September 28, 2017

Decertified or Not?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:44 am

KCSO graphicThis morning’s local skews paper, the Coeur d’Alene Press, published an article entitled ‘Sheriff’s Captain Terminated.’

The article stated

“Both Wolfinger and Soumas told The Press the termination was not due to any criminal wrongdoing.”

But the article also quoted a KCSO interoffice memo which said

“Captain Dan Soumas has been terminated from employment effective immediately and is prohibited from accessing the non-public areas of the sheriff’s office without an official escort. Soumas is no longer authorized to take actions as a peace officer.” [emphasis OpenCdA’s]

The portion I’ve highlighted in this quotation strongly suggests that former Captain Soumas has been or will soon be decertified as an Idaho peace officer by the Idaho Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Has former Captain Soumas been decertified as an Idaho peace officer or not?

Concerning the paragraph containing the highlighted portion and attributed to Sheriff Wolfinger, the article went on

Wolfinger said that is a standard message issued to employees when someone no longer works at the department.

The “standard message” Wolfinger issues  seems to imply that immediately upon leaving the department, regardless of the reason for leaving,  the former employee automatically loses Idaho peace officer certification and authorization which has been granted by the Idaho Peace Officer and Standards Training Commission.   While that may be what Wolfinger wants to imply to the public, that would be inconsistent with the laws and administrative procedures of Idaho.

Open CdA wishes the Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper would develop reporters and editors with sufficient subject matter knowledge to publish articles which do not add to the public’s confusion about official actions taken by our local governments.


  1. That article is horrible. The man has 34 years and is a graduate from the FBI National Academy and they decided to terminate him … decertify him? Can he not get a job somewhere else as a police officer? This makes no sense at all. However, the article certainly eludes to the impression that there is more to the story than, they had one captain too many.

    Comment by Stebbijo — September 28, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

  2. Stebbijo,

    I completely agree that the article is horrible.

    When reporters don’t have the subject matter knowledge or the professional curiosity to ask the right questions and editors can’t or won’t supervise their reporters to require the right questions be asked and to persist until a complete answer is received, readers are deceived or uninformed.

    We don’t know if Soumas was decertified or not. The Press reporter and Editor apparently accepted Wolfinger’s insufficient and incomplete explanation.

    The wording of the article clearly leave the unmistakable impression that Soumas’ termination was involuntary. With 34 years experience, the County could have found a way to ease him into retirement.

    But again, we don’t know the entire story. I learned a long time ago not to trust elected officials in Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai County, and Idaho generally. Ditto for the owner, Publisher, and Editor of the Coeur d’Alene Press.

    Comment by Bill — September 28, 2017 @ 7:07 pm

  3. LOL, unless you are ‘in it’ folks do not really get it, that you cannot trust our elected officials, including our esteemed Judges, or the publishers of the local papers here. And, I am sure, when you were threatened with contempt of Court upon publishing your findings regarding our past election contest those years ago, you were convinced that this area is not all sunshine and lollipops … but undoubtedly corrupt. The paper’s job here, is to hide the story and discredit those who know the truth. Another story, just surfacing and not much on it yet, is the shooting of Craig Johnson who was shot to death by the Bonner County police upon trying to serve a warrant. All inquiries are now being referred to the ISP and they sealed the case so the public cannot have it, yet.

    Comment by Stebbijo — September 28, 2017 @ 7:20 pm

  4. Stebbijo,

    I’ll take a wild, wild guess and speculate that the esteemed Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney will seek and find a “conflict attorney” to make a charging decision.

    I have more confidence in the ISP homicide investigators to conduct a thorough investigation and prepare a complete report than if it were being investigated by the Sandpoint PD or another county sheriff’s office. However, once the complete report is turned over to whatever prosecuting attorney has been designated to find that the shooting was justifiable homicide, the ISP is out of the picture.

    Comment by Bill — September 28, 2017 @ 7:34 pm

  5. This case is getting really interesting. There was a welfare check on the victim. He had a gun so they shot him. I understand he was on his own property. The welfare check was requested by his wife who is an attorney. The welfare check case is sealed, indefinitely, because the police force was not able to serve the warrant, because he was shot and died. I understand from other articles that he assaulted the police upon a previous visit, on his own property, and this prompted the warrant to be served, resulting in his death. Nobody knows why there was a welfare check.

    Comment by Stebbijo — September 29, 2017 @ 8:57 pm

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