August 24, 1998
Carnation to seek new police chief
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
CARNATION--Members of the Public Safety Commission have asked that the city begin a search for a new police chief, Mayor Dave Hunter said last week.
Hunter said the request came at last week's council meeting.
"We will begin a search for a new chief within the next month," he said. "Sgt. Nesel's contract runs out November 7, and the council wants to make sure that if we decide to stay with our own police department, that gives us a three-month window in which to find a new chief."
The King County Sheriff's Office is currently loaning Sgt. D.J. Nesel to the town to serve as its interim chief. Nesel has been in Carnation since May.
The department has not had its own leader since former police Chief Gunnar Otness was placed on administrative leave earlier this year during the investigation of Officer Frank Sloan. Otness' contract was not renewed.
Both Otness and Sloan have filed claims against the city. An arbitration hearing on the Sloan case will be held in September. Also, Mimi Dukes, a Carnation resident, has filed a $500,000 claim against the city citing behavior by Sloan that she said violated her civil rights.
In September, residents will vote on a $95,000 police levy.
"That's $5,000 more than last year, but the same millage due to increased property values," Hunter said. "If it is passed, we can continue the same coverage with the three full-time officers."
Hunter said the City Council wants to make the decision as to whether the city will continue on with its police force or contract with King County.
"They are hesitant to make a decision until they know if the levy will pass," Hunter said.
The city will be advertising in the trade journals with the help of interim city administrator Don Morrison's consulting company's data base, Hunter said.