City: Spokane, WA
Occupation: Attorney and consultant
Education: Graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Salt Lake City, in 1968. Psychology bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University, 1972. Law degree from Gonzaga University in 1980.
Career: Attorney and consultant. Director of special projects for Blue Water Technologies, a firm specializing in wastewater treatment. Served as interim director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture for about a year starting in 2008.
Political: Elected to Spokane City Council, 2001, Elected City Council president, 2003. Appointed Spokane mayor, 2005 (following recall of Mayor Jim West). Long-time member of Spokane Park Board. Served on numerous governmental and nonprofit boards.
Family: Married. Has four grown children.
- Web: dennishession.com
More about Dennis Hession
When Spokane Mayor Mary Verner promised this month that there will be an internal review examining the death of Otto Zehm, it wasn’t the first time a city leader has made such a pledge. Indeed, the city has had an open contract with a police consultant for more than five years to perform that review.
The Spokane Police Department’s top two officers are on their way out, leaving city officials to find new leadership as they struggle with the continuing legal fallout surrounding the death of Otto Zehm. Assistant Chief Jim Nicks announced Tuesday his upcoming retirement will coincide with the previously announced departure of Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.
The race for Spokane City Council president would appear to be a tossup, particularly in many north Spokane precincts where a clear favorite has yet to emerge. No duh, you might say, considering that winner Dennis Hession got only slightly more than a third of the vote in a four-person field.
• March 18, 2006: Otto Zehm, 36, a mentally ill and unemployed janitor, is beaten, Tasered and hogtied inside a Zip Trip convenience store by seven Spokane police officers after being wrongly identified as a suspect in a possible theft. Acting police Chief Jim Nicks says Zehm was combative and “lunged” at the first officer on the scene, Karl Thompson, forcing the use of defensive tactics. Officers say Zehm has a prior arrest for assaulting a police officer. • March 20, 2006: Zehm dies at Deaconess Medical Center. Police acknowledge that the potential theft report that led to the confrontation was unfounded.