Algona's former interim police chief arrested in theft of youth program money

ALGONA, Wash.  -- The recent police chief in Algona has been arrested in the theft of money from a youth program.

David Hill, the mayor in the city of 3,000 people near Auburn, says Lt. Lee Gaskill was arrested by King County sheriff's deputies Wednesday.

"There’s been a lot of revelations that just stunned me," said Hill. "I had no idea and no suspicion that they (allegations) were as bad as what came out."

Gaskill had served nine months as Algona's interim police chief, but was removed about three weeks ago as the investigation progressed.

Hill said a tip from another officer led to the investigation, and the theft accusations.

"It’s shocking when someone you know has done something you did not suspect."

The sheriff's office said it reviewed receipts, ledgers and bank accounts for the city's police explorer program after city employees became suspicious. Neither the mayor nor the sheriff's office immediately disclosed how much money was missing.

The program was created by Gaskill for young men and women interested in a career in law enforcement. Participants undergo training with some uniformed officers and help provide traffic control at the Algona Day parade each July.