Former King County Sheriff Deputy says $160K settlement he was given was hush money
November 01, 2017
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- A former King County Sheriff's Deputy, Brian Barnes, now working as a police officer on the East Coast, says a settlement that King County paid him was designed to "muzzle his attempts to expose wrongdoing within the Sheriff’s Office," according to a report by The Seattle Times.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart
Sheriff John Urquhart and the county deny the claims by Barnes.
The newspaper report says two years ago, King County paid "an outspoken sheriff’s deputy" more than $160,000 in cash, legal costs and back pay as part of "an unusual settlement that was structured in a way that it did not receive the required level of scrutiny for a settlement of that amount."
The report says the settlement payout was brokered by the county’s risk managers, lawyers and Sheriff’s Office and was designed to remove a "troublesome deputy" from the force -- one who was "prone to insubordination and unwarranted attacks on his superiors."
Details of that settlement have been revealed as Urquhart, who is seeking to retain his job in next week’s election, has faced "increasing scrutiny" of his management style and a "variety of accusations by current and former deputies," according to the report.