Bellevue cop fired over way he handled DUI stop of colleague
A Bellevue police officer who did not cite a fellow officer for drunken driving, administer field sobriety tests or make an effort to obtain the officer’s blood-alcohol level before letting him leave with his wife, has been fired.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Bellevue police officer who failed to arrest or cite a fellow officer for DUI after a traffic stop in November has been fired, the department announced Thursday.
Officer Doug Brennan was fired Wednesday after Police Chief Linda Pillo found he had violated department ethics, arrest and false-information policies when handling the Nov. 20 incident.
Brennan had been on administrative leave since February while police conducted an internal investigation.
Brennan was off-duty and on his way home about 10 p.m. when he was passed on Interstate 90 by a Jeep Cherokee traveling at 73 mph, well above the posted 60 mph limit. Brennan wrote in his report that the Jeep was “swerving all over the roadway.”
He said he pulled the car over and recognized Officer Andrew Hanke, who was also off-duty and on his way home. Brennan smelled alcohol when the window rolled down, he wrote in the report.
“I saw that Andy had a glazed look on his face, and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and droopy,” Brennan wrote.
Brennan called Hanke’s wife and told her to come and get him. After she arrived in her own vehicle, she drove Hanke home in his car while Brennan waited with her vehicle until she got a ride and came back for it.
While waiting, Brennan said, he contacted two Bellevue supervisors to explain what had happened. He did not file his report until Nov. 27, a week after the incident.
The department launched an investigation because Brennan did not issue a citation at the scene, conduct field sobriety tests or make an effort to obtain Hanke’s blood-alcohol level before letting Hanke leave with his wife.
Hanke, who was placed on administrative leave after the incident, resigned from the department in January.
Deputy Chief Jim Jolliffe wrote in a news release that officers are allowed some discretion during a traffic stop.
However, he said that during the internal investigation, Pillo found Brennan had violated department policies by his actions.
Brennan was hired in March 1999. He was assigned to the traffic unit as an accident investigator and also was a member of the bomb squad.
“It is unfortunate that two good people have had their careers with BPD ended over this,” Jolliffe wrote.
Later, during a news conference at Bellevue City Hall, Jolliffe said Brennan “was put into a bad position. It’s a big nightmare for an officer to face.”
Jolliffe also referenced personnel troubles that have plagued the department in recent years.
Hanke was one of two Bellevue officers punished in 2012 for their off-duty behavior at a Seahawks game, when they drunkenly confronted a female Seattle police officer and got into a profanity-laced altercation with a fan and his family.
Hanke was suspended for 30 days without pay and removed from the bomb squad.
The second officer, Dion Robertson, was demoted from corporal to officer and lost his supervisory responsibilities on the bomb squad.
Pillo also investigated and in January 2013 demoted two commanders who failed to report an extramarital affair that Pillo said would “impact the department for years to come.”
“This has been a difficult couple of years we’ve had discipline issues. We’re going to continue to do that good work we do every day,” Jolliffe said.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.