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City fires attorney Rocky Treppiedi

UPDATED: Mon., April 16, 2012

The Spokesman-Review

Spokane City Attorney Nancy Isserlis has fired Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi effective today, the city said in a news release.

Mayor David Condon said in the release, “my Division Directors are empowered to develop the teams they need to effectively serve the citizens of the City of Spokane … I support Nancy in her decision today.”

The city said it would have no other statement on Treppiedi’s firing.

Treppiedi has played a controversial role in the city’s legal handling of the death of Otto Zehm after an encounter with Spokane police six years ago.

Recently released court documents reveal that Treppiedi met with officers involved in that encounter before they testified in front of a grand jury and debriefed them afterward.

In addition, a video expert hired by federal law enforcement officials to examine a surveillance video of the Zehm encounter was funneling information uncovered through that work back to Treppiedi, court documents say.

Zehm died two days after the 2006 encounter with police, after being beaten and shocked with a Taser. One Spokane officer, Karl F. Thompson Jr., was convicted in federal court of lying to investigators and using excessive force.

Treppiedi was the architect of a legal strategy that essentially blamed Zehm for his own death.

Condon last month fired former City Attorney Howard Delaney.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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