After having his hearing delayed twice, a fired Bellingham police detective accused of misusing public funds is expected to make his first appearance in court on felony and gross misdemeanor charges in early December.
Skagit County prosecutors charged Adam (Bo) Stanton McGinty, 42, Oct. 16 in Whatcom County Superior Court with one count each of misappropriation or falsification of accounts by a public officer (a felony), official misconduct (a gross misdemeanor) and third-degree theft (a gross misdemeanor).
If convicted, McGinty faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, in addition to restitution, assessments and court costs, according to court records.
Skagit County prosecutors are handling the case due to conflicts of interest.
McGinty was initially expected to make his first appearance in court Nov. 3, but the hearing was later rescheduled to Nov. 17.
McGinty’s first appearance and arraignment were then rescheduled a second time, to Friday, Dec. 8, after he voluntarily waived his right to a speedy arraignment. Both the prosecution and defense attorneys were in agreement to continue the hearing to early December, court documents show.
When reached by phone Friday, Nov. 17 by The Bellingham Herald, Skagit County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nathaniel Block declined to comment on the case or the delays due to the ethical rules regarding pending litigation.
The Herald has reached out to McGinty’s defense attorney for comment and information.
McGinty, who was the lead Bellingham Police Department detective who spent more than a year investigating a female high school student’s sexual assault allegations and three Bellingham Public School administrators’ alleged failures to report the assaults, himself became the subject of an internal administrative investigation and criminal investigation in mid-May.
McGinty is accused of allegedly misusing public funds by using another officer’s dry cleaning stipend. The dry cleaning stipend is offered to employees as part of their collective bargaining agreement.
McGinty allegedly used another detective’s name to obtain $750.98 worth of additional dry cleaning services across 17 months in 2022 and 2023, according to court records. The other detective was allegedly not using the dry cleaning services during this time, court documents state.
Bellingham police started its internal affairs investigation into McGinty on May 18, and he was placed on paid administrative leave June 7.
The internal investigation was completed July 21, and the recommended discipline for McGinty was termination. McGinty was also placed on a dishonest officers list around this time, The Herald previously reported.
Bellingham Police Chief Rebecca Mertzig then fired McGinty, effective immediately, on Friday, Aug. 18.
McGinty, who was part of the special victims unit, had been with Bellingham police since March 1, 2015. He was promoted to detective in January 2018 and was previously Bellingham Public Schools’ resource officer.