Deputy prosecutor fired after June arrest in Chelan County

Police allege he was drunk and behind the wheel of a parked car, which led to an internal investigation.

EVERETT — A Snohomish County deputy prosecutor was fired Tuesday, less than two weeks after an alcohol-fueled arrest in Chelan County.

Christopher Dickinson, 55, was placed on administrative leave last week pending an internal investigation.

Prosecutor Mark Roe confirmed Tuesday night that the investigation has been completed and he fired Dickinson as a result of the findings. The arrest was one factor among other incidents of “bad conduct,” Roe said. He did not clarify what he meant.

“I was not at all satisfied with his explanation so he was terminated immediately,” Roe said in a prepared statement. “It is a sad end to a long and productive career. His accomplishments have not been inconsiderable, but his behavior could not be tolerated.”

He added: “I am still processing what I have learned, and further disciplinary action involving others is possible.”

The Daily Herald on Tuesday requested a copy of the investigation under state open records laws, but it has not yet been made public.

Dickinson and co-workers from the prosecutor’s office attended a Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys conference shortly before his arrest.

Chelan County sheriff’s deputies were called early on the morning of June 21 when someone reported that a man and woman appeared to be stealing a kayak on the south end of Lake Chelan.

Deputies reportedly found Dickinson in the kayak. His girlfriend, a 36-year-old Snohomish County probation counselor, allegedly was driving a motorboat nearby. At one point, the deputies were worried the vessels would collide.

Dickinson allegedly announced to police that he was a deputy prosecutor.

The girlfriend was taken into custody, and a blood-alcohol test reportedly showed her at 0.26, more than three times the legal limit to operate a vessel. Two hours later, one of the same deputies said he found Dickinson parked outside the police station in Chelan, apparently to pick up the woman.

Dickinson was sitting in the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Equinox with the keys in the ignition, according to the reports. The vehicle was over the lines marking a spot reserved for deputy parking.

Around 3 a.m., Dickinson’s blood-alcohol test allegedly came back at 0.15. The legal limit to drive is 0.08.

Dickinson was arrested for investigation of being intoxicated while in control of a vehicle, public records show. Dickinson allegedly told deputies that a friend drove him there and walked away, but he would not name the friend. He has a pending court hearing in the case.

Dickinson had been with the prosecutor’s office for more than 20 years. His annual salary was about $149,000.

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