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Posts tagged: Spokane Police Department

Is this a harmless coincidence?

Good morning, Netizens…

 

Is this a coincidence or not?

 

I've never met Tom Clouse, a reporter for the Spokesman-Review, although if I did manage to meet him, I'd thank him for the good job he did covering the Otto Zehm trial in far-off Yakima, maybe even take him out for coffee. He led the Spokesman’s coverage of Otto Zehm’s death at the hands of Spokane police and the subsequent trial and conviction of Officer Karl F. Thompson.

 

While he was covering the trial in Yakima, somebody stole his big Ford F-250 from his driveway, and looted his entire house, from top to bottom. All kinds of stuff missing: a World War II sidearm, his late wife's jewelry, Bic lighters and perhaps more. According to the Inlander story, one of the ostensible burglars even gnawed on a piece of purloined cheese from the kitchen and left the remnants on the crime scene. As you can perhaps tell, we really have high-class health-conscious burglars here in Spokane.

 

To his credit, Clouse did attempt to get the Spokane Police to take evidence from the crime scene for DNA testing, but police, even the FBI, refused. According to the Inlander story, they haven't even gotten around to sending the fingerprints out for testing. I'd be steamed if I was the victim.

 

The $42,000 in losses at Clouse's house were all covered by insurance. That won't bring back all of his late wife's jewelry, her mother’s jewelry and grandmother’s jewelry, including the wedding rings. There was already a big hole in Clouse's life because he recently observed the second anniversary of his late wife's death. Of course if you are a crook, you hit a man when he's down, before he can stand up and face you.

 

But the Clouse burglary is only one of what I think is more than a coincidence.

 

Burglars also ostensibly hit Attorney Breean Beggs, who has represented the Otto Zehm family since 2009, as was civil attorney Jeffry Finer.

 

None of the usual talking heads, including Mayor David Condon, will meaningfully comment on the likelihood that these crimes against three people who have worked exhaustively on the Otto Zehm case, could possibly be retribution.

 

Is this a coincidence? It certainly doesn't seem that way, does it? Of course, your results may differ. Portions of this story were excerpted all or in part from The Inlander.

 

Dave

Justice for Otto Zehm? I question that…

Good morning, Netizens…

 

This belated greetings comes to you after a marathon 19 hour work day, which was preceded by another killer of a day just before it. Somehow, through the miracle of the Internet, I have been closely following the various Twitter feeds from Yakima in the Otto Zehm affair, and I must admit, as excellent as the reporting has been my stomach has suffered recurring bouts of serious upset as I suspect, although I cannot prove beyond a question of a doubt, that this entire case, rather than a search for the truth of the murder of Otto Zehm, is a search for ways to find everyone involved, from Karl Thompson to Mayor Queen Mary Verner not guilty of any malfeasance, and leaving their hands as lily-white as snow.

 

The facts, such as they are, in the form of the grainy video from the Zip Trip Store, are just vague enough that I question whether they will ever find Karl Thompson guilty, much less all the others who played roles in this ongoing travesty of justice. People lied. Others, including Rocky Treppiedi, tried to circumvent or at least bend the will of the Grand Jury to their goals of thwarting justice.

 

Of course, few of these transgressions will ever be brought before a judge and jury. That, in my opinion, is the unfortunate and miserably sad truth of the trial of Karl Thompson. Even if they succeed in finding Thompson guilty, the “big fish” have skated away unscathed and thus justice for Otto Zehm has not been served.

 

In my opinion, it is time to overhaul the system. Of course, your opinions could differ.

 

Dave

Officer-involved shooting on South Hill…

Good morning, Netizens…

 

We have another Spokane Police Department office-involved shooting, dammit!

 

Although clinical details are somewhat lacking, a solitary man, ostensibly 45 year-old James Rogers according to family members quoted by KREM-2, was employed by S.L. Start, a firm that helps handicapped people, and began making suicidal threats at his workplace. When police were summoned, Rogers fled in a van which overturned at 7th and Hatch where Officers say the man refused to come out and continued his suicidal threats. For reasons that remain unclear, eventually police fired their guns, killing Rogers. At the present time, there is no evidence that Adams fired his shotgun which, according to family members, contained one shell and did not work.

