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Good afternoon, Netizens…
Some of the stench that has lingered for what some have said was far too long is gone now, thanks to Mayor David Condon. That's right, Rocky Treppediedi was fired, effective today. Although Spokane City Attorney Nancy Isserlis actually did the firing, I firmly believe none of the decisions that led to Rocco's termination would have ever taken place were it not for Mayor Condon. As many times as I have carped and bitched about our City's Mayors, it gives me a feeling of hope to see Condon keep his word to fire Treppediedi, and thus help eliminate the pall that has hung over Spokane City Hall for years. It's about time!
This isn't about just the Otto Zehm case, although Treppediedi has his fingers all over that case from the beginning. There is an excellent sidebar to Rocky's termination which is located at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2007/mar/25/treppiedi-zealous-effective/ and should be required reading for anyone who questions why Rocky had to go. Bill Morlin and Karen Dorne Steele's article lists many of the significant cases which littered Treppediedi's history as Spokane's Counsel, each one adding to the aroma of malfeasance that has lingered far too long over our fair city.
There are some places throughout our city's history where we collectively have made a turn toward improvement, and I firmly believe eliminating Rocky Treppiedi as an Assistant City Attorney was long overdue.
- Rocky Treppiedi
Good morning, Netizens…
Photo: KREM-2 News. Not in my face you don't!
According to KREM.COM's web site, Queen Mary Verner still has a terse “no comment” regarding Tim Durkin's statements made about her Frequently Asked Questions.
In court documents filed on September 28th, Federal Prosecutor Tim Durkin accused Mayor Verner of handing out “patently false statements” in the Zehm case. Durkin referenced a list of frequently asked questions handed out by Mayor Verner at a news conference on September 9th that said City of Spokane attorneys met with Federal Prosecutors in 2009. In court documents Durkin said that meeting never happened.
KREM 2 News crews tried three times in two days to get a response from the City of Spokane, including an attempted interview outside Truth Ministries where Queen Mary was appearing Friday night.
According to http://www.krem.com/news/local/Mayor-No-comment-on-claim—130898193.html KREM also attempted to interview Rocky Treppiedi and Howard Delaney (who were listed on the FAQ sheet as having attended the meeting in 2009 with Federal Prosecutors) on Friday about whether or not they attended a meeting with the Federal Prosecutors, but their receptionist said they had no comment.
Stonewalling is no answer. Queen Mary, Rocky Treppiedi and Howard Delaney need to step up to the microphone and state what they know.
Below is Mayor Mary Verner's full response to the statement released earlier in the day by her opponent in the November election, David Condon, followed by Condon's statement. Condon offered harsh criticism of Verner's handling of the Otto Zehm matter. Verner's response was delivered by her campaign, not by the city.
MARY VERNER'S FULL NEWS RELEASE:
Mayor Mary Verner says she is deeply disappointed in former Congressional aide Dave Condon’s reckless attempt to use the tragedy of the Otto Zehm death for his personal political ambition.
Condon wrote a campaign news release today, criticizing the mayor, city police, city attorneys, and city staffers.
When Mayor Mary Verner made a point last week of explaining the process for selecting the city's Employee of the Month, she not only released the four-page set of rules, but the list of members on the selection committee.
Two members have indirect connections to the controversy surrounding the 2006 death of Otto Zehm.
Verner, responding to a Spokesman-Review opinion column that criticized the selection in December 2010 of Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi, said last week that she does not pick the winners. Treppiedi was criticized by federal officials in 2009 for his handling of the city’s defense in a lawsuit brought by Zehm’s family. City attorneys responded that the concerns were "baseless" and accused them of trying to manage the civil case.
Treppiedi was recommended for the award by the city’s Employee Recognition Committee, Verner said. She acknowledged that she can override the committee’s recommendation, but said she never has. The rules for Employee of the Month were written in 2005.
At the time of Treppiedi’s selection, the 10-member Employee Recognition Committee, which is made up largely of representatives of city unions, included Spokane Police Guild President Ernie Wuthrich and Capt. Steve Braun.
Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said this week that she hopes to bring more public focus on the perception of officers involved in fatal shootings.
"We get so focused on whether a person is armed and is it a knife or whatever. We've got to change this focus. It's whatever the officer is faced with - is it life threatening to that officer?" Kirkpatrick said at a meeting of the city's Public Safety Committee." We need to continue to bring this forward, because officers do get killed when there was no gun."
City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi said the media and public don't focus on that.
"The public or the media will focus on, from the public's perspective, you know, what occurred," Treppiedi said. "The law focuses not on what the public perceived or what the witnesses perceived or even what the shooting victim perceived. The law focuses on what the chief said, and that is what did the officer perceive?"
Treppiedi continued, "whereas a lot of the public's discussion comes from 'but witnesses said x and the editor says y.'"
The discussion took place Monday as Lt. Craig Meidl presented to committee members internal affairs investigation data that included the number of officer-involved shootings since 2006 (three in 2010, two in 2009, zero in 2008, four in 2007 and zero in 2006.)
Committee member and City Councilman Bob Apple asked if the department was revamping policies and questioned shooting suspects who are armed with knives and not guns.
Kirkpatrick said she once had an officer shot in the line of duty with his own weapon.
"No one was armed when he showed up, but…he lost the wrestling match and the guy grabbed his gun and shot and killed him," Kirkpatrick said.
She emphasized that the threat of grievous bodily injury - one justification for the use of deadly force - can differ from situation to situation.
"What is grievous bodily injury is going to be very unique in that particular event that that officer is faced with," Kirkpatrick said.
City Council President Joe Shogan said situations could end differently if police were called sooner. He referred to the Dec. 4 shooting of Jeremy Groom by police outside a Hillyard tavern.
Groom was shot as he pointed a gun at a man who turned out to be one of his best friends. His friends say Groom never would have shot the man and say officers didn't give him time to drop the gun.
The dispute began inside the tavern. Shogan said options seemed limited by the time police were called.
"I would hope that citizens would say 'OK if we're going to involve the police, let's involve them sooner than later," Shogan said. "Don't wait until this gets to be a flash point and then hope that there are a lot of options, which, at that point, I don't think there are."
Attorneys employed by the city of Spokane no longer will represent Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson in the legal battles stemming from the 2006 death of Otto Zehm, according to a recent court filing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Durkin, in arguments filed last month, said the city’s simultaneous representation of Thompson and other police officers created “obvious and apparent conflicts.”
That filing singled out Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi’s role in the Zehm incident, in which the mentally ill janitor was beaten, shocked with a Taser and hogtied on the ground by police before dying in a hospital two days later.
Read Thomas Clouse’s story here.
Also, Thompson’s defense is looking to exclude any evidence that Zehm had not committed a crime, and to exclude the testimony of two young women whose 911 call sparked the incident. Read that story here.
(The top picture of Treppiedi shows him at the scene of the police shooting death of Jason Poss last July.)
Incumbent Rocky Treppeidi inched a bit farther ahead of challenger Laura Carder in Thursday’s vote count. But there’s still a dramatic north-south split in the votes as shown in the map here.
The Spokane School Board races are too tight to call with any certainty. But a look at the vote patterns shows a definite north-south split in both races.
It’s probably most pronounced in the Position 4 race, where incumbent Rocky Treppiedi has a narrow lead over challenger Laura Carder. Current tally is:
Treppiedi 17,893 (51.64%)
Carder 16,758 (48.36%)