Vancouver Police sergeant Duane McNicholas is the latest officer to be disciplined following an investigation into the mismanagement of confidential informant, Tegan Rushworth. As reported by The Columbian, Rushworth, an attractive former Fort Vancouver Rodeo Queen turned methamphetamine user, was working for the police department as a confidential informant. Her handler, Erik McGarrity, engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with her. It appears that McGarrity and the other three officers failed to arrest Rushworth despite a warrant being issued for her arrest.
This case illustrates the need for law enforcement agencies to implement robust authorization and management procedures for the use of confidential informants. Proper risk management and management oversight would probably have prevented this embarrassing incident which, as VPD Cmdr. Dave King noted, put the department in potentially litigious situations and allowed the credibility of the agency to be impacted.