JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF RACE: Przygocki personnel file tells of issues with State Patrol

Peninsula Daily News

CHIMACUM — Former State Patrol Sgt. Ken Przygocki, candidate for Jefferson County sheriff, has had a checkered career, according to his personnel file.

That's information that voters don't care about, Przygocki said in an email.

He said the feedback he has received shows that “the people are more concerned about community safety, how their tax dollars are spent, and what I will do to address those issues, and not old and incorrect information in my personnel file.”

Przygocki (pronounced sheh-GUSS-key) was under investigation by the State Patrol's Office of Professional Standards when he retired March 30, 2012, the Peninsula Daily News reported in May.

That was the same day the Chimacum resident signed an agreement with the State Patrol under which he would have had to resign three days later on April 2, according to State Patrol records.

Przygocki, 63 — who was then stationed at State Patrol's Mill Creek post — was under investigation for allegedly lying to his superior about being at a Feb. 28, 2012, court hearing and was questioned about four hours of overtime.

Przygocki has denied any wrongdoing.

“I retired honorably,” he said in an email for the May story.

“I did not commit the alleged allegations. I served my time in the Washington State Patrol and could retire anytime I choose.”

He said he regretted signing the agreement and tried to rescind it but that the State Patrol denied his request.

Two months after the PDN report, the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader wrote a report about Przygocki that included reports for which documentation is not available since State Patrol Office of Professional Standards files are destroyed after five years.

In the Leader story, Lt. Ron Meade, who was Przygocki's union representative in 2001, said Przygocki was accused then of “altering a document that another officer would submit” as Przygocki and other sergeants took a test for a promotion.

Meade told the Leader that Przygocki was suspended for 45 days without pay, received a nine-month reduction in pay and was transferred from the internal affairs staff in Olympia to fieldwork in Port Angeles.

Przygocki told the Leader that although he was reprimanded, he was not forced to take time off, was not suspended and did not take a pay reduction.

He also told the newspaper that “a bad joke” caused the problem, saying he had scribbled “needs to buy me coffee or something” on the document.

Capt. Travis Matheson of the State Patrol Office of Professional Standards said that last week, Przygocki filed a complaint with the office against Meade, assistant division commander in the Investigative Assistance Division in Olympia, and Lt. Clint Casebolt, assistant district commander in Bellevue.

Matheson said the complaint was related to Leader interviews for the story published Wednesday.

In the Leader story, Casebolt is quoted from documents concerning Przygocki's job performance in 2007 but declined to speak with a Leader reporter.

Przygocki could not be reached Saturday for comment on the complaint.

He responded to other questions that were emailed to him Friday.

“I understand that the voters may have questions regarding old issues in my personnel file. I believe the previous articles have provided sufficient information about these incidents,” he said.

“I have read my files that have been brought to light in the Leader, and some of it is not correct,” he added.

“As I have admitted, I have made mistakes and probably even stepped on a few toes in my 38 years in law enforcement. Some of these actions I tried to and still wish I could retract.

“However, I believe it is inaccurate to focus solely on the errors a person made and ignore the many years of hard work that surrounded those incidents.”

Przygocki is running against Wendy Davis for the position now held by Tony Hernandez, who is not running for re-election.

David Stanko also is on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, although he said he is not actively campaigning — although he could be back in the race if he gets enough votes to run in the Nov. 4 general election.

Last modified: July 19. 2014 6:04PM
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