Personnel records of dismissed police officers’ released to KLEW

Personnel records of dismissed police officers’ released to KLEW »Play Video
Nearly 200 pages of documents were released.
ASOTIN, WA - The two Asotin police officers were fired in 2013, but they didn't take it lightly, in fact they both took action against the city.

KLEW News obtained personnel records of the two men that shed a new light on their claims.

In 2013, officers William Guinn and Danny Vargas were fired for insubordination. Both now have pending lawsuits against the city.

Veronica Miracle obtained nearly 200 pages of personnel files which explain the events leading up to the legal battles might surprise you.

William Guinn alleges he was wrongfully terminated at the end of December. He's asking the city for $1.5 million in damages. But according to these personnel files...in December, Guinn responded to a call about child abuse. A child on visitation in Asotin County told Guinn his step dad was beating him. The report said Guinn tainted the investigation by returning the child to his stepfather before a detective could question the child. In a document written by Commander Scott Coppess, Guinn admitted to lying to the detective and blaming the chief for releasing the child.

"Officer Guinn ignored a very direct order from the Chief," said city of Asotin Attorney Jane Richards. "It could have had some very catastrophic consequences for the civilians involved."

Richards said this incident contributed to his firing. Following his termination, Guinn wrote a letter to the Chief, calling him a disgusting predator, and a father of a terminally ill child who uses the child as a crutch or sympathy card.

"When an officer does not respect that clear chain of command, then you have a clear breakdown in how orders are communicated and a loss of trust that those orders are going to be followed," said Richards.

Former reserve Officer William Guinn said he and his lawyers can't comment on pending litigation. He told KLEW News in an interview more than a week ago the lawsuit is not so much about the money but integrity.

"Seven police employees have come and gone in less than five years," said plaintiff William Guinn. "You know I want to see people look into it citizens need to get involved and ask questions and find out why this stuff is happening."

In regard to former Officer Danny Vargas, Richards said the city has filed a motion to dismiss the case. He also filed a lawsuit for damages caused by wrongful termination.

"It remains to be seen whether he was terminated or whether he quit," said Richards.

In documents dated March 29th,.Vargas is confronted by Mayor Vikki Bonfield and Chief Derbonne. Vargas admits to 'trash talking'...saying 'that's what I do and I'm not going to stop.' He's quoted saying Chief Derbonne needs to watch out.

"Being disrespectful to your commanding officer again that goes to the integrity of the command structure," said Richards. "You can't have that."

Vargas' attorney chose not to comment on the matter when we reached out to her. Stay with KLEW News as these lawsuits evolve, we'll continue bringing you the latest information.