The Tukwila Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into theft allegations involving former board members of the King County Corrections Guild. Five jail employees have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation’s outcome.

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Five former executive board members of the King County Corrections Guild were placed on paid administrative leave this week while Tukwila police investigate allegations the five jail employees used union funds for things like vacations, car repairs and casino visits.

The five — a captain, a sergeant and three corrections officers — are all longtime employees of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD), said department Director William Hayes. Some were informed they were being placed on leave while at work, while others were at home, he said.

The captain, whose rank now makes him ineligible for guild membership, is a past union president, Hayes confirmed. The other four served on the guild’s board for “a significant amount of time” before they were ousted by the membership in the spring, he said.

“The guild contacted us and let us know” about the criminal complaint made to Tukwila police, prompting Hayes to place all five on administrative leave for allegedly violating the DAJD’s code of conduct, he said.

Mike Murphy, a spokesman for Tukwila police, said the police investigation is “still in its infancy” and a detective assigned to the case has yet to receive receipts, statements and other financial documents. The detective will meet next week with the guild’s leaders and accountant to begin compiling information, he said.

In January, a board member was the subject of a theft complaint made by his fellow board members, who withdrew their allegations a day later, saying they would handle the matter internally, Murphy said.

It appears the individuals involved in the January incident — including those who lodged the complaint — are the same county employees now on leave.

The Seattle Times is not naming them because they have not been criminally charged.

On Monday, current guild President Darin Mease sent an email to guild members and other county employees, which was leaked to KIRO 7.

The email provided details of a financial audit into guild accounts between 2009 and 2014, which found at least $150,000 had been improperly used to finance “a chosen lifestyle for the individuals involved.” One former board member also used a guild credit card “in an improper manner,” apparently to include using frequent-flier miles for personal vacations, the email says.

Other expenditures included cash withdrawals at casinos, a trip to Arizona, concert tickets, car repairs and purchases at stores like Wal-Mart, Costco and Best Buy, according to the email.

The guild’s offices are located in Tukwila, which is why the theft allegations are being investigated by Tukwila police. The guild represents roughly 540 sergeants and corrections officers who work at the King County Jail and Youth Services Center in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Asked for further comment, Mease said in an email:

“It is unfortunate that our internal communications regarding this matter was obtained by a member of the media,” he wrote, referencing his Monday email.

The guild’s new leadership team “conducted an audit of our financial records and found evidence of what appears to be misuse of a significant amount of guild funds by some former board members,” Mease wrote. “We have reported this to the Tukwila police and an investigation is under way. As this is an ongoing investigation, we have no further comment.”