WSP: Yakima trooper investigated before for misconduct with a woman

WSP: Yakima trooper investigated before for misconduct with a woman
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima trooper accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a woman he arrested, was involved in an internal investigation last year for misconduct with another woman, KIMA learned.

Trooper Travis Lamb was suspended a week ago and the Washington State Patrol are saying very little.

The criminal investigation is still active.

"Number one is the concern of impropriety. Did this affect the criminal case involving the defendant? Even if it didn't, with the criminal case, does it create an appearance of impropriety?" said Washington State Patrol Spokesperson Robert Calkins.

Investigators confirm Lamb had arrested a woman for a crime, but they won't say who she is, when she was arrested or what for; only to confirm her criminal case has been cleared.

Out of that arrest an alleged relationship developed. WSP will look into whether the woman was pressured in any way.

"When you have someone that has the authority and uniform of a police officer, one of the questions we have to ask is it ever really consensual?” Calkins said.

KIMA dug deeper and found Trooper Lamb was the center of four internal investigations before this latest case.

In fact, this is the second one for misconduct involving a woman. That one was last September.

Documents obtained by KIMA show the trooper stopped a woman and her friend for expired tabs on South First Street in Yakima.

The report indicates the woman apologized then Lamb said, "It’s OK, I thought you looked cute and I wanted to pull you over anyway."

Internal investigators also determined Lamb, “did not run the vehicle license through communication prior to making the traffic stop."

That's against protocol, according to WSP.

Lamb essentially agreed to a plea bargain, though this wasn't a criminal case; he admitted wrongdoing and was guilty of what's called "violating courtesy."

Lamb wasn't guilty of violating the code of ethics and unacceptable conduct, the initial allegations.

These previous cases were all handled internally with WSP But this new accusation is serious enough that it could result in criminal charges.

"We expect our people to maintain an appropriate and arm’s length relationship with those they contact as defendant,” said Calkins.

KIMA reached out to the people involved in Trooper Lamb's previous investigation. They declined an interview.

WSP investigators say their findings in this criminal case will be turned over to local prosecutors after completion. It will be up to them to determine whether to file charges.