SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is under fire. Four former veterans with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office accuse the Sheriff of fudging crime statistics and wasting tax payer dollars in the way he fires employees.
On its Facebook page, the group, Integrity First, is listed as a political action committee. It consists of former SCSO Spokesman Sergeant Dave Reagan, Retired Captain Jerry Brady, Retired Lieutenant Earl Howerton and Retired Detective Fred Ruetsch.
Each of them has at least 30 years of service. The group accuses the Sheriff of miscommunication with the public, releasing inaccurate crime stats, not following case law and failing to act as a good steward of taxpayer money.
Dave Reagan says "There is case law and established procedure and the Sheriff is not following that case law and it is costing the taxpayers tons of money... up to $1.5 Million." In response, the Sheriff says Reagan has not identified a single, specific law that he has violated.
Integrity First is also requesting raw data following a report in the Spring of 2012 from the Sheriff's Office that claims property crime has decreased. Earlier this week, the Sheriff said collecting the requested data would be a burden to his department. Integrity First responded saying the Sheriff should be easily able to produce that information.
On Thursday Sheriff Knezovich said Integrity First has since been contacted and notified that the requested information is now available for pick up. Reagan declined an on-camera interview with KHQ yesterday, saying he would not go on-camera until that requested data is made available to him.
The Sheriff says the allegations made against him by Integrity First are an effort to get someone else into office. Knezovich says Integrity First is trying to tear down his reputation so that it can help elect a new candidate.
In response, Dave Reagan writes "No one has announced their intent to run against Ozzie. If a qualified person were to announce their intent to run for sheriff, we would certainly consider supporting him or her."
Meantime, the Sheriff guarantees his actions are dedicated to making the community safer in a way that utilizes the taxpayers dollars in the most effective manner.