Given known facts, it is curious the lengths to which prosecuting attorney Randy Gaylord has gone to cover up his failure to check out a tip that might have kept the county from hiring a sheriff’s detective whose subsequent behavior blew up one sex case and compromised several others.
It is also curious why the county council has assisted Gaylord in this cover-up. The truth is a matter of public record. The council has accepted Gaylord’s argument that saying anything about his failure might compromise the county’s position when it is sued by the Orcas teacher whose case the detective fatally compromised.
Actually, their silence protects Gaylord in his run for re-election.
The simple fact is that Gaylord was asked, in writing, by Sheriff Ron Krebs to check out a report he’d gotten from longtime deputy Jeff Asher that there were troublesome things in Stephen Parker’s past that hadn’t been learned in his pre-employment background checks. (Asher now is running against Krebs for sheriff.) Asher had provided Krebs with the name of the source of the information, which Krebs passed on to Gaylord. This was after Parker had been hired, but before he had reported for duty.
The email from Krebs to Gaylord, sent Dec. 20, 2014, is a public record which anyone can review, as are the other documents and the public hearing referenced below.
Had Gaylord made the call, or made sure his chief deputy had made it, there is a very good chance the hire would have been reconsidered or, at the very least, Parker would have been closely supervised. Either one might have prevented the damage Parker did to the county, and to justice itself.
The information had come from an old friend of Asher’s, who knew Parker when he worked for the Air Force in Montana before leaving to come to San Juan County. His name is Martin Sinclair. When I called Sinclair recently, he said I was the first one from the San Juans he’d heard from, other than Asher.
I found Sinclair to be a careful and deliberate. He made clear distinctions between what he knew first-hand and what he had heard from others. He was in law enforcement before he became a lawyer and then served as a lawyer for the Navy and Air Force, including a tour in Iraq. Parker’s wife worked in the law department with Sinclair at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, which is how Sinclair came to know him.
Sinclair said his first call to Asher came after he heard Parker had been hired as a San Juan County detective. “It was just a heads-up call to an old buddy to watch his back,” based on what he knew about Parker. He subsequently expanded that, telling Asher more about what he knew or had heard about Parker. That information is what led to Asher’s warning to Krebs, something Sinclair said he hadn’t intended.
Here is how Krebs summarized the information about Parker in his email to Gaylord: “changing statements, hiding evidence, destroying evidence, fabricating victim statements and other issues…” A call to Sinclair would have led to calls to others, to a military-court case in which Parker was a discredited witness and raised questions about the quality of the earlier pre-hire backgrounding. But no call was made.
In his only public comments to the council about the Parker debacle, Gaylord said: “I’d say we were vigilant in this case…I do not know what I could have done differently.” It turns out he had said something quite different earlier that day in a private meeting with the council — one participant said he told the council about the Asher/Krebs warning —though exactly what he said about it isn’t known. He no longer is answering questions about Parker.
He subsequently wrote two official letters in response to Asher’s complaints that he and Krebs hadn’t told the truth to the council. In those letters, copied to the council, Gaylord denied the existence of Asher’s warning to Krebs, or Kreb’s request for Gaylord to check out the warning. Those were lies that the council, from Gaylord’s executive-session discussion, knew to be lies, yet they remain unwilling to acknowledge that publicly. They will only say their silence does not make them complicit in Gaylord’s attempt to hide his nonfeasance.
There is one other thing Gaylord told the council when he and Krebs testified about the Parker case. “The integrity of the justice system,” he said, “is built first on honesty and truth at every step of the process.” In that, he is right. His actions, however, don’t reflect his words. Voters should take heed.
- Written by Alex MacLeod who lives on Shaw Island
- Voter turnout 81.43 percent in San Juan County; Updated vote totals
- Election results: Krebs, Gaylord and Jewett win, affordable housing REET approved
- Grifo: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Gaydos: Supports Gaylord for county Prosecutor
- Ranker: Supports Jewett for District Court Judge
- Longan: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Storey: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Editorial: Brandli is the logical choice for District Court Judge
- Editorial: A hesitant Yes For Homes
- Mock Election now open for all Washington K-12 students
- 44 Businesses and Organizations: We support Yes for Homes
- Evans and Brownell: Support Randy Gaylord
- Samish Indian Nation Chairman: Supports Initiative 1631
- Mager: Elect Steve Brandli
- Some ballots cast, others still on the way to voters' mailboxes
- Alexander: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Nick Power: I know where the problems are in the county
- Gaylord running for 7th term as county Prosecutor
- Did Krebs and Gaylord lie to the county Council?
- Brennan: Vote No on Initiative 1639
- Ibold: A reluctant Yes for Homes
- Jensen: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Brandli would like to be the next District Court Judge
- Jewett's goal to be a judge may be in sight
- Weiss: Endorses Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Delay and Rands: Vote for Brandli for District Court
- Drath: Vote Yes for Homes
- Lange: Why I Support Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- OPALCO supports WA I-1631
- Appel: Our Necessary Alliance
- Retired FBI agent endorses Asher for Sheriff
- Fouquette: How do I fairly navigate the Sheriff’s Guild endorsement?
- Brennan: I-1639 is Wasted Energy
- Brash: Vote Yes for Homes
- Rhoads: Vote Yes for Homes
- Graham: Vote Yes for Homes
- Wilding: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Kaiman: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Peter: Supports Krebs for Sheriff
- Sheriff's Guild endorses Krebs
- Brennan: Doesn't trust Sheriff Krebs
- OPALCO Supports Affordable Housing Solutions: Vote YES FOR HOMES
- Johns: Supported Krebs for sheriff in 2014, will not vote for him in 2018
- Strutz: Vote Yes for Homes
- Roberts: Vote Yes for Homes
- Ford: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Franciosi: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Murray: Affordable Housing - From A Senior Point of View
- Grout: Vote Yes for Homes
- Appleton: Commends Gaylord and Jewett
- Magee: Vote Yes for Homes referendum
- deGavre: Why I won't vote for Gaylord
- Zwilling: Supports Brandli for District Court Judge
- Does the Brady letter matter?
- Moe: Three Reasons to Re-elect Randy Gaylord
- Six attorneys express support for Nick Powers
- Latsinova: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Olson: Businesses hurt by affordable housing shortage
- Milliken: Supports Asher for Sheriff
- Alderton: Our community needs safe and affordable homes
- Flanery: Supports Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- How much are the candidates spending and who is contributing?
- Pollard: Time to retire Gaylord
- Stamper: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Dustrude: Supports Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney
- Orcas Resource Center: Vote Yes for affordable housing REET
- Have questions about Affordable housing REET?
- Drozd: Supports Gaylord for prosecutor
- Lawrence: Vote yes for Affordable Housing REET
- Jung: Vote yes on Affordable Housing REET
- Barbour: Vote Yes on Housing REET
- Ever wonder how ballots are counted? Process may surprise you
- Kenimond: Supports Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney
- Pederson: Supports Gaylord for PA
- Tharp: Support Nick Power for San Juan County Prosecutor