SPOKANE, Wash. - UPDATE: Guild Vice-President, John Gately, confirmed that the potluck planned for Karl Thompson has been cancelled. Officers with the Spokane Police Department were planning a potluck party for former officer, Karl Thompson. The event, "An Evening With Karl", was to be held at the home of Officer Kellee Gately and her husband Officer John Gately. It was scheduled to be held on November 3rd.
Officer John Gately is the Vice-President of the Spokane Police Guild members of the Guild were invited to attend the event. Gately's wife and fellow officer, Kellee used the Spokane Police Department's inter-departmental mail system to distribute fliers about the event. KHQ is attempting to find out who gave Gately permission to do so.
According to the SPD Policy Manual it is a violation of policy for SPD employees to "develop or maintain personal or financial relationships with any individual they know or reasonably should know is under criminal investigation, is a convicted felon, parolee, fugitive, or registered sex offender, or who engages in serious violations of state or federal laws." The exceptions the policy lists is if the relationship is "required in the performance of official duties or, in the case of immediate relatives."
KHQ talked with Spokane Police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe about the possible conflict with department policy. She explained that the manual's definition of a "personal relationship" wouldn't apply in this case.
When KHQ asked the Guild President, Ernie Wuthrich, about the potluck, he said he will not be in attendance. In response to other officers attending the event, Wuthrich said "It's a free country. They can do whatever they want."
Thompson will be sentened on November 15th.