By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
In a May 7th press release the City of Mill Creek announced Police Chief Greg Elwin left city employ as part of a separation agreement that became effective on May 4th.
The news release stated, “His separation came after a preliminary inquiry and a formal investigation into serious concerns about his leadership raised by the Police Officer’s Guild.”
According to articles written by Mill Creek Beacon reporter Emily Gilbert and Everett Herald reporter Rachel Riley in February and March, Elwin was placed on paid administrative leave sometime in January.
As a result of of public information requests, both newspapers reported in April that City Manager Michael Ciaravino received a January 17th letter from the Police Officer’s Guild expressing a vote of no confidence for Elwin.
Ciaravino first introduced Deputy Chief Scott Eastman as Acting Police Chief at the January 28th city council meeting when Eastman recognized a number of Mill Creek residents for their service to the Police Department.
The city manager declined to discuss the issue or provide any information about Elwin’s absence from the city until the May 7th press release.
According to the press release, “His separation came after a preliminary inquiry and a formal investigation into serious concerns about his leadership raised by the Police Officer’s Guild. Because the City must protect the rights of all employees, including those accused, the City retained a neutral investigator to assist in fact-finding.”
Based on the investigation, Ciaravino concluded Elwin violated Police Department policies and give him a chance to resign.
When Elwin declined, Ciaravino issued a termination notice stating Elwin had engaged "in conduct unbecoming an officer and failing to report a critical workplace safety issue.”
The termination notice stated, “Chief Elwin’s conduct eroded the City Manager’s trust and confidence in the Chief’s judgment and ability to represent the City’s best interests.”
Facing termination, at that point Elwin agreed to the separation agreement on May 1st, which was his last day of employment by the city.
According to the news release, Elwin didn’t receive any cash payment from the city as part of the agreement.
Going forward, Eastman will continue to serve as Acting Police Chief and the city plans to begin a search for a new Chief of Police in the near future.