Anderson Decries ‘Tainted Process’
Leveling conflict-of-interest charges against Mayor Jack Geraghty, Spokane city Councilman Chris Anderson refused to vote on a downtown redevelopment project because of what he calls a “tainted process.”
Late Monday, Anderson’s colleagues approved plans, 5-0, for an $80 million project that will use both private and public money to nearly double the size of River Park Square.
“I suggested to Jack that he recuse himself to eliminate any concern people have over this in this community. He refused,” said Anderson, who abstained from three votes related to the mall’s expansion.
“I could not in good conscience vote for a project when there was a feeling the process was tainted.”
As for Geraghty, he thinks Anderson’s charges are bunk.
“I have no direct or indirect business, professional or private relationship with the proponents of the River Park Square project,” Geraghty said in a statement. He said he talked to several attorneys about Anderson’s allegations.
“Therefore, no conflict exists, and I do not intend to recuse myself from deliberations …”
Anderson’s charges are based on the following:
The Rockey Company is in charge of public relations for the River Park Square expansion project.
Geraghty owns stock in Alliance Pacific Inc., a consortium of public relations agencies he helped start in 1984.
The stockholders of Alliance Pacific are in the process of dissolving the company, and the Rockey Company is negotiating to buy some of the firm’s assets.
Anderson asked that the mayor “disclose his direct and indirect financial relationship with either Alliance Pacific or the Rockey Company.”
Geraghty took a leave of absence from Alliance Pacific in 1994 when he became mayor and isn’t involved in the firm’s operations, he said.
Alliance Pacific last year finished work on a growth management contract with Spokane County, and doesn’t have any other city or county public relations contracts, Geraghty said.