Yakima Police Chief Upset Over Furloughs Granted By Local Judges
Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi has written a letter to Yakima County Superior Court Judges urging them to consider the consequences when they grant furloughs to dangerous criminals, and the letter apparently is not making the judges happy. They’ve subpoenaed the chief to appear in court later this month to discuss the issue. Chief Rizzi said “I’m asking that in the future that they really take a hard look when they furlough individuals, especially those who pose a risk and safety to anyone who works, lives, or visits Yakima or Yakima County.”
In the letter the judge sites the July 2013 furlough of a man with 9 prior felony convictions and who was in jail on felony charges in Wapato. The man was arrested after a high speed chase after failing to return from the furlough. Chief Rizzi says in the letter quote “i find it unconscionable that he could be given a furlough.”
The Yakima County Judges responded by sending a letter back to Rizzi, chastising him. Court consultant Harold Dehlia wrote the response letter stating “Judge Elofson perceived this as an attempt his decision prior to the sentencing hearing of the suspect. Therefore it was not appropriate for you to send this letter to Judge Elofson.” The court strongly suggest that prior to sending another letter like this you consult with Mr. Jeff Cutter, your Yakima City Attorney.
The chief is expected to appear in Yakima County Superior Court on September 23rd to discuss the issue county judges.