Judge rules Tonasket must rehire fired policewoman


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Tonasket City Attorney Mick Howe with Police Officer Janet Storey after a civil service hearing in Tonasket.

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G-T File Photo

Tonasket City Attorney Mick Howe with Police Officer Janet Storey after a civil service hearing in Tonasket.

TONASKET – After 11 months, a decision has come down about Janet Storey. Storey, a Tonasket Police Officer fired by the city in 2007 has been given back her job, as well as 10 months back pay.

Okanogan County Superior Court revised the decision of the Tonasket Chief of Police and the Tonasket Civil Service Board. Chief Rob Burks fired Storey May 7, 2007 and the local civil service board and an outside arbitrator refused to overrule the police chief at hearings held on the matter.

The judge ruled that Storey should have been suspended without pay for one month and received six months of probation.

Storey, who was at a state-mandated training course, blew a level of .01 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) when taking part in a refresher course on the machine’s use. The state considers a person intoxicated at .08 percent and the City of Tonasket limits employees to .02 percent BAC.

She will be immediately reinstated on the Tonasket Police Department (TPD), said Tonasket City Attorney Mick Howe said Monday.

The decision came down from the court Friday, April 4.

At the Tuesday, April 8 Tonasket City Council meeting former council member Brad Wood said he was unhappy with the treatment Storey received while in Tonasket.

“I expressed then that we should’ve taken this completely differently,” Wood said. “I implored the mayor and the chief of police to do this differently so we wouldn’t end up in this spot. It’s going to cost this city a lot of money we don’t have. I think we treated her very badly.”

Wood resigned from his position in June 2007 over the issue.

Howe said that Storey, in addition to being reinstated on the TPD, was eligible for 10 months of back pay as well as all attorney and court fees to be paid by the city. He said Monday he did not yet know the exact dollar amount Tonasket would be responsible for.

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