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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Unanimous praise for French, even from his ardent opponents

Monday’s City Council meeting was the last with Al French as a member.

French is finished with his second term representing northeast Spokane. Term limits prevented him from running again, but he has announced his candidacy for the Spokane County Commission.

At the end of the five-hour-plus meeting, each of his council colleagues and Mayor Mary Verner thanked and praised French.

Verner and council members Richard Rush, Bob Apple and Joe Shogan have had rocky relations with French at various times over the years.

"It’s been a pleasure to learn at the feet of Councilman French," Rush said. "He is an intellectual giant. He has taught me so much. I’m going to miss him. It took me a long time to figure I’d miss him, but I’m going to miss him."

Shogan offered praise without ignoring their tense relationship. (In a debate earlier this year, Shogan told French: "You’ve lied to me. You’ve prevaricated, acted behind my back, stabbed me in the back.")

"As anybody knows that’s followed the last four years, Al French and I haven’t exactly been bosom buddies," Shogan said Monday night. "But somebody once said that if they couldn’t have a devoted friend they’d like to have a dedicated opponent."

After his statement, Shogan handed his gavel to French, who officially ended the meeting - and his tenure on the council.

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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