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Seattle officer fired for dishonesty gets job back

The officer claimed he forgot about punching a suspect

By Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times

SEATTLE — A Seattle police officer fired last May for dishonesty will get his job back, along with back pay, after the city's Public Civil Service Commission ruled that termination was too harsh.

Officer Eric Werner, 31, instead will be assessed a 30-day suspension, which will mean a deduction from his back pay.

Werner maintained he forgot about punching an agitated man when he was initially questioned in 2007 by Seattle police during an investigation into the man's complaint that he was repeatedly tazed.

Werner, during testimony last year before the commission, said he later remembered striking the man and decided to come clean while applying for a job with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in May 2008. The hiring process included polygraph examinations.

The Sheriff's Office didn't hire Werner. But it notified the Seattle Police Department of his disclosure and, after an internal investigation, he was fired last May by interim Police Chief John Diaz for violating the department's honesty policy.

Read full story: Panel votes to restore Seattle officer's job

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