Another King County sheriff's deputy gets axed



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Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 17 at 5:49 PM

SEATTLE -- Another King County sheriff's deputy has been fired, the second in two days.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart confirmed Thursday he fired Deputy Peter "Whitney" Richtmyer for dishonesty and other misconduct.  

Richtmyer was found slumped over the wheel of his patrol car in the Starbucks parking lot on New Year's Eve in Newcastle.  A citizen called 911 after he saw the deputy hunched over the steering wheel and could not wake him up.

Bellevue police arrested Richtmyer for physical control of a vehicle while allegedly impaired--the equivalent of driving under the influence where no driving is actually observed.

In an interview on Jan. 1, Richtmyer denied allegations he was on drugs while on duty, saying he was just extremely tired and fell asleep. KING 5 has been unable to reach Richtmyer for comment regarding his termination.

The deputy's initial drug tests came back negative for illegal narcotics but follow-up tests fcame back  positive for prescription drugs.  The Bellevue Police Department conducted a 3 month investigation into the case and in a news release in April said that a certified Drug Recognition expert and toxicology reports confirmed that the deputy was impaired by prescription drugs. Bellevue sent the case to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office but charges have not been filed.  The case is still under review according to spokesman Dan Donohoe.

Richtmyer is 47 years old and has been with the King County Sheriff's Office for 16 years.  He was formally a police officer in Hawaii.

Earlier this week, Sheriff John Urquhart fired Deputy Darrion Holiwell.  Holiwell was an elite firearms instructor with the department and served on the SWAT team until his arrest last month on charges of promoting prostitution, drug possession and theft.  He remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.

Urquhart told KING 5 he's fired six deputies since taking over as sheriff in November 2012, keeping his promise to crack down on misconduct and hold deputies accountable. Urquhart said he's not cleaning house but is assessing each case individually. 

Bellevue Police Dept - Richtmyer press release