Granite Falls mayor fires police chief

GRANITE FALLS — Granite Falls Police Chief Dennis Taylor is out of a job.

Mayor Haroon Saleem announced Wednesday in a press release that he has decided to end Taylor’s employment agreement. He cited no specific reason.

Taylor, who was in Spokane at a training session for leaders at rural police departments, said he was notified that he’d been fired in an email from the city clerk.

“I regret that I have lost the confidence of the mayor and that I can no longer serve the good people of Granite Falls,” Taylor said.

He’d worked as the city’s top cop under a five-year contract approved unanimously by the City Council in April 2011.

The city’s press release said the employment agreement allows the mayor to terminate the chief early, with or without cause.

“Under the ‘without cause’ provision, the mayor can terminate Chief Taylor’s employment for any reason,” the press release said. “The mayor has determined that the city’s police department needs to proceed in a new direction.”

Saleem said Taylor’s last official day on the job will be Nov. 1, although he’s been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately.

During the next month, Taylor is expected to respond to questions from officer Don Lauer, who has been asked to serve as interim chief “until a suitable replacement can be located,” the press release said. “Chief Taylor will otherwise have no official duties for the city.”

Taylor was a Snohomish County sheriff’s sergeant who was running the department under a sheriff’s office contract when he was asked by Saleem to take over full time. He replaced the former police chief, Tony Domish, who resigned after reaching a settlement with the city after Domish and Saleem accused each other of misconduct.

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