Off-duty Everett officer charged with DUI in rollover crash

EVERETT — An Everett police lieutenant has been charged with drunken-driving after rolling his truck Aug. 25 in Eastern Washington.

Jimmy Phillips, a 25-year veteran of the Everett Police Department, allegedly was drunk that night when he crashed on a highway in Benton County, near Kennewick.

Phillips was alone in the truck, and no other vehicles were involved, according to a Washington State Patrol report. The Herald obtained the report through a public records request.

Phillips, 60, is not on paid administrative leave but is taking some time off, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said.

An internal investigation is ongoing, Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman said in a prepared statement.

“Maintaining the public’s trust is critical to our work, and we hold our officers to the highest standards of professionalism, honor and integrity,” the chief said. “If the investigation determines that discipline is warranted, we will act accordingly.”

Phillips, who lives in north Snohomish County, started at the Everett department in March 1990. He leads the Investigations Division, which includes the major crimes unit. He pleaded not guilty to DUI on Aug. 26 in Benton County District Court. Another hearing is scheduled later this month.

The crash happened about 6 p.m. Phillips was cooperative during his arrest but allegedly was swaying and slurring his words, reports show. He told the trooper he was driving home from Colorado and had taken a couple of shots of whiskey.

“I had two shots this morning,” he allegedly said.

Phillips submitted to breath-alcohol tests, the highest result of which was .207, troopers wrote. The legal limit to drive in Washington is .08.

A witness at the scene told medics that before officials arrived, Phillips had been observed throwing a bottle down a hill, away from the crash site. Phillips told investigators it was a bottle of Jameson whiskey, but he couldn’t remember where he’d thrown it. His 12-foot camper also became detached from the truck during the crash.

When Phillips was asked to do roadside sobriety tests, he reportedly said: “Look, the truck and camper are totaled, isn’t that enough?”

“(Phillips) did poorly on field tests,” troopers wrote. “(He) was arrested for DUI and transported to the Benton County Jail.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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