Seattle police chief Kathleen O'Toole fired a 10-year veteran of the department today for making advances on women he encountered on duty. A termination letter was delivered to him by hand this morning, the Seattle Times reports.
In a disciplinary report obtained by the Times, O'Toole wrote that Officer Peter Leutz initiated "unnecessary, unprofessional, and highly inappropriate additional communications" with three women last summer. The report (PDF) cites an investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability into Leutz's conduct, which uncovered 14 "possible victims" of his misconduct.
One of them reported a stolen bike. Another was having an argument with her boyfriend and spending the night outside her apartment. Leutz used information gleaned from his police work and texted the second woman on his personal cell phone. He sent texts to a third woman, who he'd pulled over for a traffic stop, at least 109 times, asking at one point, "did u feel something when we locked eyes." When she said she wasn't interested in him romantically, he kept texting her, according to the OPA.
In a hearing where Leutz defended himself, O'Toole said, his comments left her more convinced of the need to fire him. "Your explanation that you were, essentially, burnt out at work was completely at odds with the nature of your misconduct," she wrote in the report.
"This was serious and repeated abuse of authority," the chief added, "and an unsettling pattern of behavior." Leutz can appeal his firing, but her report notes that he admitted to the OPA that some of his conduct was "really unprofessional."
In 2009, The Stranger reported that Leutz's wife filed a protection order against him, alleging he "physically intimidated her and sent her threatening text messages." Leutz denied the allegations.
Leutz also denied any fault for shooting a 13-year-old boy in the Central District in 2007.