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County investigating accusation against town official

4:26 pm November 30th, 2012

Pierce County authorities are investigating alleged criminal activity by an elected official of the town of Eatonville.
A statement issued Friday by the town didn’t disclose the official’s name. The Dispatch has learned who the official in question is, but isn’t reporting the person’s name because charges haven’t been filed.
The alleged wrongdoing reportedly involves activities outside the official’s duties involving the town.
Mayor Ray Harper, who isn’t the subject of the investigation, said he directed that the statement be released in response to inquiries from the news media.
The statement includes the following: On Nov. 20, the town’s Police Department received information “alleging criminal behavior by an elected official of the town. The alleged activity does not implicate the official’s work for the town.”
Because an investigation by the town’s police would create an apparent conflict of interest, the information was turned over to the county’s Sheriff Department for an investigation. “The Eatonville Police Department will not be participating in this investigation in any way unless requested to do so” by county authorities, the town’s statement disclosed.
The statement continued, “The town recognizes that at this point there has been no determination of probable cause, much less guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, made by a court of law. The town will cooperate with the investigating authorities if needed. The town will have no further comment on the issue at this time.”

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