In early March, Commander Patric Slack was a panelist on a Seattle Times online discussion, in which he argued against the legalization of marijuana.
"[C]ommander, alcohol abuse is the biggest predictor of violence and the primary [inebriant] for almost all your [county jail] guests," wrote Douglas Hiatt to Slack in that discussion.
"I'm not going to disagree that alcohol is a problem," Slack responded.
It seems he was speaking from personal experience.
Later that same month, while in Mohave County, Arizona, Slack was nabbed for drunk driving. The 42-year law-enforcement veteran notified his bosses at the Snohomish County Sheriff's office the next day, and took a leave of absence.
A Sheriff's office internal investigation found that Slack "did violate Sheriff's Office policies related to promoting a positive image of the agency and the observance of civil and criminal laws," according to a statement it released yesterday. Slack was suspended for six weeks without pay, was required to complete an alcohol treatment program (for which he footed the bill), and resumed his post July 6.
The drug-crimes unit he leads, which relies in part on federal funding, comprises 28 members of law enforcement agencies throughout Snohomish County, as well as five part-time federal employees.
Sheriff's office Spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said she had no additional comment beyond the written statement.