SPOKANE, Wash. – The City of Spokane announced Tuesday they intend to place Spokane Police Officer Sergeant John Gately on unpaid layoff status in connection to his involvement with the sexual assault investigation involving another Spokane Police Officer.
The City placed Sgt. Gordon Ennis on the same unpaid layoff status a week ago. Sgt. Ennis made his first court appearance on Monday and plead not guilty to Second-Degree Rape charges.
Sgt. Gately was informed by the City on Tuesday that he will be placed on unpaid layoff status Wednesday. Gately will be ineligible for pay or benefits pending the result of the criminal case.
Sgt. Gately has been charged with First Degree Rendering Criminal Assistance and Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer.
Investigators believe Gately "tipped off" Sgt. Ennis about a potential investigation into allegations Ennis sexually assaulted a female colleague. Investigators said Gately called Ennis twice. Investigators believe Gately tipped off Ennis that a search warrant for his DNA was coming. Court documents said Gately was notified of the sexual assault investigation the day it was reported.
Then the next day, court documents said Gately received an email at 11:20 am with updated information that read, "They are still writing the warrant." Then just 16 minutes later at 11:36 a.m. documents say Gately called Ennis again, this time the conversation lasted more than six minutes. According to investigators Ennis immediately made numerous phone calls and sent several text messages about finding an attorney after talking to Gately.
Interim Police Chief Rick Dobrow said the department has never dealt with something like this before.
"Timing is very important and obviously it came into play in this, were there missteps as far as the timing of information that was given? Perhaps there was we will get to the bottom of it and we will establish a policy and procedure so we can learn from an event like this and not if mistakes were made we will recognize those mistakes acknowledge them, put things in place so it never happens again and move forward," said Dobrow.
Spokane Mayor David Condon said the allegations against Gately were disappointing.
"These allegations are something we have zero tolerance for," he said.
Gately is scheduled to appear in court later in December. An internal affairs investigation has also been initiated for everyone involved.