Posts tagged: Ozzie Knezovich
Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Mike Padden talk before the autopsy bill is signed.
OLYMPIA – Spokane County’s medical examiners should feel free to talk about the results of investigations into deaths that involve actions by law enforcement officers. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Monday allowing county medical examiners and coroners to discuss the results of autopsies and post mortems of people who die in encounters with police or while in jail.
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OLYMPIA — Medical examiners would have permission to discuss their conclusions from the autopsies for people killed during law enforcement actions under a bill that passed the Senate unanimously Friday.
The proposal, prompted by several high-profile cases in the Spokane area with fatalities involving local law enforcement, gives a medical examiner or coroner permission to talk about the results of their investigations, said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, the bill's sponsor. Confidentiality restrictions would also be lifted when a person dies in law enforcement custody.
The formal autopsy report, which can include graphic photographs of the victim, would remain confidential.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich had pushed for the bill after complaining that he was unable to clear up “misinformation and myths” about some controversial cases. One such case involved the Sept. 5 death of Edward Gover, who returned to the home of a woman he'd held hostage and encountered deputies who thought he had a weapon. They said they fired when he charged them, but no weapon was found and two of the bullets struck Gover in the back.
Knezovich said the deputies responded appropriately, but he couldn't discuss the autopsy findings because of orders from the county medical examiner's office.
The organization representing lthe state's county officials dropped its objection to the proposal after it was amended to ensure confidentiality of the formal report, Padden said. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich asked the Legislature last month to change the laws to make it harder for cops who get fired for breaking the law to be reinstated by an arbitrator.
Police organizations argued that the current systyem works just fined.
A Senate committee listened, but didn't do anything, and the bill died.
Today Knezovich made his case on a national stage, as CBS Morning News looked at cases of arbitrators ordering cops back to work after egregious activity. Interesting to note that Knezovich is the sheriff who gets the most air time, but the videos of bad cops all come from elsewhere.
OLYMPIA – The fight over who decides what can get a police officer fired prompted a legislative hearing that pit beat cops against their chiefs and prompted Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich to say a state senator was attacking his character.
“It was very insulting,” Knezovich said of questions from Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, about whether he’d ever used publicly funded fuel for his personal use, an allegation he denied.
Roach said she was just asking a question someone else had suggested and if he thought she was challenging his integrity, “he doth protest too loudly.”
The exchange came in a hearing over Senate Bill 5668. . .
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OLYMPIA – Medical examiners would be able to discuss the results of autopsies in case involving police shootings, giving them a chance to clear up what Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich refers to as “misinformation and myths” in some controversial cases, under a bill being considered by the Senate.
The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, is designed to lift some confidentiality restrictions on autopsy reports when a death occurs in the custody of a law enforcement officer or during police contact.
Confidentiality restrictions, which under state law cover most autopsy and post-mortem investigation reports, also would be lifted for deaths that occur in a prison or jail.
If the proposed law were in effect, Knezovich said he’d be able to explain details of cases like the Sept. 5 death of Edward Gover . . .
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The chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party is standing behind state Rep. Matt Shea’s decision to post a picture of himself standing on his election opponent’s property on Facebook.
But Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, a Republican, says he wishes Shea would have pulled the picture at Biviano’s request.
Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, posted a picture of himself standing in front of the home of Democrat Amy Biviano on Aug. 4. Along with the picture of himself in her driveway, he wrote that he was doorbelling in the area and wanted to welcome the precinct to his district. The neighborhood was placed into the 4th Legislative District as part of the state’s redistricting in response to the 2010 Census.
Spokane County's three Republican county commissioners are asking Mayor-elect David Condon to strongly consider Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich's offer to be the city's interim police chief.
The three signed a letter to Condon's transition team saying that with Chief Anne Kirkpatrick retiring, it makes sense to consider consolidating the Spokane Police Department with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. If Knezovich is selected as interim chief, it would allow the concept to be studied, they said.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and state Rep. Kevin Parker will hold a town hall meeting Saturday to discuss public concerns over the bomb found along the parade route in downtown Spokane Monday.
The one-hour forum, “Understanding threats in our community”, will allow area residents to discuss their concerns and share ideas about the bomb that rerouted Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade as well as the Tucson shootings, Parker, R-Spokane, said.
