News Fired Officer Applies to Police Review Board
posted by April 1 at 16:29 PMon
Former Seattle Police Officer John Powers, who was fired from the department in 2005, has applied for a position on the City Council’s Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB). Powers was at the center of a major police internal investigation—conducted by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) and the FBI—which found he had used cocaine on the job and used his patrol car to give girlfriends rides, among other infractions.
Powers—who spent eight years at SPD—maintains his innocence and is suing the department for defamation and wrongful termination, and says he wants to join OPARB so other officers receive fair treatment during internal probes. “I would like to see this department held accountable [for] their OPA investigations,” he says.”I think [the OPA is] dirty.”
Ironically, Councilmember Tim Burgess—who supervises OPARB—referenced Powers in a 2005 Seattle Times editorial about police misconduct. Burgess wrote:
Misconduct of the type involved in [Powers’] cases works like water on rock, wearing away the foundation of trust until the rock — the police force — can no longer be seen as reliable.
Powers says he’s qualified to be on the review board—whose standards require one member to have five or more years of law enforcement experience—but he doesn’t believe he has much chance of actually getting a position. “[I applied for] my own peace of mind,” he says.
Burgess’s office has received more than 20 applications for OPARB and should begin selecting candidates sometime in the next month. Burgess’s office would not comment on Powers or any other OPARB candidates.