More about the troubles at Lake Stevens PD

We just posted a lengthy story about seven internal investigations conducted at the Lake Stevens Police Department regarding two officers since 2009. (Read it.)

The story has been in the making for roughly two months. Nearly 900 pages of documents were released today. Several of us were poring over them all morning.

On Jan. 7, I also spent roughly an hour at City Hall interviewing City Administrator Jan Berg and Dan Lorentzen, the Lake Stevens police commander who is serving as interim chief. Our conversation covered a range of topics, good and bad. Much of the information from that interview better fits another story for another day.

Berg and Lorentzen said changes are coming at the department, and they’re trying to move forward from this troubling chapter.

Lorentzen said he’s told officers who’ve complained about the media attention that the department “can’t apologize for bad behavior.”

Meanwhile, since we initially started writing about the allegations of misbehavior by officers Steve Warbis and James Wellington, lots of folks have called and emailed with comments and suggestions for future coverage.

Here is one sub-point that didn’t make today’s story.

We didn’t rush to print the matter because, as is hopefully now apparent, there were more important leads to pursue.

Some people in the community have raised concerns about a business partnership between Warbis and Lorentzen. State business licensing records list the two as co-owners of a limited liability company.

They are not in “direct business” anymore, Lorentzen told The Herald Jan. 7. They still own some properties together because they’ve been unable to sell since the economic downturn, he said.

They have not bought any new properties together in a long time, Berg said Friday.

Warbis’ sergeant knows about the matter, and Lorentzen is not involved in deciding Warbis’ wages and benefits, Berg said.

In recent years the commander position hasn’t had a lot to do with internal discipline decisions, Berg said. That’s not to say Lorentzen has been absent from the mix. His name shows up repeatedly in the documents we reviewed today about Warbis and Wellington.

Internal discipline no doubt will get a close look — with outside help — as the department reviews its operations and policies in preparation for hiring a new chief.

Former chief Randy Celori knew about the property owned by Lorentzen and Warbis when Warbis was hired, Lorentzen said.

“We do everything to make sure there’s no conflict of interest,” he said.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

5 teens in custody in drug-robbery shooting death

They range in age from 15 to 17. One allegedly fatally shot a 54-year-old mother, whose son was wounded.

Most Read