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Port of Seattle fires police chief after investigation

October 1, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — The Port of Seattle has fired its police chief, who had been the subject of a lengthy investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct.

The Seattle Times reports Chief Rod Covey’s termination was announced via email on Thursday.

“The investigation concluded that Chief Covey violated the Port’s Code of Conduct and Human Resources policies,” according to the email, sent by Port Executive Director Steve Metruck. “Port leadership determined that termination was the appropriate discipline. The investigation did not involve any police enforcement activity or interaction with members of the public.”

Covey had been on paid administrative leave since June 2020, when the investigation began. Mike Villa, who has been serving as acting chief of police during that time, will continue in the acting role until a replacment is found.

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The Port has declined to comment on the substance of the allegations against Covey, but Port police Officer Yandle Moss said in a lawsuit last summer that Covey had been placed on leave after Moss, who is Black, filed an internal complaint accusing Covey of racial discrimination. Moss, whose suit in King County Superior Court revolved around the Port’s alleged refusal to produce documents related to its investigation of his complaint, settled with the Port in February.

Covey did not immediately respond to questions from the newspaper.