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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mayoral candidate was tried in 1970 shooting

Robert A. Kroboth, a candidate for Spokane mayor, was put on trial after being accused of shooting a man in 1970 in Whittier, Calif.

Kroboth said he was acquitted by a jury in the case. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit murder.

Kroboth disclosed the case in an interview last week. The Spokesman-Review obtained Los Angeles County Superior Court documents confirming much of Kroboth’s story this week, but many documents could not be immediately obtained, including the outcome of the case.

Court documents alleged Kroboth, now 73, shot Jessie Angel Valdez on April 11, 1970. Kroboth said Valdez was his then-girlfriend’s ex-husband. He declined to discuss other specifics in the case.

“I was acquitted. What else is there to discuss?” Kroboth said. “I’ve never been convicted of anything.”

Kroboth, who also ran for mayor in 2000, has been absent at all mayoral debates. His Web site says he declines media interviews, but he agreed to answer some questions after showing up at the end of a City Council meeting last week.

After the meeting ended he handed out notices to council members relating to concerns he has about police action at his home on May 12 when, he said, officers knocked down a door in attempt to contact a man who was renting from Kroboth. He accuses the police of violating his civil rights.

Kroboth, a former debt collector, operates a Web site, citizengadfly.com.

He said he helped fund the unsuccessful class action lawsuit filed by former City Councilman Steve Eugster challenging Spokane’s utility tax.

Kroboth is running on a platform against public-private partnerships and tax exemptions to developers.

He also opposes fluoridation of the water system.

In 2004, while challenging his property assessment, a no-contact order was filed against Kroboth by two employees of the county Board of Equalization.

Employees alleged they found some of Kroboth’s behavior threatening.

A county memorandum to the court defending the no-contact order noted calls and e-mails Kroboth made demanding backgrounds of the appointed board and an e-mail that ended, “This is the last warning from me.”

Kroboth said he was simply demanding information that should be public, such as the qualifications of those serving on the board.

The no-contact order expired after a year.

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