New Snohomish County sheriff rehires 2 more deputies fired by previous sheriff

VIDEO: Newly elected sheriff reinstates deputies who had been fired

EVERETT, Wash. — Two deputies fired by the former Snohomish County sheriff were back on the job Tuesday after being rehired by new Sheriff Adam Fortney, who days earlier had reinstated another deputy fired for an “unjustified” shooting of an unarmed man that resulted in a $1 million settlement with the county.

“I know what this looks like -- Fortney’s coming in, Adam’s coming in and he’s reinstating all his friends,” said Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney at a news conference Tuesday. “I just want to make it very clear that’s not what’s going on here.”

Sheriff Fortney said both fired deputies had previously worked under him and supported his election campaign. He doubled down on a previous claim saying the terminations by former sheriff Ty Trenary were politically motivated.

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"Flat out, there was some animosity there; did the former sheriff come to me and say, ‘Adam, I fired your friend because he supported me in the campaign?’ No, he never told me that,” said Sheriff Fortney. “Do I think that might have played a part in it? Yeah.”

Sheriff Fortney said Master Patrol Deputy Matt Boice and Deputy Evan Twedt were rehired last Friday after an internal investigation last year found they illegally searched a suspect’s car during a stop on Machias Road, and then tried to cover it up.

The former sheriff accused the two deputies of dishonesty, but the current sheriff said he did not believe the deputies “purposely violated any laws” or acted dishonestly.

“I’m the new sheriff,” said Fortney. “I get to weigh in on my guys’ discipline."

The two deputies did violate department policy, according to Sheriff Fortney, who said those violations will be marked on their records. Both will receive full back pay, Fortney said.

“They did not adequately document their full activities with regards to the traffic stop, arrest and search in question,” said Fortney.

Sheriff Fortney said Tuesday he had received a request from his corrections chief to review another termination but has not made any decisions.

KIRO 7 reached out to former sheriff Ty Trenary by phone Tuesday for comment on the current sheriff’s claims but did not immediately hear back.