 

What is known is that family members were present at the scene, and had attempted to tell officers that Rogers had mental issues, and was suicidal. Police officers shot Rogers without any explanation.

 

The man's father said his son had been dealing with depression and high stress the last few days. The father also said his son stole his van and shotgun from his house earlier in the day.

 

Rogers was an ex-military police officer who served in the Army and got out in 1994.

 

Investigators from the Spokane County Sheriff's Department, Spokane City Police and the Washington State Patrol were in charge of the crime scene, as of this morning, and Hatch Road is closed at the crime scene until further notice.

 

Not even Spokane Police Department's Public Relations Officer, Jennifer DeRuwe had an explanation for police actions, other than Rogers posed a threat to the public. I supposed that if a person were mentally distressed and armed with a dysfunctional shotgun, Spokane Police seem to have a history of posing a threat to citizens.

 

Of course, your results may differ.

 

Dave

Have the wheels fallen off the cart?

Good morning, Netizens…

 

In case you haven't been following recent news surrounding the Otto Zehm murder investigation, yesterday events got even more harried, hectic and somewhat misleading than they have been in recent times, especially from the perspective of Mayor Queen Mary Verner and various City Hall luminaries which will be mentioned by name as this article progresses. It has been nearly five years since Otto Zehm was murdered by the Spokane Police Department in a North Side Zip Trip store, and the details of how Otto met his demise have been in what appears to be a constant state of flux, depending upon whom was making the statements.

 

The search for truth has expanded its sphere from the various investigative officers of the Spokane Police Department to include Queen Mary Verner, City Attorney Howard Delaney Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to name a few. Unfortunately, now the tale of Otto Zehm has even reached the offices of the U.S. Attorney's office, and this is where, in the words of retired detective Ron Wright, “the wheels began to fall off the cart.”

 

David Condon, Verner's political opponent in the upcoming election, already had opened up a can of worms when he stated earlier in the week that the upcoming trial of Karl Thompson would serve as “an indictment” of City Government. Yesterday, when Mayor Verner scheduled her press conference, she had no stated reason for excluding Councilman Bob Apple from the list of Council members Verner had invited to attend, but Apple showed up of his own accord and wasted little time in asking why Verner had waited so long to pursue an investigation into the Zehm affair.

 

Is there a coverup unfolding in City Hall, as some have suggested? Is there a lack of transparency in City Government, as others have suggested? Have the wheels fallen off the cart of City Government? Has there been a coverup of the facts surrounding the murder of Otto Zehm?

 

At least from my perspective, it would seem so. Of course, your results and opinions may differ.

 

Dave

 

Pop the lid on the box and see what falls out…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

 

Like a vaunted knight of old, I have been futilely railing at Queen Mary Verner, Joe Shogun, Rocky Treppiedi, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and a host of other high-ranking city officials for what may seem like a lifetime to some, and until very recently, it would seem that I was wasting my breath and time. However, in today's paper, someone lit the fuse beneath Jonathan Brunt, reporter for the Spokesman-Review, and he posted what I feel is one of the most-informative, honest and dead-on stories about the murder of Otto Zehm since this entire ugly affair first hit our fair city.

 

We are getting closer to the truth, and Brunt may have shown us the pathway to follow. Read the entire piece, including the comments (of which there are many) here:

 

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/aug/28/feds-sought-meetings-with-city-leaders-on-zehm/

 

As in most criminal affairs, it all comes down to who knew, when did they know and why is it only now we, the citizens, are hearing bits and pieces of the truth?

 

The citizens of our fair city can either sit on their hams and watch City Hall rearrange the facts to suit themselves, thus keeping the people in the dark, or the citizens can take action at the ballot box. One way or the other, it is time for action. Of course, your thoughts on this matter may differ.

