Sides in Jefferson sheriff’s race, news media, scour for background data

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Their personnel files are not the point, say Wendy Davis and Ken Przygocki, two candidates for Jefferson County sheriff.

It’s what they plan to do if they win the office.

“I have promised to represent the citizens of Jefferson County through fairness, equality and the true ability to listen to people and help them find solutions to their problems and concerns,” said Davis, 47, of Port Ludlow, a Democrat.

“As the endorsed Jefferson County Democratic candidate, I have focused on running a positive and consistent campaign,” she said.

She pointed to her participation in candidate forums and media interviews, saying, “I have given candid responses to personal matters.

“I take pride in knowing that my campaign has been the ‘real deal.’ I have made personal decisions based upon reasons that people may not be easy to understand, and that is OK.”

A former member of the Bremerton and Poulsbo police departments, Davis is now a human resources officer for Port Ludlow Associates.

Said opponent Przygocki, who is retired from the State Patrol: “It is my commitment to continue to work with the Jefferson County community and its youth to establish and maintain a strong community bond.

“My campaign continues with great momentum,” said Przygocki, 63, of Chimacum, who is running with no party preference.

“Except for a very happy interlude with my youngest son’s marriage, I have maintained my focus and desire to be the next sheriff, and have never had to hit the restart button.

“My campaign is based on my 38 years of honorable service,” he said.

Davis and Przygocki are two of three candidates facing off in Tuesday’s primary election. David Stanko also is running for the post.

Two of the three will advance to the November general election.

Davis was twice recommended for termination by her superiors in the Poulsbo Police Department, where she served first as deputy chief and then as a sergeant, but those recommendations were overruled by Mayor Becky Erickson.

One of them was from Chief Dennis Swiney, who said Davis should be terminated before the end of her probationary period because she had failed to “develop an appropriate management orientation.”

Davis had revealed a personal relationship with Sgt. Andy Pate, one of three sergeants under her supervision.

This led to a job switch with Sgt. Bob Wright, who himself recommended firing Davis, saying she had “failed to perform tasks assigned in a reasonable manner.”

Davis is separated from her husband, Mark Thompson. Once their divorce is final, Davis and Pate intend to marry, Davis has said.

Przygocki, 63, was under investigation by the State Patrol’s Office of Professional Standards when he retired March 30, 2012, the Peninsula Daily News reported in May.

That was the same day the Chimacum resident signed an agreement with the State Patrol under which he would have had to resign three days later April 2, according to State Patrol records.

Przygocki, who was then stationed at State Patrol’s Mill Creek post, was under investigation for allegedly lying to his superior about being at a Feb. 28, 2012, court hearing and was questioned about four hours of overtime.

Przygocki said he did nothing wrong.

“I retired honorably,” he said in an email for the May story.

“I did not commit the alleged allegations. I served my time in the Washington State Patrol and could retire anytime I choose.”

He said he regretted signing the agreement and tried to rescind it but that the State Patrol denied his request.

“As I have admitted, I have made mistakes and probably even stepped on a few toes in my 38 years in law enforcement. Some of these actions I tried to and still wish I could retract,” he said in an email.

“However, I believe it is inaccurate to focus solely on the errors a person made and ignore the many years of hard work that surrounded those incidents.”

Last modified: August 02. 2014 6:07PM
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