Interim Algona police chief released pending theft investigation

The interim police chief of Algona has been released, pending investigation, after an initial court appearance Thursday in a case of alleged theft.

Lee J. Gaskill is accused of stealing more than $7,000 from a fund dedicated to training youth interested in becoming police officers.

The 43-year-old officer was put on paid administrative leave in mid-February, after the city began an administrative review of Gaskill’s conduct.

Mayor Dave Hill said it was during that review that officers brought to their attention some discrepancies in the “Explorer scouts” fund.

Gaskill did not say anything in court, where a judge agreed he could be released home for now.

Court documents released after the hearing show the mayor and city administrator asked the King County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the possible theft.

The document states Gaskill had an ancillary duty as a police Explorer president.

“Upon review of receipts, ledgers, bank statements for the last three years, it was apparent that Gaskill had used a bank account that funded the explorer program for personal use,” according to the document.