“As a survivor of the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, I have learned it is essential we come together to talk about the safety of the community,” said Parker, who was a youth counselor talking with a student when those shootings occurred.
The town hall begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in Room 122 of the Phase 1 Building, WSU Riverpoint Campus, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich won party backing for his current reelection bid last year.
Had he waited to seek an endorsement, Knezovich may not have won that endorsement. That’s because, he says, he will not sign the party’s pledge to support the county platform.
“If you don’t agree with certain things, how can you sign it?” Knezovich said.
In March, the party began asking candidates to consider signing a promise to support the platform, though GOP leaders stress they don’t expect candidates to agree with each of the nearly 120 policy statements in the document.
“I’ve taken an oath to serve the community,” Knezovich said in an interview on Tuesday. “I can’t take an oath on top of that.”
The Republican pledge also includes a line where candidates must check yes or no next to the statement: “I will not vote in favor of a tax increase, new or increased fees, or increase spending beyond the rate of inflation or the consumer price index.”
Technically, its county commissioners, not the sheriff who would have a final say on tax increases or rising budgets. Even so, the sheriff said agreeing to that that statement would be hypocritical because he believes a property tax package will be necessary to replace the aging Geiger Corrections Center — a priority he describes as critical to the community.
(Knezovich, state Rep. Matt Shea and former state Rep. John Ahern were listed incorrectly as signers of the platform in a list of Republican candidates that ran in The Spokesman-Review on Sunday. Those candidates won party endorsements last year — before the party asked candidates to consider the platform.)
OLYMPIA – Washington state will delay plans to close the Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women to see whether it can stay open as a facility shared by Spokane County and City.
State Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail announced Thursday the Medical Lake center is getting a temporary reprieve from a list of institutions the state wants to close because of its budget problems. Gov. Chris Gregoire put Pine Lodge on a list of 10 institutions earlier this month in her most recent budget proposal.
In a prepared statement, Vail said he’d received a letter from Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane Mayor Mary Verner about a “joint use” of Pine Lodge. “We need adequate time to seriously consider what might be developed,” he said.
Knezovich said he and Verner suggested using the facility as part of joint county and city community corrections operation which would include programs for electronic home monitoring of certain inmates. Folding Pine Lodge into the county’s jail system could shave as much as $20 million off current expansion plans, he said.
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said she’d had discussions with Gregoire and the corrections department about keeping Pine Lodge open.
“This is a good move if there’s a potential to use part of the facility for city and county needs,” she said.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is running for re-election next year, so it’s no surprise he was addressing a political group’s luncheon Monday afternoon.
Considering Knezovich is a Republican, some might be surprised the luncheon was sponsored by the Democrat Professional and Business Group.
Even more surprising is that several Democrats were questioning whether the sheriff’s office should even be a partisan job.
There’s no attempt that anyone knew of to make it a nonpartisan position, and with a budget fiasco in the offing, it’s unlikely the Legislature would even look at such a proposal if it were written. But the real impact of such a comment is much more significant for Knezovich.
It means the Democrats have no one credible to run for sheriff at this point. There are many races on next year’s ballots, and, as several said, they’ll have to prioritize their recruiting efforts. The sheriff’s job is likely to remain a very low priority, based on Knezovich’s answers to the group.
This will probably come as no huge surprised to anyone watching politics in Spokane, but Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is running for re-election.
Knezovich filed paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission at the beginning of the year, but even incumbents who don’t plan to run again do that to keep on the right side of the law for campaign finances.
On July 4th, however, Knezovich made the first public announcement of re-election, during the annual Independence Day celebration hosted by Tom Westbrook. It’s an event that involves the full reading of the Declaration of Indepedence by some of the assembled guests, and Ozzie read a section.
Not the preamble with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” but a hunk of the list of grievances against King George III for all the bad stuff the British were doing. But anyway, it was a chance to read the document.
Afterwards, people asked if he was running for re-election, and he said “Yes, I am.” It was the first non-private acknowledgement, Knezovich said. It wasn’t planned to coincide with the Fourth, he added, “it just kind of came up that way.”
And thanks to regular reader John (Gus) Olsen, who was present at the party, for the tip.