King County sheriff defends decision not to fire deputy who admitted buying steroids

SEATTLE -- King County Sheriff John Urquhart is defending his decision not to fire a deputy who admitted buying steroids.

This is just the latest chapter in what the sheriff called a case of police corruption, centering around a now-disgraced former deputy named Darrion Holiwell.

Holiwell was the sheriff's office's chief firearms instructor. He was fired for selling steroids, trying to pimp out his estranged wife, and stealing from the county's gun range. He is now in prison for those crimes.

But the fallout from the case continues.

Documents that surfaced Friday show that a longtime deputy named Frank Stasiak admitted to buying steroids from Holiwell to "keep up with the younger cops."

Sheriff's office investigators recommended that he be fired, but Urquhart decided instead to suspend him for 30 days without pay.

I questioned the sheriff Friday about why Stasiak was allowed to keep his job, while another detective was fired for her involvement in the scandal. He said it all came down to honesty.

The female detective he was referring to is Robin Clearly, who worked major cases. She was fired last year and had been accused of tipping Holiwell off to the investigation.

The head of the office's SWAT  team also retired amid growing suspicions as to what he may have known about Holiwell`s actions.

Another member of the SWAT team resigned during an investigation into his involvement.

And even a Seattle police officer was caught up in the scandal after incriminating messages suggested he, too, bought steroids from Holiwell.