 

Dave

The truth about Otto Zehm emerges…finally.

Good morning, Netizens…

 

To quote the Spokesman-Review's Shawn Vestal, in speaking of Jim Nicks' erratic and misleading trip to the truth regarding the death of Otto Zehm, “It took just five years, 20 weeks and a day.” That, folks, is just too damned long for a so-called leader of Spokane's Police Department, let alone any leader of government.

 

Oh, I am reasonably certain, given the opportunity, to reel his statements made at the time, Jim Nicks would probably gleefully take back everything he said about Officer Karl Thompson's assault on Otto Zehm, but this that isn't going to happen. The cat is out of the bag, and the truth is pretty ugly. A police officer, our Acting Chief at the time, lied to everyone, either by omission or by intent. He should have looked carefully at the videotape from the Zip Trip before he opened his mouth, and he did not.

 

Shawn Vestal's fact-filled article, which is located at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/aug/10/shawn-vestal-truth-about-zehm-sure-took-a-while/ pretty much says it all.

 

For the sake of absolute clarity, what this is not about is the rank-and-file policemen and policewomen who put their lives on the line every day in their performance of their duties. Their thankless and often dangerous job is a mean, ugly job. They serve as human garbage disposal experts combined with social workers extraordinaire; they deal with the dregs of society that none of us are capable nor eager to contend with, and yet deal with compassion with those of society in need. That pretty much describes their jobs, and I, for one, will not disparage their efforts.

 

No, the Otto Zehm death is all about a handful of police commanders who lied, and perhaps even attempted to cover it up. Particularly the lies started with Jim Nicks and Karl Thompson. In the words of our current police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, “You lie, you die.” Will anyone in Spokane's City government have the temerity to hold Kirkpatrick to her word?

 

It is time to excise the cancer. Five years is too long to wait.

 

Dave

Olsen skates while Shonto Pete gets a headache…

Good evening, Netizens…

 

I'm mad as hell about the court ruling on behalf of former police officer Jay Olsen but I don't know if there is anything anyone can lawfully do about it at this late stage of the game. Olsen purportedly shot Shonto Pete in the head after a night drinking at Dempsey's, stating that he believed Pete had attempted to steal Olsen's pickup truck, although no evidence was ever brought forth to support such a charge. Olsen later quit the police force before Chief Anne Kirkpatrick could decide whether to fire him because of the charges against him.

 

When criminal charges against Olsen were dropped for lack of evidence, Shonto Pete attempted to file civil charges against Olsen and the City of Spokane and that, too, has now been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Edward F. Shea upon a motion by Olsen's legal counsel.

 

Perhaps Shonto Pete said it best as he was leaving the court room when he stated in part, “That’s what you call justice? Justice is a joke.”

 

It does not seem to me that there will be any justice for Shonto Pete, much less anyone else who comes across a drunken Spokane City Police Officer. Approach at your own risk. Of course, your beliefs may differ.

 

Dave

e-mail to Chief Kirkpatrick blocked as SPAM…

Good morning, Netizens…


Let us take a brief aside from the business of the holiday season to examine something that Detective Ron Wright brought to my attention recently. Now I have to admit that Detective Wright can be, at times, problematic, as he has a stubborn and dedicated opinion set; but one of the more recent complaints he has lodged is that the Spokane Police Department routinely blocks his e-mail address. E-mail sent from Detective Wright to Chief Anne Kirkpatrick (and other members of City Hall) are routinely blocked by City Hall’s anti-SPAM filter which, to my way of seeing it, is highly-questionable if not illegal.


The rejection of Wright’s e-mail was confirmed by an e-mail sent to Wright by Cylas Engeland of the City’s MIS Department. It was also sent to Larry Shook whose e-mail was, for a time, blocked, as well.


Is this an open government issue? It does seem so, given that Wright was attempting to communicate with Chief Kirkpatrick regarding the Scott Creach shooting in the Spokane Valley. I was able to confirm that through Ernie Creach, Scott Creach’s son.


