The Pierce County Council, at its April 6 meeting, approved a motion to prepare a contract for an independent investigation of conduct by Sheriff Ed Troyer, according to a statement released by the county.
The vote stemmed from a Jan. 27 call to 9-1-1 Troyer made regarding a black newspaper delivery driver near his home, whom the sheriff thought was acting suspiciously. The call prompted a large police response, but ultimately no arrest was made. The probe will look into claims of racial bias and misuse of authority.
The council approved using an independent investigator at the end of March.
The April 6 vote gave the go-ahead for council staff to begin preparing a contract for the investigation services with Seattle law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Brian Moran, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, is a partner at the firm and is the person the council plans to hire to conduct the investigation.
As of this writing, Moran has not yet agreed to the contract, which still needs to be negotiated. The proposed contract the council agreed to is not to exceed $50,000.
Troyer has said he welcomes a fair, independent investigation.
In other business, two ordinances related to sewage were passed by the council: one amending Pierce County’s sewer code for a new billing system accepting electronic payments; the other providing relief for Pierce County sewer customers in the form of continued suspension of certain penalties and interest assessed on late sewer payments.
The council passed a resolution confirming the appointment of Chuck Sundsmo to the Pierce County Planning Commission.
The council passed a resolution authorizing the county executive to enter into a one-year contract, beginning July 1, with The News Tribune for publishing legal notices for Pierce County.
Finally, the council passed two proclamations: one recognizing the 2021 Daffodil Festival Royalty as official ambassadors of Pierce County, the other affirming April 5 through April 11, 2021, as “National Public Health Week” in Pierce County.
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