Poulsbo Deputy Police Chief Bob Wright resigns

Was on paid leave since Dec. 6 during an investigation into his alleged conduct during a dispute with his wife

POULSBO — Deputy Chief Bob Wright has resigned from the Poulsbo Police Department. His resignation comes as his alleged conduct during a dispute with his estranged wife, also a law enforcement officer, is being investigated.

Wright’s resignation letter does not mention the investigation into his conduct, which resulted in him being placed on paid leave, and there is no indication that his retirement and the investigation are related.

“Retirement will afford me the opportunity to spend more time with my family and volunteer more in the community,” Wright wrote in his letter.

In his letter, Wright indicates his final day on the job would be Feb. 15, however, his resignation was effective immediately according to an email from Police Chief Alan Townsend to city staff.

“After 25 years, Deputy Chief Bob Wright announced his retirement from the Poulsbo Police Department,” Townsend wrote city staff in a Jan. 23 email. “Bob has been discussing the idea of retirement for at least the last two years. However, every time he was about ready, he was asked to serve in a new capacity.”

Townsend wrote that Mayor Becky Erickson asked Wright to remain on the force after Chief Dennis Swiney left the department. Then Townsend requested Wright continue as deputy chief as the new administration was put into place.

“Over the last month, while enjoying some extended time off, he realized that this new lifestyle was for him,” Townsend wrote. “So, no more convincing him to stay on.”

The reason Wright was “enjoying some extended time off,” was because he was placed on paid administrative leave on Dec. 6, 2014. At the time, an allegation was made by Wright’s wife; the couple was going through a divorce.

Little information has been released about the allegation. The Washington State Patrol was asked to investigate the incident while Wright was on leave. The investigation is still open.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said in December that the allegation involved “uniformed officers within two agencies.”

Investigators with the Washington State Patrol did not respond to requests for the investigation’s results by deadline. Wright’s phone number and contact information was not available.

Townsend said the deputy chief position will be filled. He hopes to have a candidate for the job by the end of February.

Townsend said that Wright was key to the transition period between Chief Swiney and himself, and that Wright stepped up to guide the department between chiefs. He also said that Wright was heavily involved in all aspects of the department.

“He did pretty much everything,” Townsend said. “Detective, patrol, sergeant, deputy chief.”