Local news

In brief: Sales tax extension to go on August ballot

Spokane County voters will be asked to extend a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax for criminal justice programs in the August primary rather than in May. County commissioners, who had scheduled a May special election last month, rescheduled it for two reasons on Tuesday: to save money, and to stay legal.

A countywide May special election, in which the sales tax extension would have been the sole item on the ballot, would cost the county about $300,000, County Auditor Vicky Dalton said. Splitting the cost with other jurisdictions that have elections on the August primary will cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

A check of the state statute that allows the sales tax to be levied also showed the law requires it be approved at a primary or general election, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Jim Emacio said. Commissioners approved a resolution that would put the proposal automatically on the general election ballot if it fails in August.

Jim Camden

Trial begins in suit against deputies

The federal trial started today involving a former Spokane man who claims that Spokane County deputies roughed him up and later beat him unconscious after he disputed a bar tab at a Spokane Valley restaurant in 2003.

Three deputies are named in the suit: Jeff Shover, Mark Gregory and Brett Peterson. Sgt. Patrick “Pete” Bunch was originally listed in the complaint but has since been removed from the case and is no longer part of the bench trial before U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle.

Douglas Myser claims deputies forced him to pay for drinks he didn’t order at a Spokane Valley bar, then threw him to the floor and later beat him. Myser contends he has suffered memory loss and personality problems since the Jan. 26, 2003, confrontation.

Defending Spokane County against the allegations is attorney Rob Binger, who said Myser’s tale is “fraught with inconsistencies.”

“There is no evidence or proof … for the simple reason of it did not happen,” Binger said.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

Thomas Clouse

Career fair today at Convention Center

Some of the region’s biggest employers will take part in the Inland Northwest Career Fair today at the Spokane Convention Center.

The 14th-annual event, sponsored by The Spokesman-Review, includes nearly 30 exhibitors, informational seminars and a “resume critique” staffed by employment experts from WorkSource and Provisional Recruiting and Staffing.

The career fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.

For information, visit http://spokesmanjobs.com/ advertising/careerfair.

Staff reports

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