For limited judgment, for a limited time

THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010

Sample radio/TV infomercial, take one.

(Deep-voiced announcer)

Are you a Spokane cop whose bad behavior could get you a room without a view in the ol’ Handcuff Hotel?

Are you spending sleepless nights worrying that your slick shyster will wipe you out quicker than a burrito from a Juarez street vendor?

Have you thought of filing a phony divorce in a desperate attempt to shield your belongings and stick taxpaying suckers with your mounting legal fees?

Well, why go to such despicable lengths when you can – (trumpet fanfare) – Cover Your Assets!®

Hi, I’m Doug Clark.

You may know me from my newspaper columns or maybe from all those hostile letters from readers who, like most of my former teachers, don’t get me.

But today I’m here as founder and CEO of Spokane’s most exciting new enterprise – (trumpet fanfare) – Cover Your Assets!®

Here’s how CYA works in just three easy steps:

1. Dial our toll-free number, (800) BAD-COPS. Our operators are standing by.

2. We’ll set up a late-night appointment on the lilac level of the River Park Square parking garage, where you can sign over all your belongings to me. I’m talking about your homes, cars, boats, unregistered throwaway handguns, bags of cash, compromising firehouse photographs …

3. Then once you’ve served your jail time or are acquitted thanks to another deaf-and-dumb Jay Olsen jury, I will sign back all of the aforementioned valuables – minus a modest handling fee, of course.

I guarantee you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve taken the proper steps to – (trumpet fanfare) – Cover Your Assets!®

It is true I’ve never actually run a corporation.

But I was inspired after reading about the latest alleged skulduggery involving Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.

The “F” does NOT stand for “Fraud.” So far as I know.

But I digress. Thompson faces trial over his role in the 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm inside a North Division quickie mart. To recap: The unarmed, innocent and mentally ill janitor was clubbed, shocked, hog-tied and pretty much smothered.

Zehm, by the way, will not be called as a witness in the Thompson trial since he had the misfortune of dying two days after being treated like a Taliban kidnapping victim.

To quote our recent news account, the federal prosecutor handling the case now claims Thompson “divorced his wife to shield his assets and force taxpayers to foot the bill for his criminal defense …”

Thompson’s attorney called this allegation “unsubstantiated,” which is, of course, what you would expect a hired suit to say when the client is neck deep in a ($&#%!) storm.

I have no way of knowing what actually happened. Although I became more than a bit suspicious to learn that, according to a court filing, Thompson has been living rent-free inside his $675,000 Hayden log home hacienda … with his ex-wife.

That’s either a scam or a redefinition of the term “amicable break-up.”

It may be too late to help Thompson. But there are plenty of bad apples in the Police Guild barrel who could use the protection we offer.

So pick up the phone now and – (trumpet fanfare) – Cover Your Assets!®

 Disclaimer: Cover Your Assets!® is not really a registered trademark. Neither is the company licensed, bonded or legal in the states of Washington, Idaho or quite possibly Guam. I have absolutely no idea who will answer the phone if you dial (800) BAD-COPS, but it should be funny to find out. And don’t forget what those brutes with badges did to Otto Zehm.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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