100+ complaints and only a demotion: What does it take to fire a bad cop?

Sgt. Casey Saulet, the man who can receive 100+ complaints and not be fired. (Source: KOMO News)
Sgt. Casey Saulet, the man who can receive 100+ complaints and not be fired.  (Source: KOMO News)
Sgt. Casey Saulet, the man who can receive 100+ complaints and not be fired. (Source: KOMO News)

KING COUNTY, WA — Could you imagine having 120 complaints against you during the course of your employment, and still keeping your job?  Most people would be terminated after a few complaints, particularly after making threats to innocent people.  But for Sergeant Patrick “K.C.” Saulet, his record-setting number of complaints have only resulted in a demotion.

Saulet is a sergeant with the King County Sheriff’s Department in Washington. Throughout his years of service he has managed to rack up an outstanding 120 complaints against him for use of force, conduct unbecoming an officer and not treating people with courtesy. In comparison, the sergeant with the second most complaints has 23, reported KOMO News.

Even though 20 allegations have proven true, it was finally an incident from December 2012 that got him demoted. A family, consisting of a husband, pregnant wife and daughter mistakenly drove into an off limits area of a Seattle bus terminal while following their GPS. Saulet confronted the family and not only threatened the 2 adults with arrest, but also that he “could take away your daughter” as well.

The driver and his wife filed complaints, saying “I do not understand why the officer even had to threaten us with such a scenario and prison custody.” During the hearing to address the complaint, Saulet denied threatening the family, however according to Sheriff John Urquhart, he found the family’s “statement far more persuasive than (Saulet’s) denial.”

In an 8 page demotion letter to Saulet, Urquhart wrote “The Sheriff’s Office has shown considerable restraint and support, and has made every reasonable effort to improve your performance and help you be successful in your career. Still, the problem continued.” However, Sheriff Urquhart has defended his decision not to fire Saulet by saying it was the most appropriate action based on the complaint, the options available to him and “what’s fair to the officer.”

Not only is this not the first demotion Saulet has received in his career, but during the time of the hearing he was already on paid leave for allegedly threatening a news reporter. An editor for The Stranger, Dominic Holden, was photographing Saulet legally on the sidewalk, while he was arresting another man. Saulet approached Holden and told him to leave. Holden responded that he was “on public property, I can stand here and take pictures.”

Saulet claimed that the property was owned by “King County,” and Holden moved onto a sidewalk with other people milling about. Again, Saulet approached him and told him if he didn’t get off the entire block, he would be arrested. Another officer asked Holden where he worked. When Holden replied that he worked at The Stranger, Saulet told him, “I’m going to come into The Stranger and bother you while you’re at work.”

As for Saulet, his demotion includes a transfer from Metro Transit sergeant to patrol duty in Northeast King County. Urquhart is adamant that Saulet will remain on a “short leash” and cites his letter to him as proof.

The only thing more remarkable than Sgt. Saulet’s record of complaints, is his department’s refusal to fire him.  What does it take to fire a bad cop?

Sgt. Saulet makes the cover of 'The Stranger' after threatening the magazine's editor.
Sgt. Saulet makes the cover of ‘The Stranger’ after threatening the magazine’s editor.

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If you would like to provide your input to the King County Sheriff’s Department, feel free to contact them below.

King County Sheriff’s Department / Sheriff John Urquhart
King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave
Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: (206) 296-4155
Email: sheriff@kingcounty.gov

Valerie Salvati
About Valerie Salvati 5 Articles
Valerie Salvati is a libertarian who is interested in keeping our rights and freedoms unencumbered as allowed for in the Constitution. Of particular interest to her is informing people of the stories that aren't covered by main stream media, and providing a more complete view of the stories that are. A strong supporter of the second amendment , Valerie resides in Connecticut with her boyfriend and their dog.