Executive picks county law enforcement oversight chief

August 5, 2011

By Staff

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed a manager of internal investigations and performance audits for the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners as the inaugural county law enforcement oversight chief.

Charles Gaither is the newly designated leader for the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, a county agency established to monitor the King County Sheriff’s Office’s complaint and investigation process.

Constantine announced the appointment July 11, after a nationwide search.

“The people of King County will benefit from the experience, professionalism and leadership that Charles Gaither brings to the table,” he said in a statement. “With his track record, we expect him to bring transparency and accountability to civilian oversight of county policing.”

The appointment heads to the County Council for confirmation.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the director of OLEO and look forward to working closely with Sheriff Rahr, members of the sheriff’s office, and community leaders and stakeholders alike,” Gaither said in a statement. “I also wish to thank those who labored tirelessly to establish this office and will work diligently to assure accountability and transparency of county policing.”

Gaither, a former Seattle resident and Seattle University School of Law alumnus, served as a special investigator for the Los Angeles Police Commission. In the role, he reviewed investigations involving officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths and law-enforcement-related injuries.

The selection committee included representatives from Constantine’s office and the council, as well as the Puget Sound Police Managers’ Association and the King County Police Officers Guild.

“We were fortunate to have so many quality candidates seek the position of King County’s first director of law enforcement oversight, and I am very pleased with the executive’s choice of Charles Gaither,” committee member and police guild President Steve Eggert said in a statement. “I believe his breadth of experience, in both law enforcement and law enforcement oversight, make him uniquely qualified for this position.”

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