by Carolyn Bick
The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.
A King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) sergeant in charge of the department’s property management unit said that he would be willing to “lead the charge” — for the department against mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 — in a lengthy email sent to the entire department that the Emerald obtained. In the email, the sergeant claims that there are “thousands of us” who have requested vaccination exemptions and that KCSO Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht has “hinted” at an “ongoing process” of obtaining vaccination exemptions for KCSO officers who request it. He also threatens legal action against the County.
The sergeant, Cameron Lefler, sent the email on Monday, Oct. 4, in response to KCSO Chiefs Jeff Flor, Jesse Anderson, and Troy Olmsted, who had collectively sent an email to department officers to notify them that the department will “continue to plan for the possible separation” — meaning termination — “of employees due to the vaccine mandate” but that the chiefs hoped “that most of you [officers] will continue to be part of the KCSO, even if you do not agree with the mandatory vaccination decision.”
“Our planning process is hampered by lack of complete information because some have not yet provided evidence of vaccination,” the chiefs’ email reads. “Again, we are hopeful that you have the required information but have not yet shared it with HR. One of our goals is to plan for possible separation in a way that is least likely to disrupt your city or precinct and it is hard to do that without all the information.”Continue reading KCSO Sergeant’s Anti-Vaccination Email References ‘Hint’ of Ongoing Vaccination Exemption Process in Department