Law enforcement and County keeping tight lid on Hagarty case

Law enforcement and County keeping tight lid on Hagarty case »Play Video
YAKIMA - It's a day of embarrassment for the man elected to put criminals behind bars. KIMA was the first to tell you Tuesday night about the arrest of Yakima County Prosecutor Jim Hagarty on suspicion of drunk driving.

Officers caught up with Hagarty in Selah after they say he rear-ended another car.

Roughly 12 hours after his truck was impounded, Yakima County Prosecutor Jim Hagarty showed up at a Union Gap tow yard to pick up his impounded truck.

Tuesday night he was taken to the Yakima County Jail on a suspected DUI charge.

The other driver wasn't hurt, but the accident caused noticeable damage to the front of Hagarty's truck.

Despite multiple attempts to multiple agencies, no one was willing to release his blood alcohol level at the time of arrest.

We do know this; he was not required to go to detox, which is required of anyone with a BAC at .25 or higher.

Selah police tells Action News that the accident happened off 823, roughly near McDonalds and Goodwill.

We learned later on that he wasn't actually booked into the county jail, just given the breathalyzer in their "sally-port."

That's the area where law enforcement cars first pull into the jail.

Hagarty was first taken to Washington State Patrol’s station in Union Gap, but a malfunctioning breathalyzer meant a trip to the county jail.

WSP says from there, Hagarty was processed then released.

If you're wondering if this was special treatment because of his position, KIMA learned it's up to State Patrol's discretion on who is booked into jail for a DUI.

"We've got someone in the community, who's not a flight risk," said Washington State Patrol Lt. Terry Leibrecht. "He was very cooperative and those considerations were taken into play on this when the decision was made whether or not we were going to place him in jail."

But what has been separate treatment is the releasing of information about this case.

Law enforcement says the overall investigation process wasn't any different for Hagarty, but it's not every day multiple media sources are asking for information on a non-injury accident.

KIMA contacted a local defense attorney and discovered what the consequences of DUI could be fore the average person.

"You might lose your job, especially if you need your driver's license for your job," said Yakima attorney Christopher Tait. "And if you report to prospective employers, as you search for employment and say, yes I have a DUI, they may not take you and may just slide your app to the bottom of the stack.

But right now, Hagarty is still on the job.

And despite facing serious charges he hasn't been convicted of anything.

If Hagarty is convicted of DUI, there are a few different punishments it could bring.

If his breath alcohol sample was below 1.5%, it could include a day in jail, a three-month suspension of his license and about a thousand dollars in court costs.

In either case, a conviction would mean adding an ignition interlock to his car for one year and added insurance for three years.

There could also be more costs because the arrest came after an accident.

The money would repay the driver who was hit and the agencies that responded.