Granite Falls mayor won’t comment on police chief

  • Fri May 7th, 2010 10:00pm
  • News

By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer

GRANITE FALLS — It may be next week before more information is released about why Mayor Haroon Saleem placed the police chief on paid leave.

Officials from the police union said they plan to meet with city attorneys Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding the April 23 decision to suspend Tony Domish from his post.

Reached Friday, Saleem declined to comment on the situation and said he’d reveal more in time. The mayor reportedly told union representatives he’d say more Friday; instead attorney Thomas Graafstra called union officials to set up the meeting.

Saleem was involved in planning the meeting with the union, Graafstra confirmed Friday.

Anthony Murrietta, a spokesman for Teamsters Local 763, said Domish has not been formally disciplined and its not clear why he was placed on leave.

“I’m confident the chief will be put back in place,” Murrietta said Friday.

Speculation has swirled in this town of 3,000, and many residents have said they were upset at the mayor’s move. Around 700 people signed a petition supporting Domish, the city’s police chief since 2006.

Saleem was elected last fall and took office in January.

The relationship between Saleem and Domish has been sour at times, but in December they announced they had ironed out their differences.

After placing Domish on leave, Saleem asked Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick to investigate Domish and his six-person department.

Sheriff’s officials met with the mayor last week, after reviewing the situation, and presented the city with options. The city hasn’t asked the sheriff’s office to investigate anything specific.

Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Rick Hawkins, who has served as police chief in Darrington and Sultan, continues to serve as Granite Falls’ interim chief.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437; jholtz@heraldnet.com.