A Pierce County sheriff’s detective who used her county-issued smart phone to send an email critical of Prosecutor Mark Lindquist to The News Tribune recently served a three-day suspension without pay.
An internal investigation found Glenda Nissen violated policies regarding use of county equipment and rules prohibiting law enforcement officers from openly criticizing the criminal justice system, said deputy prosecutor Craig Adams, who serves as Sheriff Paul Pastor’s legal advisor.
Nissen also was found to have violated the department’s Code of Ethics, Adams said this week.
Nissen sent an email to News Tribune publisher David Zeeck shortly after midnight on June 7, 2010, from her county email address.
In the email, Nissen accused Lindquist of corruption. Nissen sent a second email to Zeeck at 3:50 a.m., asking him to disregard her earlier statements. The email was not published.
Those emails prompted her colleagues to investigate her as a possible suspect in a threatening letter sent to Lindquist’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor.
The letter was postmarked June 7, 2010, and sent from Seattle to the deputy prosecutor’s home address.
Kitsap County prosecutors, who were asked to review the case, declined to file charges against Nissen. She’s back at work.
Nissen filed a claim for damages against the county, claiming Lindquist retaliated against her for her criticisms by prohibiting her from entering the prosecutor’s offices. Lindquist said he was trying to protect his threatened employee.
Nissen and the county settled the claim out of court, and she has been allowed to return to the prosecutor’s offices under rules applicable to all visitors to the office.