What is equally interesting is that nothing regarding this set of events has appeared in the Spokane news media.


I will revisit this as circumstances change.


Dave





How close we came to a disaster Friday…

 Good evening, Netizens…


A single man was armed with a shotgun, and half a dozen or more police officers were shooting at him. One would reasonably conclude that the shooter would be riddled with bullet holes, but not according to the autopsy report. According to the Medical Examiners report, the man with the shotgun had just two bullet holes in his body. Witnesses and audio tapes of the shooting all show perhaps as many as 40 shots being fired by police. There were bullet holes in surrounding houses.


On the other hand, a KREM-TV report states there were 29 bullet holes in a building owned by the Spokane Tribe of Indians on Northwest Boulevard. Today, simply because I was curious, I went and looked at the building in question, and I could plainly see the bullet holes in their building and numerous windows.


The question that immediately arose is are the Spokane Police that deplorable at shooting? Even as a young man, I was taught to always make certain I had a good field of fire before pulling the trigger, making certain there was nothing behind or near my target which could be hit by gunfire. Until now, I presumed they taught young students at the Police Academy the same common-sense rule. Get a good field of fire and make certain of your target before you pull the trigger.


While I was visiting the building, I was also able to verify that college students and school-age children regularly use the facility. In fact, on most normal Fridays, students would have been present in the room where a hail of police bullets came through the windows. It didn’t take any imagination at all to conceive of wounded children being sprayed by police bullets. We could have easily had a major disaster here, narrowly averting it only because the kids were not in class that day.


Something is wrong here, folks, but don’t hold your breath awaiting justice.


It seems unlikely that any of the police officers who are on administrative leave are going to be charged. The bullets that went through the windows or outer walls were anonymous, much the same as they would have been had they hit students in the room.


Dave

Spokane Police Guild says hell no to compromise…

Good morning, Netizens…


We knew the Spokane Police Guild was never our friends. In fact, as proven in numerous instances, they are very much arrogantly a power unto their own, despite what anyone says to the contrary. Now that the City of Spokane is down to cutting jobs as a last-ditch effort to balance the budget, you might think that the Guild would be saying something to the Mayor akin to, “How can we help? What can we do to avoid cutting jobs from the department?”


That doesn’t seem possible based upon what written by Ernie Wuthrich, the head of the Spokane Police Guild, in a letter to Mayor Mary Verner. He has said no way. This is not a good thing.


According to the Spokesman-Reviews’ Shawn Vestal at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/sep/24/alleged-givebacks-are-a-cop-out-its-time-for-a/ there is an alternative to laying off police officers. Give back some of the planned pay raises for police in 2011 and pay a bigger proportion of the medical insurance. Wuthrich has already stated that if the job cuts in the police department take place, the Police Guild will “lawyer up” and file a complaint with labor relations.


It is painfully-obvious that the Guild will have to take a few cuts in pay increases and pay a bit more into their medical insurance or else sacrifice police officers’ jobs. A lot of other people in City Hall have already taken cuts; it seems certain that unless cuts are made, men and women of the Spokane Police Department will lose their jobs.


Accepting pay cuts seems like a good compromise, but the Guild has never been known as one to compromise, even when the stakes are high.


Dave

Sgt. Jim Faddis retires

Good morning, Netizens…


A rumor that I heard two weeks ago, that Sgt. Jim Faddis of the Spokane Police Department was seen in City Hall in an area where he would have been inquiring about his retirement benefits, is true. It was confirmed yesterday by a story about the retirement of Detective Jerry Keller, here: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/dec/13/no-longer-a-lawman-but-still-an-advocate/


Detective Faddis has retired, and although I will not speculate on how long he has been a police officer, nor how many awards he has won for excellence, this brings to a close the unfortunate personal relationship between he and I. I first met Sgt. Jim Faddis when he was playing Bluegrass Music at various events throughout a three-state area. He was one of the most-gifted musicians I had met in several decades, with a dead-on “high lonesome” voice valued by Bluegrass aficionados and had a repertoire covering a wide variety of musical genres, from Rock and Roll to Folk, Bluegrass and back again.


