Ex-official arrested in theft of $25,000

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The man who once ran the Mountlake Terrace Police Department’s electronic home monitoring program was arrested for allegedly pocketing $25,000 from people who believed they were paying the city’s monitoring fee.

He also allegedly falsified sentencing reports for those he supervised, according to a Washington State Patrol investigation.

Former custody officer David Alaniz, 36, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of multiple counts of felony misappropriation and falsification of accounts by a public officer.

City officials became suspicious of Alaniz early last year and notified the State Patrol, said Robert Calkins, a patrol spokesman.

Alaniz was placed on administrative leave in February 2007, according to court documents filed Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

He resigned in April 2007 after working for the city for about two years, Mountlake Terrace Assistant Police Chief Pete Caw said.

Anyone who works in public service commands a level of public trust, Caw said.

“When someone betrays that trust, it betrays all of us,” he said. “We’re deeply saddened and disappointed.”

For about two years, Alaniz kept track of people who were serving sentences at home under electronic monitoring. The job included collecting fees from people on the program and keeping track of the time served.

The program is a sentencing option for some people convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors. Instead of going to jail, they are closely supervised with the help of electronic tracking bracelets. About 15 people are enrolled at any time, paying the city around $25 a day, Caw said.

Alaniz previously worked for King County corrections and was a reserve police officer in Everett. He provided prisoner transport for Mountlake Terrace but primarily was in charge of the home detention program, the court documents said.

The investigation focused on 77 cases, 66 of which showed problems in the amount of money collected, the amount of time served or both, the documents said.

Of those cases, the city should have received $45,770 in payments, but $20,925 was logged, the documents said. People should have served a total of 2,350 days on home monitoring but only 1,234 days were recorded.

“Every indication we have is that the home monitoring clients thought they were paying the fees they were required to pay,” and fulfilling their sentences, Calkins said. There was no evidence that Alaniz was conspiring with anybody else, including those who apparently did not serve complete sentences. Those serving home detention will not be required to complete their sentences or be asked to pay the city fees it did not receive.

In one case, Alaniz allegedly made arrangements to meet an inmate at the Lynnwood Police Department as part of a ruse. Alaniz took a $300 payment for home detention, telling the man a receipt would be mailed. Then, Alaniz called Lynnwood police to report that the man was driving illegally. Alaniz knew the man had a suspended license, investigators allege. The man was arrested and Alaniz told the man he must forfeit the cash payment.

The man’s case was later transferred to another officer and he was not made to repay the fee, although the city had no record of the payment, the documents said.

In September, Alaniz started a job with the state Department of Corrections working as a corrections officer in Monroe, said Jeff Weathersby, a corrections department spokesman.

An investigation now will be launched into Alaniz’s fitness for his state job, Weathersby said.

Public records show that Alaniz is married and has owned a home in Marysville since 1999. No one answered the phone at Alaniz’s home on Thursday.

Alaniz appeared briefly in Snohomish County District Court on Thursday.

A public defender argued that Alaniz should be released without bail. Deputy prosecutor Kathy Jo Blake objected. She told judge pro tem Arnold Young that Alaniz has access to money. He also has family members with property in Mexico, Blake said.

Young ruled there were grounds to hold Alaniz on eight counts, and set bail at $25,000.

“Most people who have an important responsibility with a government agency carry out their responsibilities honorably,” Calkins said. “In this case our investigation found there was a problem. I think it’s pretty rare.”

Herald reporter Jim Haley contributed to this story.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Fatal 2-car crash closes Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read