A Skagit County sheriff's deputy charged with sexual misconduct involving female jail inmates has been fired for insubordination, his superiors say.
Deputy Anthony D. Smith, 33, who started working at the jail in 2003, had been disciplined for inappropriate behavior starting in 2005 and was placed on paid leave after he was arrested March 21. He was fired Thursday after he refused to make himself available during business hours, Chief Criminal Deputy Will Reichardt said.
"It got to where he was refusing to talk to me," Reichardt said. "I tried to set up a couple interviews with him. He refused to come to the interview."
Smith pleaded innocent Monday to three counts of misdemeanor assault with sexual motivation involving three female jail inmates between July and March and is scheduled to appear June 26 in county District Court.
Reichardt said he had finished an investigation into sexual misconduct accusations and would likely recommend that Smith also be terminated on those grounds by the middle of next week.
Smith's lawyer, John W. Murphy, would not say whether he planned appeal the firing.
The latest charges resulted from an investigation by Anacortes police that began after Smith was charged in March with misdemeanor custodial misconduct and assault involving an inmate he reportedly fondled as she lay in her jail bed.
According to documents obtained by the Skagit Valley Herald after Smith lost a legal battle to bar the sheriff's office from releasing the information, he was suspended without pay for three days in March 2005 for leaving his post and hugging a female jail visitor in the parking lot the previous month.
The woman was so distraught that she failed to appear for two visits to her fiance, a jail inmate whose complaint brought the matter to light, records show.
Six months later, Smith received a written reprimand after inmates said he flirted with an inmate over an inside telephone and got involved in her personal affairs.
"I think it's safe to say that he probably was doing inappropriate things over an extended period of time, and it just came to light to us this spring," Reichardt said.
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