Officerâ??S On-The-Job Antics Detailed In Sheriffâ??S Report
MEDICAL LAKE — A 50-page report details that a Medical Lake police officer suspected of sexual misconduct on the job has faced numerous inquiries over his behavior and two of his former managers feel he should no longer be serving as a police officer.
Accusations of Sergeant Joe Mehrens’ long history of using his uniform to enhance his love life have been detailed in a 50-page report prepared by detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation into Sgt. Mehrens’ behavior has revealed that officials in Medical Lake wanted to fire Sgt. Mehrens several years ago but worried they’d lose a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Both former mayor Jim Hill and former police chief Jim Sjothun have said Mehrens should not allowed to continue serving as a police officer.
Mehrens is currently under investigation after a Medical Lake city employee accused him of feeling her breasts under the guise of removing a spill from her blouse. Last week during a court hearing Mehrens denied touching the woman while under oath.
Sheriff’s detectives however believe Mehrens did touch the woman after a three-month investigation that has turned up a long pattern of sexually motivated behavior on his part. The investigation revealed that:
In 1999 Mehrens was disciplined for pushing a female firefighter up against a wall and trying to kiss her. Mehrens was suspended for two weeks after touching a clerk’s chest at a convenience store. A former worker at Pine Lodge Corrections Center says Mehrens let her out of a ticket after asking her out on a date. Another Pine Lodge employee says Mehrens came to her home on a domestic call and subsequently dated her as well. Numerous witnesses – including a sheriff’s deputy – saw Mehrens use his cell phone to take pictures of college co-eds during Medical Lake’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. Mehrens’ libido prompted the local school superintendent to ask the sergeant to quit hanging around their gym.
During the current investigation that prompted his being placed on administrative leave Mehrens refused to take a polygraph test when asked to by Spokane County Sheriff detectives.
Instead he hired his own polygraph examiner who says the sergeant is telling the truth about not touching the woman with a spill on her blouse.
The investigation involving the blouse incident is currently in the hands of the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office who will decide whether or not Mehrens will face any charges in this case.