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Island County detective resigns after accusations

The Island County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that Mike Birchfield — a detective with the agency who is facing domestic assault charges — resigned this week.

According to Jan Smith, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, Birchfield’s resignation was accepted Thursday. It is effective immediately. She said Birchfield’s departure will conclude the department’s disciplinary process, so no further internal action will be taken on the matter.

Birchfield, who has been on leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act since Oct. 6, was arrested June 19 on two allegations of domestic violence. He was charged with domestic assault in the fourth degree, and interfering with reporting by allegedly trying to prevent her from calling 911. Birchfield — who lives outside of Oak Harbor’s city limits and worked on South Whidbey — had been reassigned to non-law enforcement duties at the Island County Courthouse.

According to a spokeswoman for the Skagit County District Court, Birchfield’s trial on the domestic violence charges will begin on Dec 6. It will take place at the Larry E. Moller Public Safety Building in Mount Vernon. She said a trial confirmation hearing will be held on Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. to confirm the trial on Dec. 8.

The Oak Harbor Police Department is externally investigating the case to avoid a possible conflict of interest. The case was moved out of Island County in July.

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