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Accused deputy resigns

An Island County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested for “physical control” while at the wheel of her patrol car has resigned her position.

“She did the honorable thing,” said Sheriff Mike Hawley, describing the action by Deputy Jane R. Arnold, 40, a three-year veteran of the department.

In her letter of resignation dated June 16, which Hawley made public, Arnold wrote that her actions in the June 7 incident were “unacceptable and wrong.” She cited health concerns as her reason for resigning, explaining, “It was determined by medical physicians that I have a number of serious health conditions requiring immediate medical care.” Her complete letter can be found on page A-4 of today’s Whidbey News-Times.

Arnold was arrested June 7 after she failed to show up for duty that morning. She later met her supervisor, Sgt. Rick Norrie. She was parked at Houston Road and Norrie noticed the scent of alcohol. A portable breath test showed her alcohol level above the legal limit. Norrie allowed Arnold to proceed home, but later arrested her after contacting the sheriff.

The charge of “physical control” alleges the accused was in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, even though the car was not moving. Hawley said the charge carries the same penalties as driving under the influence.

Hawley said Norrie will be disciplined for letting Arnold drive home, although he commended the sergeant for quickly realizing he’d done the wrong thing and then contacting the sheriff.

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