No charges for investigated Clark Co. deputy

“Insufficient evidence to charge a crime”

Detective Kevin Harper in an interview with KOIN 6 News for an unrelated story. (KOIN)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office will not pursue criminal charges against former Clark County Detective Kevin Harper.

Harper retired from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in February amid a criminal investigation into allegations of possible wrongdoing. The investigation was being conducted by the Washington State Patrol.

In a letter dated April 18, 2017, Assistant Attorney General John Hillman wrote to WSP Detective Eric Gunderson and informed him that based on the prosecutor’s review of the case there was “insufficient evidence to charge a crime.”

Harper worked with the sheriff’s office for 28 years. From late August 2015 through March 2016, he engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with a known heroin addict. The two met on several occasions and had sex in Harper’s work vehicle and in motel rooms.

On at least three occasions, Harper saw the woman use heroin, while he was off-duty, and he reportedly gave her money when she “lamented that she would need to commit crimes in order to buy heroin,” according to the AG’s letter. Harper never arrested the woman.

The woman also had outstanding warrants during some of the period when she and Harper were together, according to the letter. Harper never arrested the woman but there “is also no evidence that Harper ever confirmed that there were outstanding warrants” for the woman’s arrest.

The AG’s Office considered charging Harper with official misconduct, failure to arrest for drug offenses, failure to arrest for warrants, and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.

However, the findings showed that under current Washington State law, there is no “duty imposed by law” for a public servant to arrest someone for drug offenses. Many states have mandatory reporting and mandatory arrest laws for cases such as child abuse and domestic violence.

The review also determined that there is no state law for law enforcement to run someone’s name to check to see if they have a warrant. Such a law, officials said, would require police to run every single person they interacted with.

In regards to Harper giving the woman money, the AG’s Office found that “there is no evidence that Harper knew for certain how she would spend the money or that he wanted her to spend the money on drugs.”

The sheriff’s office declined to comment. KOIN 6 News has not been able to reach Harper for comment.