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Lakewood Officer Terminated for Misconduct After Investigation of Theft from Police Funds

Lakewood Police officer Brian Wurts has been terminated for misconduct. Wurts was on paid leave while police investigated his role in stealing money from the LPD Officers Charity and Police Guild.

From Lakewood Police:

Officer Brian Wurts has been terminated from the Lakewood Police Department. He has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 9, 2012 while under investigation for his role in assisting Skeeter Manos with theft from police charity groups.

Manos was terminated in Feburary for stealing money from the LPD Officers Charity and Police Guild. (Read previous coverage on Lakewood-JBLM Patch).

LPD asked the Tacoma Police Department to conduct a criminal investigation to determine if any crimes had been committed by Officer Wurts. Their investigation did not result in the charging of any crimes. An internal investigation was then conducted, which resulted in the termination on Dec. 28 for misconduct, as it relates to the Lakewood Police Department Manual of Standards.

No other details are available at this time due to the appeals process and any possible future litigation.

Dane Ferrell January 03, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Why of course no crimes were found,cops don't rat out other cops, and judges are biased toward cops,making it almost impossible to prosecute one for anything, not that we don't need police, but you can bet your ass if it was anyone else, they would be in jail as well.
Trish Papalii January 03, 2013 at 09:55 AM
I completely agree with you. The crooked cops need weeded out, but there is such a loyalty and silent brotherhood that it is nearly impossible! It's shameful, and unethical! He should have to pay back his salary since he was getting paid by the city since Feb of last year, as well as paying back the money and serving time in prison. (That goes for both of them, as well as anyone else involved.)
JB January 03, 2013 at 01:14 PM
You two are morons and obviously don't know the story. The main story is here is about a cop who stole money and his "loyalty and silent brotherhood" tipped off the FBI who then arrested him and sent him to federal prison. The cop in this story was fired "because he should have known" about the other cop. Why don't you ex felon cop haters get your facts straight.
Heather Bachman January 03, 2013 at 06:12 PM
The news paper says Brian should have known about the money thieft from treasurer Manos because Brian was the president. IF that is true what about Mayor Diane DuBois?? Why wasn't she involved in the money recieved?? ( or, better yet.. what about the accountants for Lakewood?? WHAT is the responsibility of these people?? How can Brian as Union President, be more important than these people?? If Brian is to loose his job than let's fire all these other people who 'should' have known what was going on with these funds. Remember the former police chief Brane, who killed his wife in public in front of his children?? Shouldn't someone have been fired for not seeing the 'red flags' of that deranged Police Chief, in preventing that tradgity??
Clarissa January 03, 2013 at 07:51 PM
I haven know Officer Wurtz for many years. When this story first broke I knew then what I know now. Brian had absolutely nothing to do with this, he is and always has been an upstanding person. So, please do not judge unless you are somehow "perfect". His only crime was trusting a fellow officer.
sudee January 03, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Clarissa, sorry -- Wurtz was more involved than you know. He turned a blind eye and had more involvement than stated in the article. He is a loose cannon on many levels. I'm glad to see Lakewood do the right thing where he is concerned.
Locked n Loaded January 03, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Funny you get pulled over by a cop and are treated like you just robbed a bank. If someone in law enforcement gets in trouble they get a little slap on the head and a finger pointing by daddy. These guys should be made an example. Cops do dirty crap too. Don't think cause they carry a badge and paid for with our tax dollars they are all good. But I will say I have known many great policeman also. So like anything else in life there are more good then bad.
Dane Ferrell January 04, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Excuse me JB? because people know cops are crooked means they are ex felons? look at yourself before you judge others.
Terry January 05, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Bottom line here is the FBI done an investigation which turned up nothing on Brian. But because Brian trusted a fellow officer and was known to be friends with Manos LPD needs to find a way to terminate Brian to keep from being criticized. Good cop made out to be a bad cop.
Terry January 05, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Do you know something the FBI don't?
Virginia Wurts January 07, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Through reports of Blue Byline (Mr. O'Neil Feb. 15, 2012,) "Mr. Manos financial problems were well known at Lakewood City Hall, where finance officials were served with requests for wage garnishments from Manos' creditors. Manos financial struggles which had peaked around the time of the alleged theft were never communicated to the police department." "This was a very unfortunate omission on the part of Lakewood's finance department." Yet, this information was not made known to Brian, as President, ... it would of surely made an impact on any decision for Mr Manos to continue in the position of handling funds as a treasurer. Someone dropped the ball here...and yet I read that Brian should of" known more about the situation to prevent it from happening".. seems that someone, somewhere within the chain of command, could of done a better job of informing Brian..Is it not the responsibility of the employer to fair treatment of their employees? How is this fair? To further Mr. O"Neils comment, "when a cop's checkbook is filled with a lot of red ink, his or her ability to fend off these unethical (and illegal) offers may be adversely affected."Perhaps it is time for a change of policy here...if you are handling other people's money..with all due respect to confidentiality.. seems to me that personal finances should be clearly checked out. Saturday at 5:35am · Edited · Unlike · 2
Virginia Wurts January 07, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Brian has worked diligently, giving many hours for the citizens of his community, his department, and fellow officers. When our four dear officers were taken, Brian went into high gear with passion and honor to make change. He spoke numerous times in front of the public, spoke in front of government panels, our Governor, Chris Gregoire, and many concerned citizens. Brian was instrumental in bringing change to laws that have been put in place to protect his community. Brian's motives to bring change are based on his unselfish heart to make a difference in a world where wrong often seems right. With determination, and perserverance Brian ran for State Representative, while serving as a Lakewood Police Officer. He also served as Guild President, and as a representative for WA Cops. Many of these given hours were volunteered time. Brian, from day one of the senseless violent acts of November 29th, 2009, set out to speak out for change, with strong support. He has served his community well. For 10 &1/2 months, we have watched our son stay strong and faithful and believe that justice will prevail. The support that has been given to Brian during these past 10 months speaks volumes to his character and to the positive impact he has made in his community. It is indeed a tragedy that Brian was betrayed by his good friend and partner of 10 years. We continue to pray for truth to be heard. We support our son, and ask for your continued support. Gary & Virginia Wurts
richard tenney January 07, 2013 at 03:27 AM
In support of Brian Wurts, my husband and I will be attending the Lakewood City Council meeting, Monday at 7:00 pm at City Hall,6000 Main St. SW . All who would like to voice thier opinions should really come and do so. A wrong has been done and as residents of Lakewood we need this to be resolved. Richard and Suzanne Tenney
S. Sully January 08, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Without knowing all of the facts in this case there were no criminal charges filed but he lost his job for misconduct after an internal investigation so there must have been some type of protocol that he didn't follow. Just like any other job there is always the chance that you will lose your job if you don't follow the rules by the book.
Gary Wurts January 12, 2013 at 01:12 AM
The FBI cleared Brian, The Tacoma Police cleared Brian, but Brian was put on administrative leave anyway 72 hours after he (as the union president) filed a complaint against Chief Farrer for wrongfully terminating another Lakewood officer? Why isn't the Chief under investigation? Why can't The Lakewood Police Department get anyone to join the department after an open house? All of these questions will be answered in court and not by the general public who obviously hasn't a clue about the Department issues with its leadership
Bob Roberts February 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Hey JB, When you get off your doughnut break, there are some old ladies jaywalking Bridgeport Way you'll probably want to arrrest.

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