Monica Hatcher filed for divorce last month and soon requested a protection order, which was granted.

The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office filed a motion to drop the charges Wednesday afternoon. It was signed by a judge and the charges were dropped, according to Hatcher's attorney, Scott Johnson. 

KAPP-KVEW has reached out to the prosecutor's office for comment and have not heard back yet. 

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