An independent investigation has found that Pierce County, Washington Sheriff Ed Troyer violated department policies when he tailed a Black newspaper carrier on his paper route in January. Troyer had initially claimed Sedrick Altheimer threatened to kill him only to waffle back and forth when questioned by authorities. “We are unable to substantiate Sheriff Troyer’s claim that Mr. Altheimer threatened to kill or harm him during that incident,” investigators, led by former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, wrote.
According to a copy of the investigation report released Tuesday, Troyer showed “an improper bias” when he confronted Altheimer on Jan. 27 and failed to exercise good judgment when he ignored department policies in his pursuit of Altheimer. “He could have simply remained at home and made a non-emergent call to 911 about his suspicions, however wrong they ultimately proved to be,” the report states. Investigators added that Troyer “put others at risk and fell short of meeting the public’s—and his department’s—expectations of how its employees should do their jobs.”
The investigation was launched in April when Pierce County Council asked former the top prosecutor to lead the civil inquiry. The Attorney General’s Office charged Troyer last week with two misdemeanor counts for false reporting.