He eventually began posting in Community Comment, and despite the number of vituperative comments made about Police Officers, he and several other officers for a brief period of time gave our readers a meaningful insight into how police perceive the public, something that is still desperately needed today.


In retrospect, Jim Faddis was a good cop. I truly will miss him, but I imagine he is putting as much distance between himself and the Spokane Police Department as he can.


Dave

Compassion for all…

Good morning, Netizens…


I am not going to waste a lot of breath this morning, mourning the passage of Maurice Clemmons. There are enough facts in place to convince me he was the sole gunman who killed the four Lakewood Police Officers in a coffee shop and ultimately was killed by a Seattle Police officer.


There are several things about this tragic loss of human lives, however, which bear close scrutiny and further introspection. I am already sick to death of hearing the comparisons between the deaths of both the four police officers and Maurice Clemmons as having any association whatsoever with the death of Otto Zehm. The Zehm case stands as a travesty of justice, one which time perhaps will bring to closure. Unfortunately that remains to be seen. Zehm’s death created a huge rift in our community between our police and the public they serve. It created a credibility chasm which still is being resolved.


The killing of four Lakewood Police Officers was premeditated, calculated murder; nothing more, nothing less. Clemmons had bragged to his associates before-the-fact for them to watch the news, because he was going to kill some cops, and he did. If an alert, aware Seattle Police Officer had not been on guard, Clemmons might have claimed yet another victim.


Tiffany Ryan, who works in the Spokane Police Department records division, as the sister of slain Lakewood Police Officer Tina Griswold, became a bystander to chaos. I think this video, courtesy of the Spokesman-Review, speaks more eloquently about the heartbreak and sadness she is enduring than anything I could say.


http://www.spokesman.com/video/2009/nov/30/tiffany-ryan-speaks-about-loss-her-sister/


If you watch this video closely you will undoubtedly detect a note of emotional support and compassion between Chief Kirkpatrick and Tiffany Ryan, as is rightfully so. This wellspring of humanity between our Chief of Police and one of her own is a breath of fresh air, in my opinion, and needs to be extended to the general public who fall far outside her department in some cases.

We should not stop at the borders of the Police Department with compassion and understanding at all.

Dave

The rush to judgment…

Good morning, Netizens…


I was impressed with the lengthy story in the Spokesman-Review about Karl F. Thompson, Jr.’s career in law enforcement. Several prior glowing statements notwithstanding by Chief Ann Kirkpatrick regarding his 37 years of service to law enforcement, there are few people who would contest my statement that Thompson has been a professional lawmen of incredible acumen and skill for most of his adult life. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies and has attended the FBI Academy. If there is a poster child for the Spokane Police Department, Karl Thompson probably ranks right up near the top of the list.


Until he beat Otto Zehm senseless in the Zip Trip store and was later indicted by the Grand Jury, that is.


However, none of the allegations mean he is guilty until he receives a fair trial on the two charges he currently faces.


The convoluted trail of evidence, including the rest of the videotape from the Zip Trip store, other witnesses to the events that took place there and of course, the tearful history of the end of Otto Zehm’s life, which is what this is all about.


Or is it? Is Karl F. Thompson, Jr. the poster child of the Spokane Police Department he appears to be, or is he the unfortunate victim of flawed training programs which all Spokane Police Officers study?


I will say more about this later today, as I feel before we rush to commit judgment on Thompson, we need to understand the rationale behind his behavior.


Dave

Is Thompson taking one for the Gipper too?

