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Spokane County Sheriff's Office fires sergeant after alleged racist, threatening remarks

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane County Sheriff's Office sergeant was terminated Thursday for making racist, sexist and threatening remarks.

Sergeant Jeff Thurman, known for his work with K9 Laslo, was terminated following an investigation by the Sheriff's Office of Professional Standards (OPS).

The investigation stemmed from an internal complaint which led to Thurman being placed on administrative leave on May 8, pending a thorough OPS investigation.

The complaint alleged Thurman, while off-duty, placed a phone call to an on-duty deputy in December of 2016.  The deputy answered the phone call over a Bluetooth speaker while parked next to another deputy in a separate patrol vehicle. Thurman started the conversation with the question, “You ready to kill some (racial slur) tonight or what?”  

Additionally, SCSO said Thurman statements of sexual harassment and acted in a way unbecoming of a deputy/supervisor.

The investigation found Thurman committed several violations of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Policy and Washington State Civil Service employment law.

On Thursday morning, Thurman provided a written response to the allegations and declined to meet with Sheriff Knezovich in person. 

Thursday afternoon, after the scheduled meeting time passed, Sheriff Knezovich terminated Thurman’s employment with the Sheriff’s Office due to his unprofessional, unacceptable and reprehensible conduct noted in the internal investigation.

Sheriff Knezovich responded to the investigation at a press conference Thursday afternoon:

Thurman was hired by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office as a lateral Deputy from Idaho in July of 2001.

 

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