Commissioners to vote on merit pay increase for embattled jail commander


ASOTIN, WA – Asotin County Commissioners on Monday will consider a Merit Pay increase for Asotin County Jail Commander Jon Singleton. The 47-year-old Singleton last month received a deferred prosecution in connection with a harassment charge that was filed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office after an investigation into alleged threats he made toward the prosecutor. According to the commissioners office, merit employees are eligible for the increase every two years. The issue is on Monday’s agenda and has not yet been approved.

Singleton had been placed on paid administrative leave for about four months after he allegedly threatened to kill Prosecutor Ben Nichols on September 24th, and returned to his position on January 24th. Singleton was charged with one count of harassment in connection with incident. Under a deferred prosecution, the charge will be stricken from Singleton’s record if he follows the rules outlined by the court for the next 12 months, including undergo anger management classes and pay a fine of $500. The charge carried a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

According to witness reports, Singleton was in an agitated state and made threats toward Nichols in three locations within the Asotin County Courthouse – the prosecutor’s office, superior courtroom, and the sheriff’s office. Nichols was not present during the alleged threats and Singleton was not arrested at any time.

Mia Carlson, news director for KZBG in Clarkston, wrote this report.