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A finding is a conclusion reached as a result of a misconduct complaint investigation. Learn more about findings below.

Understanding the Complaint Process:
Complaint process flow

OLEO's Recommendations on Findings

Case Number Date Reviewed  Date of Recommended Findings Summary of Recommendations  Link to Findings
IIU2020-436 12/23/2020 02/16/2021 OLEO’s analysis and recommendations differ from, in part, from the Sheriff’s Office. Specifically, OLEO’s analysis relies on the facts collected during the investigation and no additional information. OLEO’s recommendation was to sustain the allegations made against the accused employee. These recommendations were sent to the IIU Captain and the Undersheriff. In response, the Sheriff’s Office drafted new findings that provided additional and new facts not articulated by the accused employee and facts that were not collected as part of the investigation to support its disposition.   IIU2020-436_Findings_Amended

Learn More About Findings

Understanding Findings

A finding provides an analysis of the facts collected during the investigation. The Sheriff’s Office policies state the standard of proof to sustain an allegation generally requires a “preponderance of evidence” (i.e., “more likely than not”) that the policy violation occurred based on the facts. However, the higher standard of proof of “clear and convincing evidence” is used if criminal or serious misconduct is alleged, and there is a likelihood of suspension, demotion, or termination.

Disposition(s) imposed in a finding is used to inform what discipline, if any, should be issued against the accused employee.

  • Sustained: the allegation is supported by sufficient factual evidence and was a violation of policy.
  • Non-sustained: there is insufficient factual evidence either to prove or disprove the allegation. 
  • Unfounded: the allegation is not factual, and/or the¬ incident did not occur as described.
  • Exonerated: the alleged incident occurred but was lawful and proper.
  • Undetermined: the completed investigation does not meet the criteria of the above classifications. 

OLEO’s Authority and Process

King County Ordinance grants OLEO the authority to monitor and review IIU cases, and the ability to recommend independent findings. 

  • OLEO reviews the case and the Sheriff’s Office’s recommend findings provided by command staff. At this time:
    • Recommended findings are focused on cases that classified as investigations with two or more allegations that may significantly negatively impact community trust or confidence.
    • OLEO does not select cases where it declined to certify the investigation (i.e., collection of evidence and facts) for lack of thoroughness or objectivity.
  • OLEO drafts its independent findings. Our analysis utilizes facts from the investigation, RCWs, and the Sheriff’s Office’s General Orders Manual. 
  • OLEO’s recommended findings are reviewed by the Undersheriff to take into consideration. 

OLEO is currently exploring exercising this authority to recommend independent findings on select cases that will inform ways to grow OLEO’s capacity and resources to expand findings work in the future.