Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday, the Yakima County prosecutor's office said it is moving forward with three charges against Sunnyside Interim City Manager Frank Sweet.
Prosecutor Jim Hagarty is charging Sweet with one count of injury to public records, one count of second degree theft or in the alternative second degree possession of stolen property, and one count of third degree theft or in the alternative third degree possession of stolen property.
Selah police on Tuesday initially sought five charges against Sweet, including separate counts for theft and possession of stolen property. They claim he stole a laptop computer and external hard drive before leaving Selah City Hall in January of this year. Police also claim Sweet destroyed and stole official city documents.
Sweet is scheduled to appear for arraignment in Yakima County Superior Court on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 1:30 p.m. in the basement of the county jail.
Sweet's attorney, Tyler Firkins, has indicated his client will seek to dismiss the counts "...because the facts don't support the charge."
Susan Arb is the county's senior deputy prosecuting attorney, and she says a defense motion to dismiss would likely take place after the arraignment.
"Motions to dismiss are typically not filed until after the arraignment," Arb says. "I've never seen the court allow a motion to dismiss be argued at arraignment - always in the past, such motions have been set for hearing on another day."
The Sunnyside City Council on Wednesday of this week decided to stay with Sweet as its interim city manager following an executive session.
The city continues to stand by Sweet in the face of charges filed yesterday.
"At this point in time he is our acting city manager and there is no meeting planned to do anything different than what we're doing right now," Mayor Mike Farmer said this morning, Friday. "He has the support of all council members at this time."