Canyon County

2 Middleton officers resign after accusation of misconduct

csewell@idahostatesman.com

Two Middleton police officers resigned Monday following investigations into a complaint of misconduct, Mayor Darin Taylor said.

The complaint, involving Sgt. Steve Walker and Officer Robert Kightlinger, stemmed from accusations of domestic battery with a private citizen. Idaho State Police investigated the allegations and reported last week that it forwarded the findings to prosecutors.

The Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office, which investigated because the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office cited a conflict, says the two officers will not face criminal charges. But city officials concluded Walker and Kightlinger violated Middleton Police Department policy.

“A couple of the actions were inconsistent with city policies,” Taylor said. “And those findings have resulted in conversations with both officers, and both officers are resigning today.”

Taylor said the officers misused “information in their possession.”

Owyhee County Prosecutor Douglas Emery on Monday did not disclose details about the allegations. But Emery said there was no basis to charge the officers with criminal misconduct.

The family who made the complaint against the officers has since filed a tort claim against the city. Because that claim is pending, Taylor said he couldn’t speak further about the accusations. A tort claim is a necessary precursor to filing a lawsuit against a city or government agency.

Walker and Kightlinger have been on administrative leave since May. Middleton police and the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office asked ISP to investigate the allegations on May 11.

The mayor said the city will be advertising to fill the two open police positions.

“Both officers are fine people and did a great job for the police department,” Taylor said. “They were respected in the community and I wish them the best.”

Middleton’s police department is fairly new. It was created in December 2014 after years of contracting with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

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