Drunk deputy resigns

Claiming serious health conditions, an Island County Sheriff's deputy resigned Monday, a little over a week after being arrested for being drunk on duty.

Deputy Jane Arnold, 40, was arrested in Greenbank June 7 for being in "physical control" of a parked sheriff's patrol car while under the influence of alcohol. Behind the wheel of a car with the engine running draws the same penalties as a DUI, according to Sheriff Mike Hawley.

When Arnold's supervisor, Sgt. Rick Norrie, met her that morning, he noticed the odor of alcohol on her breath, and asked her to blow into a Breathalyzer. Arnold's blood alcohol level registered as a .11, well over the legal limit of .08. She later tested .082 at the Langley Police Station, according to Hawley.

Since the incident, Hawley said he has received a whole spectrum of responses from the public. Some have been sympathetic, asking him to be compassionate and help Arnold get treatment. Others have called for the deputy's immediate dismissal.

Arnold was suspended from duty prior to her resignation.

In a fax from the sheriff's office, Arnold stated the June 7 incident made her realize she has a number of "serious health conditions" requiring immediate medical care. She was also apologetic.

"I want people to know that my actions on June 7 were unacceptable and wrong," said Arnold. "I only hope that my situation will be a positive example to others whom may possibly be in a similar situation, to go out and seek medical evaluations for conditions they may not be aware of; it may save their lives or the lives of others."

Hawley said he will replace Arnold as soon as possible at the sheriff office's north precinct.

Hawley said it is unlikely that Arnold will work again in law enforcement. Despite the fact she resigned before any criminal charges could be made, she will likely lose her certification for law enforcement work.

Hawley also said Sgt. Norrie is now the subject of an internal investigation. He allowed Arnold drive home after she failed the Breathalyzer test.

Hawley said if Norrie is found to have violated the policy, he will be disciplined appropriately.

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