More than 5 months ago, a Seattle Police Department official warned the police chief and others that some off-duty work by officers threatened department integrity.
More than five months ago, the Seattle Police Department’s chief operating officer warned that allowing off-duty work by officers to continue unregulated threatened the department’s integrity and sought solutions from top city officials, according to an email obtained Wednesday by The Seattle Times.
“I think we are at the crossroads: either we accept the status quo or the City mount a concerted effort on breaking the back of what may be corruption, even if technically legal,” Brian Maxey wrote in the April 7 email sent to Chief Kathleen O’Toole, City Attorney Pete Holmes, the mayor’s office and other officials.
The warning came shortly before O’Toole referred to the FBI allegations of intimidation and price-fixing by officers working lucrative off-duty jobs directing traffic or providing security at parking garages and construction sites.
Among the allegations was that Kevin Stuckey, the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG), sought to undermine efforts by an Olympia-based startup company, Blucadia, from entering the Seattle off-duty market. Blucadia was supported by Seattle police management, which placed a Blucadia link on its website containing an endorsement from Maxey.
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Blucadia describes itself as an Uber-like service that connects officers seeking off-duty work to customers.
SPOG is affiliated with Seattle Securities Inc., one of two companies that has long provided off-duty officers for hire.
Blucadia’s chief executive officer, Rob McDermott, claimed Stuckey berated and swore at him over the telephone for repeatedly asking to meet with Guild officials about Blucadia’s plans.
Stuckey, in an interview Wednesday, acknowledged the incident but said McDermott had pursued the meeting relentlessly and had been “condescending and rude.”
“At first, I ignored him,” Stuckey said, but he eventually spoke with him by telephone in May. Stuckey said he was sick at home and had been taking NyQuil.
“I asked him, ‘Who the (expletive) do you think you’re talking to?,’ ” Stuckey said. “I let my anger dictate the situation and I shouldn’t have. I know better.”
Stuckey said the department has never endorsed an off-duty provider before. The union…