A Spokane Police Officer is facing unpaid suspension for 30 days following the completion of an Internal Affairs investigation into allegations by a citizen that the officer had an inappropriate relationship with the citizen's wife following a domestic violence call.
On September 7th, Spokane Police responded to a call from a woman who said she had just been assaulted and kicked out of a car by her husband. According to the investigation, Officer Chris Conrath responded to the scene but didn't find probable cause to arrest the woman's husband.
5 hours later, the woman started emailing Officer Conrath's SPD email address, first thanking him for his work, and then emailing "I have to tell you, I can't stop thinking about you."
"I am flattered. I think that you are a very nice girl," Officer Conrath emailed back the following afternoon. "I am happy to help you in any way that I can, especially when it comes to keeping you and your family safe. I need to make it perfectly clear though, that any interaction outside my professional capacity would be inappropriate. I hope you understand," Conrath concluded.
However, the contact between the two continued.
While on duty over the next few hours, Conrath called the woman 4 times. On September 8th, the two met in a secluded parking lot near the Japanese Gardens on the South Hill.
According interviews from the Internal Affairs investigation, Conrath said he told the woman to leave her husband and she invited him to come see her at the Mirabeau Hotel where she was staying. Conrath admitted the meeting ended with a hug and kiss.
After getting off work, Conrath drove to a Spokane Valley motel between 3:00a.m and 4:00 a.m. and met once again with the woman who was staying there. Conrath told investigators there was sexual contact between the two of them, but not sexual intercourse.
A week later the husband of the woman found messages between his wife and Officer Conrath on her phone. The husband filed a complaint about the affair with the police department.
On October 6, 2015, Officer Conrath was interviewed by investigators and admitted to the affair saying "Yeah, I was sort of flirting with disaster... I made a big mistake and I take responsibility for it."
Conrath told investigators he is no longer seeing the woman.
A month later, an administrative review panel began looking at the complaint and last week that panel found that Officer Conrath violated department policy in two of the three initial allegations, including Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer. The panel recommended last week Officer Conrath be suspended for 30 days as a result.