By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
The Tenino reserve police officer arrested this week for possession of child porn is the same officer who was getting paid for working there, in violation of a city statute that prohibits payment.
Michael C. Boone, 38, Olympia, was arrested by a state patrol task force on Tuesday, at his workplace, according to authorities. He is a community corrections officer with the state Department of Corrections.
A Thurston County Superior Court judge yesterday set bail at $5,000 after finding probable cause for three counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Boone was ordered not to have any in-person contact with minor children or access the Internet, according to Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris who is handling the case.
Tenino Mayor Bret Brodersen revealed last week that one of the reasons he terminated Police Chief Chief John Hutchings a week earlier was he had recently learned Hutchings added a paid reserve police officer, not approved, not budgeted for and in violation of city statute. The reserve officer collected $10,574 over the previous few months, according to the mayor.
Hutchings was hired by Brodersen’s predecessor in the summer of 2012 and was let go on March 25.
A payroll document obtained from the city of Tenino through a public record request shows Boone earned $10,574 from the time he started with the city until his last pay check or pay period ending on March 20.
He earned $17 per hour, and during his last two-week pay period worked 26 hours, according to the document.
Brodersen said on Tuesday in a news release Boone is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the state patrol’s investigation. The case was handled by the state patrol’s Missing and Exploited Childrens Task Force.
In an email, Brodersen indicated he would not answer reporter’s questions about Boone because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
The mayor hasn’t yet been able to answer when Boone was hired as a reserve officer.
In his March 30 news release discussing reasons for firing the police chief, Brodersen noted the paid assignments to the un-named reserve officer were stopped effective immediately on March 20, and that staff involved in the addition to the payroll had received disciplinary actions and processes were established to prevent it from happening again.
Boone, a married father of two, denied intentionally receiving child porn on his computer, according to the declaration of prosecutor supporting probable cause document filed in Thurston County Superior Court.
The declaration states detectives found three images in a file on his Toshiba laptop when they got a search warrant to seize the computer at Boone’s Olympia home on Tuesday. These were same three images initially reported by Microsoft – as having been noted in Boone’s cloud-type storage – to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the declaration.
According to the declaration, Boone told detectives he viewed adult pornography, and joined Internet groups that traded images and discussed sexual fetishes. He stated he would provide his email address to others to receive pornographic images, and on occasion he opened files that were of girls under 18 and would delete them, according to the declaration.
He was asked if he ever reported the sexually explicit images of children to police or to the Internet site and said no, he probably should have, but didn’t want people to know he viewed porn, the declaration states.
According to the declaration, and to Sgt. James Mjor of the state patrol’s MECTF, security officers at Microsoft noticed the electronic signature of well-known and frequently-traded images of child pornography on Boone’s Microsoft SkyDrive account. They turned the information over to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who reported it on Dec. 19 to the Olympia Police Department.
And, an Olympia detective began investigating the IP address which led to a Comcast cable account registered to Boone’s wife on March 17. Once the detective learned Boone lived at the same address, the Olympia Police Department referred the case to the state patrol task force, because Olympia police have a working relationship with Boone, as a community corrections officer and an Tenino reserve officer.
The state patrol’s MECTF got the case on Friday.
Prosecutor Juris said he has until 5 p.m. tomorrow to file formal charges.
For background, read “Microsoft tip leads to child porn arrest of Tenino officer, prison system employee” from Tuesday April 7, 2015, here