SPOKANE - Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hirzel is under investigation, not because of the deadly shooting at the Plant Farm last month, but because of a sideline business where he and his wife may have been selling sex toys online from their home.
It appears that Deputy Hirzel may have been involved in an online business that sells adult novelty items. While peddling sex toys is legal it may be a violation of Spokane County Sheriff's Office departmental policy and something the department had no idea the Hirzels were doing.
As Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives wait for the forensic lab work that will help them better understand the confrontation between Deputy Hirzel and Scott Creach at the Plant Farm on August 25 the investigation is now delving deeper into Hirzel's character.
The deputy has been widely panned for taking a pre-scheduled vacation the day after the fatal shooting. Now it appears Hirzel and or his wife ran an online company out of their Hayden, Idaho home that sells sex toys. Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is disturbed about this latest revelation.
"We have certain policies and procedures that need to be followed and there are certain businesses that we do not allow people to be in," Sheriff Knezovich said Monday afternoon.
The company is called "Vanessa Allure" Vanessa is Deputy Hirzel's wife's middle name and according to an ad in the Yellow Pages that firm sells lotions, vibrators and other devices associated with the sex toy industry. Documents filed with the Idaho Secretary of State's office in 2008 lists the people operating "Vanessa Alure" as Brian and Silvana Hirzel.
The company is registered to the couple's Hayden home which is now vacant and went up for sale in July.
That's also the same address where the couple asked any correspondence from the state be sent although they requested just their first and middle initials appear on the envelope. It appears the paper work was signed by Mrs. Hirzel and she lists herself as a partner in the business.
While "Vanessa Allure" may not be relevant to Deputy Hirzel's use of force in the Plant Farm incident it may be a violation of departmental policy and he has been asked to explain his involvement in the business.
"We are actively investigating this," Sheriff Knezovich said. "I have two command staff that are working on that investigation and part of that investigation will be interviewing Deputy Hirzel concerning this."
Sheriff Knezovich says his investigators now want to talk with anyone who might be familiar with the couple's online store.
Deputy Hirzel will remain on paid leave at least until this case is forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutor Steve Tucker has said reviewing the case and deciding if any laws have been broken is one of his top priorities.
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