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Deputy Police Chief Troxel Gets Letter Of Reprimand In Lieu of Termination Following Investigation

Tim Troxel, a 28-year veteran of the Renton Police Department, will retire on Friday, August 31, 2012.

Renton Police Chief Kevin Milosevich’s original recommendation — dated June 15, 2012 — to fire Deputy Chief Tim Troxel was downgraded to a written reprimand after Troxel "pleaded" for a lighter punishment.

He will now retire for the Renton Police Department effective August 31.

According to his separation agreement with the City — dated July 23, 2012 —Troxel received a letter of reprimand from the Chief in lieu of termination. The Chief’s decision to issue the letter of reprimand instead of firing Troxel came after the Deputy Chief submitted a two-and-a-half-page letter to explain his actions.

In this letter, Troxel wrote, “I do not deserve to be fired. I plead with you to provide me with discipline less than the termination of my employment to preserve the integrity of the Renton Police Department, and my professional reputation as a law enforcement officer as we move forward in this process.”

The Chief’s letter of reprimand reads:

On June 15, 2012, I issued a notice of my preliminary intent to terminate your employment based upon the report of the independent investigator (CO-12-06), and scheduled a Loudermill hearing to provide you with an opportunity to share any additional information you wanted me to consider before making the final decision. You chose to submit a written response. After considering the information you provided, I have decided to issue the Written Reprimand. The reason for my decision is based upon the following:

You admitted violating the City’s Email System Policy with unprofessional email communications, and failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with a subordinate. According to your Loudermill response, “ I realize that I need to maintain professionalism at all times with my colleagues, especially with subordinates so I am setting a good example, and that there is no presumption of privacy in city email.”

You also admitted to devising a plan to investigate a subordinate of mine and proceed without my prior knowledge. While I recognize you thought you had the best of the Department in mind, the manner in which you chose to proceed was not proper. You readily admitted your mistakes and pleaded with me to weigh your 28 years of service and commitment to the Department against these recent events.

Based upon all the information you provided, your full acknowledgement of your poor judgment and the unique and unprecedented facts at issue, I am issuing this Written Reprimand.

Also, as part of the separation agreement (click on the pdf, above, to read the full document), Troxel:

  • used vacation time from the date of the agreement thought July 20
  • went on sick leave from July 23 through his last date of employment with the City, August 31, 2012
  • will receive his regular salary ($138,100 at the time of his scheduled retirement) and benefits through his last day of employment

Prior to the separation agreement, Troxel was placed on administrative leave, starting May, 2012. The Renton Police Department hired Troxel in 1984 and he’s served as Deputy Chief since 2006. He last made the news after being for asking an on-duty officer to help him stake out the home of his then-girlfriend, also a city employee, whom he suspected of having a relationship with someone else.

The City of Renton has not returned email and voicemail messages asking for further comment.

taped mouth August 30, 2012 at 05:40 PM
its true and trox does not have to pay for the investigation. there were hours and hours of interviews and the city paid a big fee for an outside attorney for the interviews. the recommendation from the attorney/investigator was that the emails were not meant for public viewing, nor anyone slandered in the emails were intended to see them. that made it ok even though the emails are public records. frazier constantly made homophobic and racial comments before this exposure, as jokes, but it was still extremely hurtful and offensive. for the department to want to jail bill judd for cartoons and everyone else involved, yet let his two best buds off the hook for the same thing is unfair, bias, and shameful on his leadership. all internals are run that way too, with some getting slammed and others getting light punishment. a letter of reprimand is nothing other than a temporary letter in their file, which is removed after a few years as if nothing ever happened. the only cleaning house that has been going on is getting rid of anything that might be requested for public records but can be destroyed now. just about all of us correspond using personal email accounts and personal cell phones and do not use city email. i'll never use city email again. our emails are business related but hopefully, everyone like me, deletes the emails. even i deleted my personal email account after a public records class and started a new account.
taped mouth August 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM
since the department is monitoring every comment on every renton police related news article in order to find those that speak out, few may ever say anything. there have been conversations of demanding for the ip addresses of commenters to find who is speaking out. anyone caught most probably will be fired for airing dirty laundry, but officially for violating policy for speaking publicly. my comments are never sent from my home or cell phone, so if the department wastes the time tracking these down, it is a waste of taxpayer money.
Renate Beedon August 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Maybe we, the citizens, should ask the city council to look into this and make sure that a) the officers have a safe place to report their grievances, and b) the cost for this investigation is paid for by the guilty parties. What say you, fellow citizens? I am sitting here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes for those officers that have to work in an environment as described above.
taped mouth August 30, 2012 at 06:28 PM
the department does not want anonymous complaints or grievances. the promises of not being retaliated against are false promises. anonymous complaints are not taken seriously. usually, the one speaking out gets punished by the ones they speak out against. there are so many examples of this happening.
Jeremy Schwartz September 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Perhaps a better solution is to have an impartial investigation, overseen by citizens, investigate the department to uncover issues and make recommendations for improvement. As can be seen with the department's internal investigation process, partiality is rampant, where some officers are severely disciplined and others given a slap on the wrist, such as detectives compromising serious criminal investigations or spying on girlfriends on city time.

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