May 4, 1998
Officer Sloan fired
by Jane McClure
CARNATION--The City Council met before a packed chambers last week in a special meeting called to make public the details of disciplinary action taken against Officer Frank Sloan, who was discharged from service earlier that day by Mayor Pro Tem David Hunter. In a written notice of discipline sent to Sloan on April 27, Hunter said, "You have been discharged for your consistent abuse of your power as a police officer and nominal supervision of the Carnation Police Department, for dishonesty and for dereliction of your duty to the citizens of Carnation."
Scott Snyder, an attorney hired by the city to handle the matter, reported that during 1997 Sloan augmented his base salary of $31,000 by billing the city for an additional $29,000 in overtime pay. This is a violation of the union contract's provision for equal distribution of overtime, he said. Snyder also reported Sloan billed the city for hours he spent conducting personal business that included coaching junior varsity baseball for Cedarcrest High School, shopping for real estate and doing personal errands. "You repeatedly and inappropriately mixed your role as self-appointed union steward and nominal supervisor of the Department in order to illegally or inappropriately enhance your earnings from the Department for time which you either did not work or which should properly have been allocated to other officers of the Department," Hunter said in the notice.
Further charges outlined in the notice included the falsification by Sloan of reports regarding investigations he conducted; falsely identifying himself as Carnation's police chief to another police department and falsifying pay records and time sheets of another officer. Also, according to the notice, the city is continuing its investigation into charges that Sloan falsely claimed to state officials that four former Carnation police officers were under criminal investigation, and that Sloan violated a a no-contact order that was in effect while he was on administrative leave by contacting another Carnation police officer and attempting to contact former Public Safety Director Gunnar Otness, whose contract with the city expired March 17.
Snyder said Otness has declined to cooperate with the city's investigation, which centered on statements taken from other police officers and a comparison of records from Cedarcrest High School, the King County 911 dispatcher and timesheets filed by Sloan. Snyder said that Sloan has 10 business days to appeal his dismissal to the city's civil service commission, or that he could use a collective bargaining process. He said that Sloan's claim for back wages could be reviewed by the union and then referrred to a panel of arbitrators if it were not resolved. Snyder said that the matters of dismissal and claim for back wages could be combined, in which case either process would bind the other. He noted an appeals process could take up to six months. Sloan did not attend the council meeting, but his attorney and a union representative were present.