Community Comment

When will the guilty be held accountable?

Good evening, Netizens...

At some considerable risk of having this message zotted by my handlers, I am going to post this message from former Sheriff Tony Bamonte to Tim Durkin, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. I am posting it verbatim, in its entirety, in the hopes that others might read and carefully consider Mr. Bamonte's impeccable comments regarding the murder of Otto Zehm. I knew from the beginning that something was horribly wrong about the initial police version of what had transpired, and recent developments make me even more certain we were misled from the beginning.

So, without further ado, here is former Sheriff Tony Bamonte's letter:

Dear Mr. Durkin:

Please accept this correspondence as a formal complaint against the following people: Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane City Attorney Howard Delaney, and assistant city attorney Rocky Trepeddi. I am making my complaint to you because of your involvement and knowledge about the Zehm case. I ask that you forward this complaint to the attorney general for his approval. I believe you already have strong evidence to prove that, in harmony with each other, the above community leaders have conspired to mislead and have deceived the public for over five years. This concerns what appears to be the brutal killing of an innocent citizen by a police officer. The evidence of this has been overwhelming and exceptionally clear. I am especially concerned about Mayor Verner’s conduct in the case. In her position she is the only public official in the city with the power to remove the city attorney and the police chief for criminal behavior, yet, to this date, has taken no action of any kind.

Most important, in the positions each of these officials occupy, it was their duty to find and know the truth and protect the public. Instead, I allege each one of them knew the truth, yet in violation of their oaths and with complete disregard for the public’s welfare, publicly lied and concealed this felony crime. Further, I believe that the officers involved had to have been directed by their legal council to lie. The complicity of Mayor Verner and Chief Kirkpatrick is profound. Their failure to know the facts behind this case is unbelievable as they are both attorneys involved in one of Spokane’s largest scandals. Why would the mayor of Washington’s second largest city, make the public statement "In my opinion, ... I just don’t think that the behavior of the officer rose to criminal behavior"?

In her position, this was a criminal act and violation of her oath of office in a direct attempt to deceive the public. I am a 25-year veteran of law enforcement, having served eight years on the Spokane Police Department and 12 years as the elected sheriff of Pend Oreille County. Consequently, I clearly recognize how government works, who will have the facts as fast as they become available, and who makes the decisions in high-profile cases such as this. This constitutes a number of criminal acts and is willful and wanton disregard for the safety of our community by Mayor Verner.

There is an established pattern of Spokane’s public officials lying to the public and committing serious crimes that go uncharged or prosecuted. Now, you have irrefutable evidence that Spokane’s top officials have became part of a cover-up by our police department of a senseless killing. It appears they will not have to answer for their crimes. It looks that Deputy Nicks struck a deal to protect the main suspects. I hope that’s not the case.

Again, please accept this letter as a formal complaint to investigate and charge these public officials with violating whatever laws they have broken – the list is long.


Tony Bamonte



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.



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