Fired: Saga over controversial Snoqualmie Police Officer comes to a Close

It appears the drama and controversy over a Snoqualmie Police Officer hired in late 2013 has come to an end.

A year after the City of Snoqualmie began facing scrutiny and harsh criticism over the decision to hire a hoganpolice officer who had been previously terminated from the Tukwila Police Department over claims of using excessive force, Mayor Matt Larson made the decision to terminate Officer Nick Hogan.

Larson said Hogan was fired on August 1, 2016, although he did not comment on the exact reason given for the termination.

Controversy surrounding Hogan began in the summer of 2015 when the Seattle Times ran multiple articles detailing the excessive force claims against Hogan, which the City of Tukwila settled for approximately $275,000 and led to his termination there.

City of Snoqualmie officials said were aware of some issues and allegations surrounding Officer Hogan when they hired him in 2013, but decided to give him a chance after a fellow SPD officer, who had served with Hogan in Iraq, vouched for him.

City officials also said they did not know all of the details in the 2014 lawsuit settled by Tukwila and detailed in the Seattle Times story until after Hogan was hired – and that he not been subject to any complaints or internal investigation during the first 18 months of his employment in Snoqualmie.

Then in October 2015 Officer Hogan was placed on paid administrative leave, which led to a 20 day without pay suspension after an investigation showed he had an affair with a fellow officer’s wife.

The city again faced harsh criticism for not terminating Hogan, but according to his collective bargaining agreement, there has to be ‘just cause’ for termination and as the affair was consensual and happened off-duty, the city said it did not meet that threshold – and could have led to a costly wrongful termination lawsuit.

Then in May Hogan was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of violating the civil rights of a man he pepper sprayed while restrained on a gurney at Harborview Medical Center in 2011, an incident that occurred while Hogan was working in Tukwila.

Officer Hogan was again placed on administrative leave by the City of Snoqualmie, but in June was ordered back to work by interim Police Chief Jim Schaeffer –  even though the federal indictment meant he could not carry his service weapon.

In early July Hogan petitioned a judge to allow him to carry his weapon while awaiting trial so that he wouldn’t risk losing his job. After an initial denial, the judge restored his right to carry his gun.

According to the Associated Press, Hogan pled not guilty to the civil rights violation charge and was awaiting trial on August 8th. At this time, no information could be found regarding the outcome of that trial.

Hogan was terminated by the City of Snoqualmie on August 1, 2016.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Abovethelaw says

    So, recent articles show Hogan was hired by the City having full disclosure of his troubled history with Tukwilla. Hogan is then placed on admin leave due to the Federal investigation into an incident that occurred 5 years ago and was known to the City at the time of hire. Due to the investigation, Hogan was temporarily and wrongly restricted from carrying a firearm. The City saw this restriction as an opportunity to manipulate the system and terminate Hogan as being unfit for duty due to not being able to carry a firearm. The problem is Hogan was on admin leave and did not need to carry a gun. In order for the City to enact their sinister plan, the City needed to call Hogan back to work. Believing Hogan could not carry a gun, the City called Hogan back to work for the sole reason they would be able to terminate Hogan for being unfit for duty due to the firearms restriction. Unfortunately for the City/Chief, the firearm restrictions have not applied to Police since 1992! Oh my! What to do now? Hogan can carry a gun and we just called him back to work! The City then retracts their dishonest motion intended only to facilitate Hogans termination and place Hogan back on admin leave. Remember, Chief Schaffer in his endless wisdom had previously made the bold statement that Hogan would not return to work no matter what happens; I guess he was correct even when it violates the law and due process. Now, out of overwhelming incompetence, frustration and a complete disregard for due process by the City, the City simply terminates Hogan. Remember both the Captain and Chief stated Hogan has not violated any policies or received any complaints! The City has displayed a lack of integrity and dishonesty in their attempt at manipulating the system to oust Hogan based simply on public pressure. This is disturbing. The tax payers of our community will have to pay for this and rightfully so. While we are all entitled to our opinions regarding Hogan, nobody should be subjected to the heavy hand and deep pockets of a corrupt government. Why hasn’t the City responded to questions from the reporter?? Because they know what they have done is wrong, probably illegal, and they are hoping that the popular dislike of Hogan from the public will be enough to hide or allow the Cities egregious actions. A mob mentality that should be scary for all of us! Everyone deserves the justice offered through due process.

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