Chief: Officer investigation linked to steroids

Chief: Officer investigation linked to steroids

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said Friday the investigation of two of his officers stemmed from the delivery of steroids to their home.

Police revealed Thursday that Detective Mell Taylor and Sgt. Lydia Taylor, a husband and wife, were the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation. Sgt. Taylor was placed on paid administrative leave, Detective Taylor submitted his paperwork for retirement.

Friday, Chief Straub revealed the investigation began when Detective Taylor had steroids delivered to the couple’s home. After he was questioned by the FBI last week, he decided to retire. The investigation into Sgt. Taylor is to determine what she knew about the steroids and whether or not she was using them as well. The Taylors are both bodybuilders.

To begin his news conference, Chief Straub acknowledged that talking about an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation was unusual. But, he did so to refute a report by another Spokane TV station, which linked the Taylors to a longtime Spokane criminal who recently had a relationship with a deputy prosecutor. The chief disputed that claim.

Chief Straub delivered the following statement regarding the Internal Affairs investigations:

“Today’s news conference is a departure from the normal way that we conduct and discuss Internal Affairs investigations. I feel compelled to address inaccuracies in media reports regarding this investigation. Specifically, our Internal Affairs investigation does not indicate any direct connection between Sgt. Lydia Taylor and/or Det. Mell Taylor with Matthew Baumrucker.

“In January 2014, the Spokane Police Department was notified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that Det. Mell Taylor had received a controlled substance, steroids, at his residence.

“Subsequently, we referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They conducted an investigation pertaining to Det. Taylor’s receipt of steroids.

“Last week, after being interviewed by the F.B.I., Det. Taylor advised me that he would retire from the department. I accepted his retirement.

“Det. Taylor honorably served the Spokane community for the past 27 years. During his career, Det. Taylor was the recipient of the Washington State Medal of Honor, the Spokane Police Department Silver Star, the Distinguished Service Medal, and a lifesaving award.

“Sgt. Lydia Taylor is the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation, related in part, to Det. Taylor’s receipt of steroids at their home.

“At this time, the investigation indicates that there are no other Spokane police officers involved in this matter.

“The Spokane Police Department, will not tolerate illegal activity, including the possession and/or use of controlled substances, by any member of the department.”