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Spokane police consultant cited after fight

UPDATED: Tue., May 6, 2014, 3:56 p.m.

A consultant hired by the Spokane Police Department to improve relations with at-risk youth was cited for assault Sunday night after he was involved in a fight in the lobby of a downtown hotel.

Paul Lewis, a trainer with the Boston-based North American Family Institute, was cited for two counts of fourth-degree assault at the Davenport Tower. Lewis was in town to oversee the police department’s Youth and Police Initiative Program.

Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said Lewis did attempt to contact Police Chief Frank Straub through one of the officers who responded to the fight. Straub told the officer to cite Lewis and said there would be no special treatment for Lewis, said Cotton. “He made it clear Lewis was to leave the hotel,” she said. “We treated this individual the same as any other individual,” she said.

Cotton said Lewis returned to his home in Massachusetts Tuesday. “This individual is no longer participating in any facet of the program,” she said. Lewis declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.

Cotton said she was not aware of the details of the incident. The police report does not appear in Lewis’ court file. “Some words were exchanged, which led to an altercation,” Cotton said.

Straub previously worked with the North American Family Institute in White Plains, New York, and Indianapolis. He penned a recommendation for the Youth and Police Initiative promotional materials while he was in White Plains, calling the program “a critical component of our department’s violence reduction strategy.”

The contract for the program was approved by the city council in September in the amount of $84,715. Much of that cost was for a trainer, plus a $22,000 intellectual property development fee and $10,403 for unspecified indirect costs.

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