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Monday, September 18, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Corrected version

NEWSWATCH

McCleary mayor dismisses fire chief, who plans to sue

Seattle Times staff: Seattle Times news services

McCLEARY, Grays Harbor County - The mayor has fired Police Chief Jim Reinhold over a host of allegations, including threats by the chief to implicate the mayor in a crime. Reinhold's lawyer says the allegations are false.

In a letter sent to Reinhold last week, Mayor Wally Bentley alleged the chief carried a small, non regulation handgun to plant in case he shot an unarmed suspect. Bentley also alleged Reinhold had pointed a loaded gun at city employees and misrepresented his law-enforcement credentials.

Bentley's letter accuses Reinhold of threatening to implicate a city employee in a crime after the employee told Reinhold he would need a building permit. The reason for the permit wasn't given. Reinhold also threatened to falsely implicate Bentley in a child-molestation case, Bentley wrote.

Reinhold's attorney, Hugh McGavick of Olympia, called the allegations "outrageous and false." He said Reinhold was fired because he blew the whistle "about illegal conduct that was occurring and other things that were a matter of significant public concern."

He would not elaborate. He said Reinhold, police chief since 1998, would sue the city rather than appeal.

Published Correction Date: 9/19/2000- The headline was incorrect about the efiring of the police chief of McCleary, Grays Harbor County. The headline mistakenly said fire chief.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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