The 49-year-old deputy is on paid leave and under criminal investigation for using the county’s database to do background checks on his wife’s johns, according to The Seattle Times.
The Times did not identify the deputy because he has not been charged or arrested, but sealed search warrants served on Tuesday show his home, car and desk were combed for evidence.
If prosecuted, he’ll face charges of promoting prostitution and misuse of public property, anonymous sources told the Times.
The allegations surfaced last week and Sheriff John Urquhart placed two other deputies on paid leave as well, according to a departmentwide email sent Wednesday.
The deputies may have tipped their colleague off that the office was looking into the allegations, reports say.
The email did not give details or names, but Urquhart sent it to subdue rumors swirling around the actions, Seattle TV station KING 5 reported.
The deputy, described by The Seattle Times as a 19-year veteran, is going through a divorce, court papers show. He accused her of working as a sex escort and abandoning their two children and harassing him, the newspaper wrote.
He is on the SWAT team and assigned to a department shooting range called “Ravensdale Gun Range” in Maple Valley, Wash.
One deputy on paid leave, a woman, is on the Major Crimes unit, and the other, a man, is assigned to the range and SWAT team as well.
Urquhart later told KOMO 4 News the Times report is inaccurate, but would not clarify which parts were correct or incorrect. He would not comment further because the deputies are involved with an open investigation, in an on-camera interview with KOMO. The Times stands by its article, the TV station reported, and has not received any complaints on factual errors.
The FBI has joined the internal investigation as well and the case could expand beyond the three deputies.