Internal report: Former officer admitted to doing “crappy work”

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 11:42 AM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Spokane police officer Barry O’Connell decided to retire in lieu of termination following a fourth internal affairs investigation into his misconduct, according to police. O’Connell was on the force for nearly 20 years.

O’Connell had been in trouble for sexual harassment, conduct unbecoming of an officer and insubordination. O’Connell also left his duty gun out at his house. His child got a hold of the gun and accidentally shot herself, according to leaders at the Spokane Police Department.  

READ: 3-week suspension for officer in child's wounding

He has been suspended before, but his latest investigation will be his last.

It all started as a domestic violence order of protection call in November of 2013. The caller said her daughter was threatening to kill her. Officer O’Connell found the suspect hiding in bushes. He took her into custody and transported her to jail.

It was after the woman was booked and O’Connell wrote his report that some big mistakes began to surface. 

READ: SPD Officer on leave pending investigation

The Internal Affairs report said O’Connell’s response and report on the incident was inadequate and deceitful.

Documents show O’Connell lied about when he requested information on the suspect’s convictions for previous arrests.

Phone records also failed to back up O’Connell’s timeline on when he allegedly called the victim to confirm her claims, according to police.

Records show accusations that O’Connell falsified information in police reports to artificially support probable cause for the arrest. He was reprimanded for the exact same thing five months prior to that.

Documents show O’Connell even admitted to, “Doing crappy work on this case, plain and simple crappy work.”

The committee investigating him agreed and recommended O’Connell be fired, according to police. The three previous internal affairs investigations into his misconduct played a role in their ruling.

Chief Straub sent out an email notifying the entire department about O’Connell’s retirement.

The case is closed and no further action will be taken because O’Connell is leaving SPD.

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