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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Straub attorney responds to Beggs’ proposal

Attorney Mary Schultz in 2003 after moving her law practice to the eighth floor of the Lincoln Building, the former home of the Empire Club. (Liz Kishimoto)
Attorney Mary Schultz in 2003 after moving her law practice to the eighth floor of the Lincoln Building, the former home of the Empire Club. (Liz Kishimoto)

In today's paper, I reported on an effort by a Spokane City Council member to get key documents into the hands of the investigator looking into the circumstances surrounding the firing of police Chief Frank Straub.

Straub's lawyer, Mary Schultz, did write to me yesterday evening, but her comments did not make print, unfortunately. Though we've included them in the online version of the story, I wanted to post them here as well.

In short, she scoffed at the plan, and suggested it was a plan to "deceive" by quoting a dead and famous Scottish writer.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive," Schultz said, quoting Sir Walter Scott, when asked about Councilman Breean Beggs' proposal.

“I count five defense attorneys already, now going on six, the latter to supervise Cappel, which means seven, then add the city’s in-house counsel. I’m running out of fingers,” Schultz said. “Looks like they have every reason to be just that worried.”

Beggs recommended hiring Mike Harrington, a Seattle-based labor and employment lawyer who earned multiple degrees at Gonzaga University, to oversee the investigation and advise city officials on how to release the final investigative report.

Harrington’s hiring would provide the records needed to complete the investigation being done by Kris Cappel, a principal with the Seabold Group. At issue are 7,000 emails that are going through an expedited redaction process conducted by former Mayor Dennis Hession, who was hired by the city to work on the matter.

In the paper, Beggs urged council members to pass a resolution authorizing and encouraging Mayor David Condon to hire Harrington to be in charge of the investigation. Harrington could then retain Cappel to continue the investigation. Under Beggs’ plan, Harrington would be hired as an attorney so any documents he or Cappel view would be shielded from public release through attorney-client privilege.

 



Nicholas Deshais
Joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is the urban issues reporter, covering transportation, housing, development and other issues affecting the city. He also writes the Getting There transportation column and The Dirt, a roundup of construction projects, new businesses and expansions. He previously covered Spokane City Hall.

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