By BRIAN WALKER
COEUR d'ALENE — Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Capt. Dan Soumas, who has served with the department for 34 years, was terminated from the agency on Tuesday.
"Dan no longer works at the sheriff's office, and that's all I can say with it being a personnel matter," Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said. "I have my hands tied (about making further comments) without written permission from him."
Both Wolfinger and Soumas told The Press the termination was not due to any criminal wrongdoing.
Soumas said the action was due to the current reorganization the KCSO is going through.
"The department is going through a reorganization now, they had one captain too many so I'm not there," he said, declining to elaborate on more specifics.
An inter-office memo to KCSO personnel states: "Captain Dan Soumas has been terminated from employment effective immediately and is prohibited from accessing the non-public areas of the sheriff's office without an official escort. Soumas is no longer authorized to take actions as a peace officer."
Wolfinger said that is a standard message issued to employees when someone no longer works at the department.
Soumas said he's disappointed about the decision and he was proud to serve for the department and county.
"It's been a privilege and honor to serve the community," he said. "I've always had the community's interest at heart."
Soumas served in multiple volunteer and seasonal positions, including search and rescue, patrol reserve and marine deputy, from 1983 to 1988.
He started working for the KCSO full time in 1988. His positions have included patrol deputy, field training officer, detective, sergeant, patrol watch commander, administrative sergeant, recreation safety and dive rescue team commander, lieutenant and captain.
Most recently, he was captain of the Investigations Division, overseeing 16 sworn personnel and three civilians.
Soumas holds Advance Peace Officer, Supervisor and Management certificates from Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). He is a graduate of the 216th session of the FBI National Academy and the 2002 Leadership Coeur d'Alene class.