Washington police chief fired, commander on leave amid probe

From the Associated Press

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A police chief in central Washington has been fired and a police commander placed on leave amid an investigation.

Sunnyside City Manager Elizabeth Alba said Monday that Sunnyside Police Chief Albert Escalera was fired, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

Alba cited crime, shootings by police and reports of misconduct from within the department as reasons for firing Escalera, who served as chief for the past eight years.

“I have not come to this decision lightly, but ultimately believe my decision best serves the interests of the police department, the city as a whole, and the community of Sunnyside,” Alba wrote.

Alba said trust and cohesion between her and the police chief were lacking.

Attempts by the newspaper to reach Escalera for comment were not immediately successful.

Cmdr. Scott Bailey was also placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into alleged misconduct. Alba said Bailey’s leave is not disciplinary in nature.