OLYMPIA, Wash. -- For years the Washington Department of Licensing has issued fictitious licenses to police for clandestine work. More than 1,000 fake IDs help cloak undercover officers.
The program was so secret, not even the Legislature knew about it.
It came to light when the Kitsap Sun submitted a public records request last year for a story. Department of Licensing spokesman Brad Benfield said it went to lawmakers to tighten disclosure laws and to finally get approval for the program.
Two lawmakers, Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley and Rep. Jason Overstreet of Lynden said they were floored last week when a fictitious-ID bill approved by the Senate arrived in the House Transportation Committee. They don't oppose the program but want better rules on how the licenses are used.