Forks: Local deputy dismissed

by George McCormick
Forks Forum

Posted on Tuesday 13 July 2004

Forks, WA - Bill Cortani, a West End deputy with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department was dismissed from the department on July 2, according to Sheriff Joe Martin.

Bill Cortani has been dismissed for cause as a result of a confidential internal investigation, Martin said. It’s a personnel thing and that’s all I can say about it.

His dismissal does not allege any criminal behavior, DeFrang said. It would be inappropriate for me to say what the complaint was.
Asked whether Cortani had received any meritorious commendations or citizen complaints, DeFrang said, It’s best to stay away from his employment history right now.
The investigation, which took about three weeks, was conducted by Sheriff’s Department staff. It would be inappropriate for me to say who did the investigation, Undersheriff Fred DeFrang said.
Technically Cortani is in his post termination due process, DeFrang said. He’s appealing the decision and he has due process rights to exercise.
Cortani said, I have no comment at this time.
Cortani had been placed on paid administrative on June 10 with a Notice of Intent to Discipline. It’s a standard procedure when there is a complaint that could affect a deputy’s job, he is put on paid administrative leave during the investigation so there can be a fair consideration of the complaint, DeFrang said.
Cortani has been with the sheriff’s department for 13 years. He started October 8, 1990 and was assigned as a deputy for the West End of Clallam County, according to Marge Upham at the Clallam County Personnel office.
Cortani did not get a separation package, according to DeFrang. Everything is subject to a collective bargaining package and Cortani is entitled to certain rights. Anything that is his is still his.
During Cortani’s administrative leave, West End shifts were covered by deputies from Port Angeles, according to DeFrang. That’s standard policy and has been for years, he said. When a West End deputy is sick or on vacation, his shift is covered out of Port Angeles. We will continue to do that until a new West End deputy is hired.
We will be going through the process of replacing Cortani, he said. But it will have to wait until he’s exercised his post termination rights.
Our coverage on the West End is back to normal, West End Sergeant Dave Lenahan said.



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