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Saturday, March 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Police trainer arrested in fight gets no jail time

A Spokane Police Department consultant cited for two counts of assault after a fight in the Davenport Hotel bar in May will not serve jail time under a plea deal approved this week.

Paul Lewis, a trainer with the Boston-based North American Family Institute, was in town to oversee the police department’s Youth and Police Initiative program for at-risk youth when the incident occurred. When police arrived, Lewis, 51, told the officers that he was friends with Police Chief Frank Straub and wanted to speak with him.

Straub said in an interview last month that he told the officer who called him to write the citations for Lewis and to arrest him if he created any problems.

“It was somebody who made a very bad personal decision,” he said of Lewis. “He made a significantly bad decision when he chose to use my name.”

Straub said Lewis was simply an employee of the North American Family Institute, a company he had worked with previously in White Plains, New York, and Indianapolis.

“He’s a contractor,” Straub said. “He’s not my employee.”

Lewis received a stipulated order of continuance that is common for first time offenders with no prior criminal history, said City of Spokane Prosecutor Justin Bingham. If Lewis has no more criminal charges in the next two years and pays all his court costs, the charges will be dismissed, Bingham said. As part of the deal Lewis had to agree that the police reports were accurate.

“If he screws up, gets a new charge or doesn’t pay his court monitoring fees it comes back to life,” Bingham said. “We give these to people we assume will not reoffend.”

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