Former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran has agreed to conduct an independent investigation of Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Council announced Tuesday.

Derek Young, the council chair, announced an agreement with Moran at a council meeting. The investigation was prompted by the Troyer’s controversial Jan. 27 confrontation with a Black newspaper carrier.

After following the carrier in his SUV, Troyer called in a massive police response, telling an emergency dispatcher that the carrier, 24-year-old Sedrick Altheimer, was threatening to kill him. After questioning by Tacoma police, Troyer walked back that claim, according to a police incident report.

Troyer, who has welcomed the independent investigation, maintains he was threatened but says he didn’t want to pursue charges. Tacoma police have stood by their incident report.

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The review by Moran will examine whether Troyer misused his authority, committed a crime, or deviated from professional standards, including honesty, and whether he has a pattern of such violations.

The council last week authorized $50,000 for the investigation of Troyer, offering the contract to Moran. After a short negotiation, he agreed to conduct the probe, according to a council news release.

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Under the contract, Moran will be able to exercise the council’s authority to subpoena witnesses and evidence, and take testimony under oath. After the investigation is complete, Moran will deliver a report to the council with findings and potential disciplinary actions. No timeline was mentioned in the council release.

Moran served as the top federal prosecutor in Seattle from January 2019 through February of this year. He previously spent 15 years at the Washington attorney general’s office, rising to chief deputy attorney general. He recently returned to private practice at the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he’d worked six years before his stint as U.S. Attorney.

In a statement, Young said the contract with Moran furthers the goal “of having a truly independent investigation, while also providing accountability to the Council and the public we serve.”