Sheriff Denies Deputies Taking Freebies, Store Confirms One Instance - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sheriff Denies Deputies Taking Freebies, Store Confirms One Instance

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PASCO, Wash.- New information about accusations that Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies have been taking items from local convenience stores without paying.

KNDU spoke to management at Sun Mart Friday who confirmed one incident of a Sheriff's Deputy getting freebies here, but says that was at least six months ago, and says nothing went on on the dates in question, and now the Sheriff is getting involved, launching his own investigation into the allegations.

"Right over there, pretty much right where that maroon car is sitting, there are usually a couple of them sitting there," said Ryan Basset.

From his kitchen window, Bassett can see everything that goes on at the Sun Mart next door.

"Pretty much every night," he said.

The manager at the Sun Mart off Road 100 confirms Deputies stop there on a regular basis, but says they always pay, with the exception of once.  

She wouldn't go on camera, but spoke of an incident at least six months ago, just after she started work, when she was surprised by a deputy who indicated a possible pattern of freebies.  She says she put a stop to that immediately.

"There is no evidence that there's been any wrongdoing done by anybody in this office," said Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim.

The Sheriff denies his deputies ever got anything free, but is investigating the allegations anyway.

"I've informed them that we're gonna do an investigation, but you know, we will proceed with that over the next week or so to see what we can find out," the Sheriff said. 

Lathim confirms his deputies often stop at the sun mart because it's open 24-hours a day and gives them a place to take their breaks and fill out reports without taking them off the beaten path.  

He calls the allegations unfortunate, and says the Pasco Police Department's internal investigation was incorrectly interpreted, saying they never proved anyone took or didn't take things from the store, only that it wasn't a Pasco Police Officer.  

Sheriff Lathim says that investigation should take about a week, but says he has already talked with his deputies and none of them confirmed the allegations.