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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Why isn’t Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich on a panel interviewing Spokane police chief finalists?

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, center, talks to reporters, along with police Chief Frank Straub, left, and interim Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott, right. (Jesse Tinsley)
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, center, talks to reporters, along with police Chief Frank Straub, left, and interim Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott, right. (Jesse Tinsley)

Mayor David Condon's four advisory panels interviewing the two remaining police chief finalists are missing the most prominent law enforcement official in Spokane County -- the three-term sheriff, Ozzie Knezovich.


Knezovich assumes he wasn't one of the more-than 40 people invited to participate in ranking finalists because the last time Condon selected a chief, Knezovich disagreed with his pick

"That would probably be because they didn't like my opinion the last time," Knezovich said when asked why he wasn't asked to serve on a panel.

In 2012, Knezovich was named by Condon to serve on a panel of law enforcement officials who unanimously recommended that Condon not hire either finalist for chief. Condon disagreed and hired Frank Straub, who was forced to resign by Condon last year.

City spokesman Brian Coddington said Knezovich's participation in the 2012 selection process had nothing to do with the city's decision not to invite him to be on a panel this time.

Coddington noted that Spokane Valley Police Chief Mark Werner, who is Knezovich's employee as a member of the sheriff's office, is on one of the interview panels. Not all prominent law enforcement officials could participate, he said.

"We tried to get as much broad representation as possible," he said.

Knezovich said based on his experience with the last process, he wouldn't have participated even if he had been asked.

"We determined that none of the candidates fit what the city needed," Knezovich said. "I felt the city just blew that panel off and went with the direction they were going to go anyway."

Here are the members of the four panels that will make recommendations on the two finalists to Condon.

Community Policing

David Browneagle, vice chairman, Spokane Tribe of Indians

Joan Butler, chair, Police Advisory Committee

Judi Carl, retired captain, Spokane Police Department

Shon Davis, bishop

Rick Dobrow, retired interim chief, Spokane Police Department

Lori Kinnear, member, Spokane City Council

Dave McCabe, president, Spokane Police Lieutenants and Captains Association

Tracie Meidl, captain, Spokane Police Department

Lonnie Mitchell, reverend

Mark Sterk, Director of Safety and Security, Spokane Public Schools

Leadership and Professional Accountability

Kathy Armstrong, program professional, Spokane Police Department

Rick Eichstaedt, executive director, Center for Justice

Isaiah Flick, member, Chase Youth Commission

Toni Lodge, executive director, The NATIVE Project

Laura McAloon, attorney

Brian Newberry, executive director, Leadership Spokane

Eric Olsen, major, Spokane Police Department

Tim Ottmar, vice president, Spokane Police Guild

Brian Schaeffer, assistant chief, Spokane Fire Department

Dan Sigler, Spokane regional director, Pioneer Human Services

Amber Waldref, Spokane City Council member

Community Engagement

Francis Adewale, assistant public defender, City Public Defender’s Office

Jim Andrews, president, American Ironworks & Erectors

Breean Beggs, Spokane City Council member

Latisha Hill, senior vice president, Avista Development

Kevin King, major, Spokane Police Department

Bart Logue, interim police ombudsman

Craig Meidl, assistant police chief, Spokane Police Department

Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, multi-cultural affairs director, City of Spokane

Bonnie Quinn Clausen, principal, QUINN

Sandy Williams, member, Washington State Commission on African American Affairs

Business Operations and Finance

Lynnelle Caudill, managing director, Davenport Hotel Collection

Gerry Gemmill, CEO, Spokane County

John Lemus, chair, Spokane Human Rights Commission

Justin Lundgren, major, Spokane Police Department

Sarah Lynds, deputy director of Strategic Initiatives, Spokane Police Department

Ladd Smith, teacher, Spokane Public Schools

Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council president

Phillip Tyler, president, NAACP

Nancy Vorhees, COO, Inland Northwest Health Services

Mark Werner, chief, Spokane Valley Police Department

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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