Fired deputy free of misdemeanor charges
EPHRATA — A former Grant County sheriff’s deputy no longer faces criminal charges as he seeks to be reinstated in his job.
Corey R. Linscott, 37, won dismissal Jan. 8 of a disorderly conduct charge stemming from a family altercation at his home last spring. The charge had already been reduced from the original count of fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
Linscott, who became a deputy in 2011, was fired in August, four months after Quincy police responded to a report of violence at his home. Family members said Linscott placed his hands around the neck of his 18-year-old stepson and forced him toward the door during an argument April 26.
Douglas County deputy prosecutor Gordon Edgar, assigned to prosecute the case to avoid a conflict of interest, first agreed with Linscott’s lawyer John Ziobro in September to reduce the charge based on circumstances, then to dismiss entirely once Linscott received counseling.
“Primarily, the victims in this matter were the family members, the wife and stepson, and they didn’t want this to go any further,” Edgar said. “In addition, Mr. Linscott engaged in some personal counseling to address his underlying issues. So with those two things in mind, I agreed to dismiss.”
Ziobro, a Richland attorney, said the facts in the case did not support the original assault charge.
“You have to cause bodily harm or intend to cause bodily harm,” he said. “There’s no evidence in the police report that he did either.”
Ziobro said Linscott “was happy” to undergo counseling to satisfy the state’s concerns.
“We acknowledge their concerns for domestic violence, and we were convinced we could’ve prevailed, but we did engage in some counseling to give the state some assurance that nothing like this would happen again.”
Ziobro is also representing Linscott in his bid for reinstatement to the sheriff’s office. He said the case is awaiting assignment of an arbitrator and scheduling of talks.
Sheriff Tom Jones dismissed Linscott Aug. 27 after an investigation, saying the firing was “necessary given the seriousness of the allegations of misconduct.” Linscott had been on paid administrative leave since his April arrest.
Linscott was previously suspended from service twice in 2013: Once for brandishing a handgun out of uniform while he confronted two civilians parked on his street late at night, and once for insubordination when he questioned Chief Deputy Ken Jones’handling of his mandatory retraining.
Linscott was also the subject of a federal civil suit against Grant County over the 2012 arrest of James A. Watson. The suit claims Linscott warned Watson away while he tried to video-record a “commotion/law enforcement encounter” outside a Desert Aire tavern, then used a Taser on him when he refused. That case was settled out of court in December, and did not result in a disciplinary action against Linscott.
— By Jefferson Robbins, Wenatchee World