King Co. Sheriff fires deputy who threatened Stranger reporter

SEATTLE -- A sergeant who racked up more than 100 complaints during his tenure with the King County Sheriff's Office has been fired by Sheriff John Urquhart.

Casey Saulet had {A href=""}already been demoted to deputy for violating the department's rules of conduct stemming from a December 2012 altercation with a family who had accidentally driven into an off-limits area of a Seattle bus tunnel.

In that incident, Saulet allegedly threatened to arrest the driver and his pregnant wife and told them he could "take away your daughter," according to the sheriff's office.

Saultet {A href=""}made more headlines after a July confrontation with a local newspaper reporter was caught on tape. On July 30, Stranger reporter Dominic Holden was taking pictures of officers questioning a man on the street when Saulet threatened to arrest him.

Saulet was placed on paid leave while county officials investigated the claims. On January 30, Urquhart notified Saulet that he was fired, effective Monday.

"Suffice it to say, in my judgement, the evidence shows that (i) you abused your authority in your dealings with Mr. Holden on July 30, and (ii) thereafter, rather than be accountable, you attempted to recast events in a light more favorable to you," Urquhart said in his letter to Saulet.

Urquhart went on to say that Saulet's actions in dealing with Holden played into "some of the most basic fears among some citizens, which is that a police officer may indiscriminately exercise his or her personal power in violation of their rights."

The July incident was far from the first time Saulet has been accused of acting inappropriately with the public.

Prior to his latest investigation, Saulet had at least 120 complaints made against him, which Urquhart says is by far the most in the department. The next closest sergeant has 23 allegations, according to Urquhart.

More than 20 of those allegations were sustained, and Urquhart said the majority concern courtesy, use of force and conduct unbecoming.