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System's weaknesses lead to problems in sheriff's office

Eric Nalder, Lewis Kamb, Phuong Cat Le and Paul Shukovsky of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer continue their investigation into abuse, misconduct and disciplinary lapses in the King County Sheriff's Department. The most recent stories examine the reasons for these failures in oversight — and reveal more cases of abuse, favoritism and retaliation against whistleblowers. The investigation, based on thousands of pages of documents received through public disclosure requests and interviews with dozens of present and former deputies and others, shows "An internal discipline system that often protects wrongdoing and punishes those who report it; A pervasive insider network that selectively rewards and protects its own, creating what critics call a culture of cronyism; And a union that has literally designed the department for its own control, successfully lobbying for an elected sheriff, and repeatedly protecting the jobs of problem officers."

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