Deputy prosecutor collects $7,000/month despite alleged inmate relationship

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 5:39 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.  --  Newly unsealed documents alleged a Spokane County deputy prosecutor abused her power to visit a convicted felon in jail. However, tax-payers were still covering her paycheck despite an ongoing invesigation and her suspension.

Court records showed Matthew Baumrucker is a convicted felon has been in trouble for assault, robbery, and drugs.

Friday, KREM 2 News looked into the background of Baumrucker. On Monday, KREM 2 News dug into Spokane deputy prosecutor Marriya Wright.

Documents showed Wright has been the subject of a felony investigation for four months. But as of August 25, she was still collecting roughly $6,000 to $7,000 of tax-payer dollars every month in her paycheck.
 
Marriya Wright was well liked around the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office according to her co-workers.

WATCH: Letter calls alleged inmate-deputy prosecutor relationship a “Cinderella story”

The deputy prosecutor was assigned to the property crimes unit when the allegations surfaced back in the Spring of 2014. Prior to that, she worked on domestic violence cases.
   
Officials said she was in good standing.  No one could recall her ever being placed on administrative leave before.
   
Her relationship with Baumrucker changed all of that.

He was wanted by Spokane Police for a felony drug possession warrant. They also suspected he was involved in an assault.  They began pinning his cell phone to track him down, and that was when the alleged relationship surfaced in the form of nearly 1,300 text messages between the two.
   
Witnesses also said Wright gave Baumrucker rides while he was on the run.  While she was overheard telling him to take care of the warrants, records show she made no attempt to turn him in.
 
Once he was arrested, Wright visited him on average every three days for a month according to court records. Those documents indicated that she used her credentials to get them into the attorney-client booth, complete with a slot for exchanging items.
   
According to court records, investigators suspect during one of the visits she gave him a picture of herself in a bikini.

Baumrucker's jail cell was searched as a result.
   
Court documents said Wright is being investigated for 1st degree rendering criminal assistance;  which is a felony.
   
KREM 2 News learned her gross pay is roughly $84,000 a year.
   
Since she was placed on leave back on April 21, she has brought home more than $20,000.
   
Officials said they are waiting to see the outcome of the FBI investigation before making any decisions about this case.
 
The FBI told KREM 2 News that the case is extremely active.  They said it could be weeks, even months before their investigation is complete.
   
Meanwhile Baumracker remains locked up, facing charges for drugs and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Officials said it is likely his cases, and any possible charges against Wright, will be handled federally.

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