"In the aftermath of violent acts by protest marchers in 2008 and 2010 in downtown Olympia, we stated repeatedly that neither The Olympian nor Tony Overman, our photographer who covered the protests, ever supplied unpublished photos of protesters to police," Wakefield wrote. "That's not true. We regret that we misled our readers."
Overman violated the paper's policy of refusing to give police photos that have not been published.
"We are not an arm of any law-enforcement agency," Wakefield wrote.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, on Tuesday declined to say how the photographer would be disciplined, saying "that's a personnel matter and we wouldn't discuss it."
The photos Overman shared with police eventually were published.
"But at the time police viewed them, they existed only on Tony's digital camera," Wakefield wrote. "By omitting those facts, he misled our readers, as well as his editors and colleagues."
The paper again said in June that unpublished photos were not giving to police, after Overman's home was vandalized with a painted anarchy symbol and the words "Overman snitch." The Olympian's building also was defaced.
Overman later disclosed to an Olympian reporter that he had shown the photos to police. The reporter was writing about self-described anarchists, who are involved in protests or who have taken responsibility for vandalism against banks and other businesses or police property.
"The problem that I'm wrestling with is that I did the right thing as a citizen and I did the wrong thing as a journalist," Overman said.
"Over the years he has worked in Olympia, Tony has earned the respect of his colleagues and many people in the community for his excellent photography and his professionalism," Wakefield wrote. "I'm convinced that these incidents represent an aberration in an otherwise unblemished career. Tony will be the subject of a disciplinary action. Then we'll move beyond this, and Tony will be back out again doing what he does best - reflecting our community through the lens of his camera."