Acting Captain Rob Huss
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax
*** For Immediate Release***
Settlement Ends Litigation Between Spokane Family and Washington State Patrol
Olympia -- Mr. Todd Chism of Spokane has accepted the Washington State Patrol’s offer of judgment in the amount of $2.4 million to end litigation between the parties related to a January 2008 search and arrest.
The dispute arose following Mr. Chism’s arrest and a search of the Chism home in Stevens County, after detectives came to believe Todd Chism had downloaded child pornography. Once the investigation was completed, the evidence established that Mr. Chism had not downloaded child pornography and that the Chism’s had been the victims of credit card fraud.
"This was a good faith effort to protect children, but there were oversights during the investigation,” said Donald Sorenson, WSP Risk Manager. “We apologize for those oversights, and regret the damage done to Mr. Chism’s reputation and the distress this caused his family. New practices are in place to prevent these types of oversights in the future.”
The $2.4 million will be paid from a state contingency fund set up to cover civil judgments against state agencies.
Despite this experience, the Patrol remains committed to protecting young people from sexual predators who would rob them of their childhood.“Making mistakes doesn’t mean you stop trying. Professionals learn from mistakes, get better at what they do, and move forward,” Sorenson said.