 

Good morning, Netizens…


Everyone in the Spokane News Media yesterday were separately and yet together beating their spoons against the bars that, until then, had kept the news media from truly knowing what was going on in the Otto Zehm murder investigation. For nearly two years all anyone in Spokane knew for fact was that Otto Zehm died at the hands of the police, and that there were horrid pictures of Karl F. Thompson, Jr. wailing on Zehm with his nightstick while Zehm lay on the floor; meanwhile we have the squad of officers standing outside the Zip Trip in the aftermath.


Then last Friday Howard F. Delaney, City Attorney and Rocco N. Treppiedi, his Assistant, filed a response to a civil lawsuit brought against the City of Spokane by the Center for Justice, who represent Otto Zehm’s mother in a lawsuit claiming Zehm’s civil rights were violated because of the unlawful use of deadly force in apprehending him, and in the city’s subsequent actions to “falsely portray” Zehm as the aggressor in the encounter. (Portions from the Center for Justice’s website.)


Yesterday, a day that will live long past this time in Spokane history, Federal Prosecutor Jim McDevitt made public the grand jury indictment. In it two felony indictments against police officer Karl F. Thompson, Jr. were unfurled before the news media that on or about March 18, 2006, Karl F. Thompson not only beat Zehm viciously with his baton and tasering him, thus inflicting bodily injury to Zehm, and (count 2) that on March 27, 2006, Thompson then knowingly gave false testimony to investigators.


You can read the entire indictment here http://cforjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/indictment.pdf again, courtesy of the Center for Justice.


According to McDevitt’s statements at the press conference, the reference to giving false testimony refers to a lengthy interview of Thompson by an investigating Spokane Police Department detective whose name was not mentioned.


“What it looks like in hindsight,” the Center for Justice’s Breean Beggs said, when asked about it Monday, “is that the city knew this indictment was coming and did its best to get out a public relations story, trashing Otto, in the papers before readers knew about the indictment.”


As in nearly all cases of this stature, until Karl Thompson’s trial, there have been more unanswered questions to be resolved than there are hard answers. For example:


Given this was a sealed Grand Jury indictment, when were the Spokane City Attorneys told of its contents? Was it before what I believe to be the ill-fated, defamatory and false counter-suit against the Zehm family? It would seem so, given Rocco Treppiedi’s long and illuminating history of counter-suing anyone who files a claim against the City of Spokane, that seems credible enough. Do we know enough to prove it? No.


References are made to an investigator for the Spokane Police Department who interviewed Thompson which resulted in Count Two of the indictment. Of course, until Thompson’s trial, we may never know the named of this brave soul who probably sacrificed his career in the SPD in exchange for justice.


If the second count of the indictment is upheld by the court trial, yesterday why did Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick wax euphorically about what a good cop Thompson has been for 37 years? Is she blithering daffy or simply trying to muster her troops under fire? Which is it?


If you have read the Center for Justice’s web link (above) then you know Karl F. Thompson, Jr. is facing some pretty serious jail time if convicted of the two felonies. Along the path between now and trial, it could make or break the careers of several local attorneys. There are a lot more questions than answers, but what remains to be seen is can the Spokane Police Department learn from their mistakes and restore the public’s trust? 


That seems to be most of the issues that leap out at me.


Portions of this text and the picture of McDevitt all courtesy of The Center for Justice (http://cforjustice.org/) with our gracious thanks.


Dave

Otto Zehm Died for our sins…

Good afternoon Netizens…


By now most of you reading this already have heard the City of Spokane asked a federal court Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of Otto Zehm over his death in police custody in March 2006, saying the developmentally disabled janitor, not police, is responsible for his own death. Does this come as a surprise to anyone?


After all, when you have the likes of Rocco Treppeidi arguing for the City of Spokane against the Zehm estate, I’m frankly astounded Treppeidi didn’t already file a lawsuit against Otto Zehm’s estate, as if there was anything to take.


Which farce would you like? We have the farce where sworn police officers referred to a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi in Otto Zehm’s hands as a “legal weapon”. Yeah, sure. Got a permit for your Pepsi?


