By Scott North
Attached are the reports Washington State Patrol troopers prepared after the Aug. 29 arrest of Snohomish County District Court Judge Timothy Ryan for alleged drunken driving. A King County deputy prosecutor reviewed the case to help local prosecutors, who try cases in Ryan’s court, avoid a conflict in interest. As we reported, the Seattle-based prosecutor on Monday declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence.
Trooper Jeff Leonard wrote that he pulled over Ryan for speeding and erratic driving. He had encountered the judge in the past, appearing before him on cases. Ryan smelled of alcohol, and his speech was slurred and “obviously different” compared to what he’d usually heard in the courtroom, the trooper wrote.
When Ryan admitted consuming alcohol that night, Leonard asked the judge if he’d submit to sobriety testing. Ryan declined.
“Based upon the information and my training the arrest decision was not hard to make as I had formed the opinion that Ryan was obviously impaired by the alcohol that he had consumed and I was unwilling to allow him to continue to operate a motor vehicle,” Leonard wrote. “It however was not easy to inform him that he was under arrest as he has garnished my respect in the past.”
(It’s most likely that the trooper intended to write “garnered”.)
When told he was under arrest, Ryan reportedly asked the trooper if he was being serious.
The attached documents also contain observations from another trooper who was called to the scene that night. J.C. Anderson reported Ryan’s face was flushed, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and “there was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him.”