News

Acquitted police officer continues to fight termination by city officials

By Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

A six-member jury in Pierce County District Court acquitted former Bonney Lake police office Ken McDonough April 19 of a domestic violence charge.

According to McDonough's attorney, Tom Ryan, the jury took less than two hours to reach a verdict.

"I expected it in half and hour," Ryan said. "I started to get a little nervous. If you looked at this domestic violence charge, it was not very strong."

McDonough was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence after an incident on July 27, 2003. He was accused by the Pierce County Prosecutor of shoving his girlfriend, Alexis Alexandria, at his home in Buckley.

"She (Alexandria) wasn't a credible witness," Ryan said "Her statements were never the same. The EMT (emergency medical technicians) testified she only had a bruised elbow which was consistent with Ken's testimony he was blocking her from getting beer. He felt she shouldn't drink."

Bonney Lake Police Chief Bryan Jeter and Mayor Bob Young fired McDonough in October. He was accused of using his department computer to view pornography, keeping equipment for teaching about drugs in his home without authorization, improperly giving his girlfriend rides in his police car and assaulting his girlfriend.

McDonough has filed a grievance with the Bonney Lake Police Guild appealing his termination.

"He's happy the jury found him not guilty," Ryan said. "But he wants to work. He's a police officer. False statements were made about him. He dated the wrong woman."

The appeal will go before an arbitrator in August. Becky Gallagher of Garrettson, Goldberg, Fenrich and Makler, an Oregon law firm, will represent McDonough.

"What do police departments normally do when an officer is charged with a crime?" Ryan asked. "They put the officer on administrative leave. The way it was investigated, everybody made a decision before they talked to him."

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com

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