SPOKANE, Wash.-- A Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputy was terminated in July after an investigation into allegations of misconduct.
Detectives launched an investigation in March of 2014 into allegations that Deputy Charles Sciortino stole pay by pretending to be on patrol while working another job at Best Buy.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich actually witnessed Sciortino working at Best Buy. Sheriff Knezovich went to the store on Black Friday. He said he saw the deputy working security there but thought nothing of it.
“With local law enforcement, there's a lot of off duty work that gets done,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
READ: Local deputy accused of working other job while on duty.
Sheriff Knezovich said Sciortino did not work with integrity.
“His job was security at Best Buy. If there were any shopliftings or robberies, assaults, his job was to cover that,” said Sciortino.
Investigators received a complaint that Sciortino was doing the opposite of that on some of his shifts at Best Buy. Sheriff Knezovich said an Internal Affairs investigation found that Sciortino clocked on around 3:00 p.m. one day, worked for only four hours and then began his Spokane County patrol duties.
“It wasn't like he was stacking shelves at Best Buy. He was acting as a deputy sheriff at Best Buy. He abandoned that position,” said Sheriff Knezovich. “He compromised the public safety for everyone that went to Best Buy.”
The Sheriff said Sciortino’s time card reflected a full shift at Best Buy, despite him only fulfilling a fraction of it. Sciortino’s paycheck for his Best Buy work came from the County.
Sciortino was working for an off duty employment program run by the Sheriff’s Office. The public’s tax dollars were paying Sciortino for two jobs while he was only doing one.
Investigators found that Sciortino did end up paying the County back. Prosecutors decided not to press charges.
READ: Investigators suggest charging Spokane Co. deputy with theft
Sciortino drove a marked patrol car to the Best Buy job and wore his full Spokane County uniform. Sheriff Knezovich said if something were to go down at the store when Sciortino skipped out, the County could have been held liable.
Sheriff Knezovich said Sciortino was not 100% truthful during the investigation. He said he could not have that kind of behavior from his team.
“The citizens should be demanding that. We are held to a higher standard,” said Sheriff Knezovich.
Sciortino was hired with the SCSO in June of 2008 and was lateral deputy from North Idaho and California.