John Urquhart
John Urquhart King County

Sponsored
Register now: Free home buying seminars at Verity Credit Union on February 20 and 28.

With the race already decided and the latest results showing him down nearly 13 percentage points, Sheriff John Urquhart conceded Monday.

Urquhart told supporters in an e-mail Monday that he wishes soon to be Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht "the best of luck."

"There is an old saying in politics: reformers only last one term!" Urquhart wrote. "That was especially true in my race. I am pleased with the changes my team brought to the office and the very positive reputation of the King County Sheriff's Office. I am very humbled to have been your Sheriff for the last five years, and again, exceedingly grateful for your friendship, help, and support."

Urquhart won praise from some because of his willingness to oust bad cops, but he also faced allegations of bias, retaliation, and rape. Urquhart has denied the allegations.

The first sexual assault allegation surfaced last year, when a former deputy accused Urquhart of raping her in 2002. King County prosecutors declined to file charges in the case, citing a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations. However, the King County Ombudsman's Office found that Urquhart had a conflict of interest when he asked his office not to document or investigate the allegation. The second allegation came to light this month when the Seattle Times reported that another former deputy said the sheriff groped him three years ago. Renton police are investigating Urquhart for "unwanted touching with sexual motivation." Urquhart also faces allegations that he offered to share the first accuser's medical records and that he improperly shared the second accuser's personnel records. After the latest accusations surfaced, a dozen elected officials withdrew their support for Urquhart's re-election. Urquhart has denied all of the allegations and sued his second accuser for defamation.

Johanknecht will take office in January. In an interview with KING 5 last week, she said she will be "inclusive and collaborative" and "mix up around the upper leadership and use the skills of the members of the organization so that it's not just about one person making the decisions in the organization, that there's decision making up and down the organization."