Two Middleton police officers have resigned amidst allegations of misconduct. Sgt. Steve Walker and Officer Robert Kightlinger had been on administrative leave since May. The Owyhee County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said the two would not face criminal charges in the case.
"The information we’ve received from the prosecuting attorney’s office is there’s no probable cause for charges to be brought based on criminal statutes," said Middleton Mayor Darin Taylor.
Taylor said the claims of misconduct stemmed from a report of domestic violence. But neither Walker nor Kightlinger were the responding officers to that call. Instead, the alleged misconduct is said to have taken place after the fact.
"The allegations really had to do with what officers did with information that was in the officers' possession. And did the officers misuse that information? Or use it for personal benefit or gain?" said Taylor.
There is still a chance the city of Middleton could face a civil suit in the case.
"The city has received a notice of tort claim from the people who are alleging damage," said Taylor. "That’s just a notice that hey, we may or may not sue."
Meanwhile, Taylor said that some of the actions of the officers were inconsistent with the city’s employee policies.
"We were able to visit with each of the officers who have now resigned from the police force and are no longer working for the city of Middleton," said Taylor.
The question now is where does the Middleton Police Department go from here? This already small force of five on-duty officers, is now down to just three.
"We’re going to advertise for those positions and hire their replacements," said Middleton Police Chief Brian Zimmerman. "It will not affect the service we provide for Middleton. We’re still here 24/7 taking calls and trying to keep the peace and trying to keep it safe."
Zimmerman says that the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office has helped out during this time by providing his department with additional officers when needed.