SPOKANE, Wash. – Authorities confirmed Wednesday that a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy was able to get away with avoiding work for months because he made it look like he was working. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich claimed Deputy Todd Saunders ran random license plate numbers when he was not on the streets.
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Saunders with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was placed on administrative leave in March after allegations surfaced from a citizen that he had inappropriate on-duty behavior. Officials say he was a master at fooling his colleagues into believing he was doing honest police work.
“He was running license plates, he was checking names but what we didn’t know, he wasn't running those plates out on the street. He was doing that at the lady's house,” said Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
Officials had to spend days apologizing to citizens Saunder’s victimized by running their information without cause. One of the victims was the woman in questions ex-husband, who has since filed an anti-harassment order against Saunders.
“What's even worse for the community and our agency is we are highly audited in reference to our background checks and everything else. This could result in a finding against the Sheriff's Office, “ added Knezovich.
Saunders has worked at four different police agencies in the Spokane area over the course of his career. That includes working for the Spokane Police Department. KREM 2 News learned Saunders’ stint on SPD’s payroll was brief. Officials said he never made it off probation.