Prolific pot-ticketing SPD officer back on patrol

SEATTLE -- A Seattle police officer under official investigation for writing too many marijuana tickets is back on patrol, a department spokesperson said.

Officer Randy Jokela had been reassigned to administrative duty after department officials learned he had written nearly 80 percent of all the marijuana tickets issued in Seattle between January 1 and June 30.

The veteran officer, who was assigned to the West Precinct Bike Unit, personally wrote 66 of the 83 marijuana citations handed out this year, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said.

In many cases, O'Toole said the officer added notes on the tickets requesting the attention of Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. Holmes, who has been a vocal supporter of marijuana legalization, is referred to in many of the tickets as "Petey Holmes."

In one ticket, the officer wrote that he found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which person would be cited.

"(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe," the ticket reads.

In another ticket, the officer refers to Washington's voter-enacted changes to marijuana laws as "silly," according to O'Toole.

While Jokela is back on patrol, the internal department investigation is ongoing.

"Chief O'Toole and (Office of Professional Accountability) Director Pierce Murphy conferred and believed that nothing in the ongoing investigation precluded him from returning to his patrol duties," said SPD spokesman Drew Fowler.