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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Straub’s relationship OK – not sure about Fravid, though

Spokane’s new police chief hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already his administration is under the fog of an Amber Alert.

Amber Myers, that is.

Myers is the fiancee Frank Straub mentioned in his City Hall press conference the other day. And I’m sure she’s a lovely and charming lady.

But she also was the head dogcatcher that Straub supervised in his previous incarnation as director of public safety back in Indianapolis.

OK. Myers’ title was actually chief of Animal Care and Control.

But why quibble over kibbles and bits?

The larger point is that boss/underling relationships are a no-no under the rules of Spokane and a lot of other cities with sane policies on managerial behavior.

Did Straub mention this nugget while being interviewed for the Spokane job?

That would be a NOPE.

Even the good folks back home in Indiana didn’t know about the engagement until they saw TV coverage of Straub’s visit here.

The eyebrow-raising tip about Straub and Myers came to me Tuesday afternoon in an email. It didn’t take long for two of our intrepid reporters to flesh out the juicy story that appeared Wednesday on our front page.

Some will ask why we should care about such matters of the heart.

Let me tell you.

See, we Munchkins of the Lilac City have suffered several lifetimes worth of police department drama.

We need this Frank and Amber (or Framber, for short) distraction like we need a giant sinkhole to suddenly swallow up River Park Square.

Actually, we could probably parlay that into a major tourist attraction.

But correct me if I’m wrong.

We supposedly went looking for a true leader, a visionary to inspire the troops and restore the public’s faith in the SPD.

You know, Kenneth Branagh in “Henry V” at the battle of Agincourt.

“Once more unto the breach!”

Now we’re talking.

Anyway, I still can’t fathom that Straub was the best carp we could haul out of the pool of chief candidates.

We all know what happened, of course. From the very beginning it was clear as gin that Spokane Mayor David Condon had handpicked Straub for the job.

Boy mayor met Straub at some meeting. Condon personally invited Straub to apply for our vacated chief’s position.

And guess what?

Straub prevailed despite being a law enforcement panel’s third choice of a group the panel wanted to toss back.

Now comes this hiccup and Condon is predictably rushing to the defense, pointing out that Framber didn’t start until AFTER Straub had submitted his resignation in Indy.

You know, like he just resigned and then thought …

“Hmm, I wonder if that cutie over in animal husbandry whom I’ve never, ever chatted up and is really a complete and utter stranger other than work would marry me?”

Oh, I’m sure everything was on the up and up.

Besides, Spokane may get more use out of Myers than Straub. Lord knows we’ve got a lot of wormy strays running around Spokane.

And that’s just the City Council.

What worries me more is that David appears to be as stuck on Frank (that’s Fravid, for short) as Frank is on Amber.

I still don’t get the attraction.

I heard Straub’s cliché-ridden speech the other day at City Hall. To say the guy’s wooden is an insult to Pinocchio.

The only explanation that makes sense is that Straub has somehow hypnotized Condon and convinced him to make him chief.

Well, I care about my hometown too much to let shenanigans like this take place.

Next time the bodyguards let me near Boy Mayor I’m going to try the following …

DOUG – “David, I’m going to snap my fingers. When you hear that sound you will return from your slumber. Can you hear me, David?”

BOY MAYOR – “Yesss, Doug. I hear you.”

DOUG – “Snap!”

BOY MAYOR – “Whoa. Where was I?”

DOUG – “You were under a deep trance, David.”

BOY MAYOR – “Uh, did I do anything weird?”

DOUG – “Well, you’ve been strutting around and crowing like a banty rooster every now and then. But I don’t think that has anything to do with the trance.”

BOY MAYOR – “Anything else?”

DOUG – “You hired Frank Straub to be police chief.”

BOY MAYOR – “Frank who?”

DOUG – “Straub. You made him the new police chief.”

BOY MAYOR – “Cock-a-doodle doooo!!!”

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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