We have the farce of the circumstances themselves, where when confronted by officers at the Zip Trip, Zehm refused their orders to stop and to drop the two-liter bottle of soda he was holding. When he refused officers’ orders, he was struck with a baton, jolted with a Taser, handcuffed and hog-tied. Oh yes, and then, the ultimate farce, when he was choked to death by a mask that did not have an airway.


This sordid affair smacks of BS, a pile of crap and it is time for the City of Spokane Police Department to admit their culpability and make amends, not file for dismissal.


Do you believe, for a minute, that Otto Zehm was responsible for his own death?


Dave

Ombudsman Candidates coming to town…

Good morning, Netizens…


Spokane Mayor Mary Verner yesterday announced the three candidates who will be considered for the position of Police Ombudsman. All three candidates will be in Spokane May 29 through June 1 to attend public forums, interviews and various other meetings.


The finalists include:

  • Anthony Betz, of College Station, Tex. Mr. Betz is a retired FBI agent who is currently working as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University. According to the Spokesman-Review, in 1995, Betz was suspended with pay during an investigation into FBI’s handling of the 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge in North Idaho. Almost a year after he was suspended, he was reinstated and cleared of wrongdoing, according to news reports at the time. “I was cleared completely,” Betz said in a phone interview Monday.

  • Timothy Burns, of Visalia, Calif. Mr. Burns is a retired police officer who is now working as the Neighborhood Preservation Manager for the City of Visalia.

  • Greg Weber, of Spokane. Mr. Weber is an attorney in private practice and has previously served on the staff of the Washington State Attorney General. Last year he came in third in a three-way primary for a Spokane County Superior Court judgeship.

A series of three forums, designed to allow the public to provide their comments on the candidates, will be held as part of the selection process. The forums are set for:

  • Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. in the Chase Gallery in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

  • Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt.

  • Saturday, May 30, at 2 p.m. at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone.

In addition, a meet-and-greet session with the candidates has been set for 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1, also in the Chase Gallery just prior to the start of the City Council meeting. You might want to come early to guarantee yourself a good seat.

The City of Spokane began recruitment for the ombudsman position earlier this year; 128 people applied for the position. A five-member committee oversaw the candidate review process and recommended the three top candidates for the position to the Mayor.

The selected candidate will be appointed as ombudsman for a three-year term and can be reappointed to a second three-year term. The salary range for the position is $77,130 to $94,628.


Dave

The Zehm lawsuit

Good afternoon Netizens…

It has taken me awhile to figure out how to upload this PDF copy of the Zehm lawsuit, then to make it accessible, but it does appear I was successful.

http://www.spokesman.com/documents/2009/mar/14/zehm-lawsuit/

 This represents justice for Otto, the first justice he has had since he was killed.

Dave

Otto Zehm case draws to a close?

Good morning, Netizens…


Otto Zehm died for our sins. At least the cherubic-faced janitor died for something, of that we can be certain. But did he die unlawfully, due to excessive use of force at the hands of the Spokane City Police Department? After nearly 3 years of contention, discussion and rumors of litigation, we do not seem to be any closer to closure in the case of Otto Zehm than we were, and yet are we?


The Spokesman-Review’s Bill Morlin takes a long look at this case here http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/mar/01/otto-zehm-case-at-crossroads/ and discusses the various legal aspects of this case, which has so divided our community.


What remains to be seen is why it has taken this long to bring this case to a close. There are rumors that civil action is about to take place, and other rumors that criminal action may take place. It all depends upon who you believe, who you trust. The facts are that on March 18, 2006 Otto Zehm died at the hands of the Spokane Police Department. Shortly thereafter, Deputy Chief Al Odenthal, resigned on December 19, 2006. Can you call this a coincidence?


Were it not for the Center for Justice (http://cforjustice.org/) we probably would never reach any resolution in the Otto Zehm case. Were the fate of Otto Zehm left in the hands of the Spokane Police Department, nothing would have been done, for they are not in search of the truth.


It is time for the case of Otto Zehm to reach closure NOW.


Dave

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