Facing criminal charges of false reporting and a report criticizing his shifting stories about a confrontation with a Black newspaper carrier in January, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer has been added to a list of witnesses with credibility problems.

The so-called Brady list is a prosecutor’s roster of law enforcement officers whose conduct means their credibility could be impeached as witnesses in criminal cases.

Adam Faber, a spokesperson for Pierce County prosecutor Mary Robnett, said the decision on Troyer was made Friday by the office’s panel of attorneys that reviews officer honesty issues.

“The committee determined Sheriff Troyer will be added to the list of recurring witnesses with potential impeachment information,” Faber said in an email.

Troyer and an attorney representing him did not immediately respond to requests for comment. He has previously denied wrongdoing and called the criminal charges against him a “politically motivated anti-cop hit job.”

Being “Brady listed,” as it’s sometimes referred to in law-enforcement circles, is viewed as a scarlet letter for cops. The term references a landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland, which holds prosecutors must disclose exculpatory information to defendants.


It means if Troyer were to be called as a witness in a criminal trial, prosecutors would be required to share details of his credibility problems with defense lawyers, who could call his testimony into question.

A Brady listing for a police chief or head sheriff is exceedingly rare, though not unprecedented. Former Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher was added to that county’s Brady list earlier this year amid allegations of retaliation and tampering with evidence, according to the Tri-City Herald. He was recalled by voters in August.

The listing is only the latest repercussion for Troyer — the longtime Pierce County sheriff’s deputy and former media spokesperson who was elected sheriff in November — due to his Jan. 27 decision to follow and then call in a massive police response on Sedrick Altheimer, a newspaper carrier who was delivering papers on his regular route.

In an emergency dispatch call, Troyer, who is white, repeatedly claimed Altheimer, who is Black, had threatened to kill him — but walked that claim back when questioned by a Tacoma police officer, according to a police report.

Troyer was off duty and did not identify himself during the 2 a.m. encounter, saying he’d pursued Altheimer out of suspicion he might have been a prowler.

Since the incident was revealed in March, Troyer has faced widespread criticism and calls for his resignation, which he has rebuffed.


Earlier this month, Troyer was charged by the state Attorney General’s office with misdemeanor counts of false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a civil servant.

Last week, a report by former U.S. Attorney Brian Moran concluded Troyer had violated his own department’s policies on bias-free policing and off-duty conduct. The report was commissioned by the Pierce County Council, and its findings led Councilmember Ryan Mello to publicly call for Troyer’s resignation.

It’s not clear what actions the council could take if Troyer decides to remain in office. He is an independently elected official and does not report to the council.

Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young said the council will discuss the Moran report at a study session on Monday.

Seattle Times staff reporter Lewis Kamb contributed to this report.