SEATTLE -- Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is tossing out nearly 100 tickets issued to people caught smoking marijuana in public from January through July, after a majority of them were written by just one police officer.
“The issue here isn’t issuing the citations, it is the reason and the intent behind issuing the citations,” Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Carmen Best said Monday.
The police officer behind many of the tickets -- Randy Jokela -- may have been trying to send a political message, according to Seattle Police Department. Some of the tickets read, "attention: Petey Holmes” and “lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked.”
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole requested all tickets issued by Jokela be dismissed.
The city attorney opted to dismiss every ticket during that time frame.
Investigators are still looking into the matter, and Jokela was reassigned.
When a person is caught smoking pot in public, police officers can issue a warning or a $27 fine. Holmes said officers should educate smokers first and issue tickets last.
"There is no reason that families and people who don't choose to partake in marijuana should be subjected to second hand smoke," said Holmes.
Holmes said the city will refund those who paid the tickets.