A firefighter at Kirkland’s Rose Hill Station 26 who was convicted of two gross misdemeanors has been put on probation by the state Department of Health for not noting the convictions while renewing his emergency medical technician certification.
Patrick McManus, who lives in Issaquah and has been a firefighter since 1989, pleaded guilty to non-felony assault/domestic violence in the fourth degree in late 2008, according to King County Superior Court records. He was convicted of throwing his then-girlfriend to the floor during an argument, grabbing her around the neck with his hands and choking her for about three minutes, the records show.
He also pleaded guilty to third-degree malicious mischief in 2001 in a case involving another girlfriend.
McManus became the subject of a Department of Health investigation in 2011 as the result of a whistleblower complaint filed by a fellow firefighter.
The agency found McManus had replied “No” on his EMT certification renewal form when asked if he had been convicted of a crime. Since he had been convicted of the two crimes, that constituted unprofessional conduct, the DOH ruled, and he was placed on active probation through December 2013.
Department of Health documents show the fellow firefighter became concerned about McManus’ stability after an altercation between the two, during which McManus allegedly screamed at the top of his lungs. The firefighter notified the Department of Health about McManus’ convictions after McManus was promoted to probationary lieutenant just days after the agency began its investigation of him.
According to court records, after the 2008 assault police found the woman with a “reddish, discolored area on the back of her neck,” and she told them she feared for her life.
McManus was originally charged with felony assault but in a plea bargain pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault in October 2008, a gross misdemeanor. He was sentenced in January 2009 to 30 days in jail with credit for time served and work-release, fined $250 and required to obtain domestic violence treatment. Records show he successfully met all of those terms.
McManus told the Kirkland Reporter that he felt victimized by the whistleblower, who is protected by law and whose name has not been disclosed, and harassed by the city of Kirkland. He played down both incidents that led to his convictions, said he had disclosed them both to the city and that he is not a threat to the community.
During the DOH investigation, McManus acknowledged incorrectly filling out the form, first because he thought it referred only to felonies and then because he wasn’t paying attention. But he acknowledged it was wrong for him to incorrectly mark the form.
The city of Kirkland told Patch that McManus is currently employed as a Firefighter 5, but a city spokesperson declined to discuss his case specifically, citing city policy against publicly discussing personnel issues.
But the Kirkland Reporter article said he had been demoted from a probationary position of lieutenant as a result of the DOH investigation. Furthermore, he was suspended for 48 hours without pay for allegedly secretly recording a private meeting with Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett. McManus denied that allegation.