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Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Scott Chesney remains mum on specific reasons for ouster

Scott Chesney, Spokane’s planning director who was abruptly ousted from his position last week, said Wednesday he was taking the “high road” and ending his role at the city.

Chesney did not give details on why he was forced to resign, but his silence is in line with that of Mayor David Condon and Jan Quintrall, head of the city’s Business and Development Services and Chesney’s supervisor, who both said they could not comment on the matter because of personnel confidentiality.

“It’s not my first choice, but I understand that there are irreconcilable differences in approach within an organization,” Chesney said about his resignation in an email. “There’s a degree of sadness in this change, but also one of pride. I’m proud to call Spokane home, and pleased with what we accomplished on my watch.”

Earlier this week, Chesney contacted Bob Dunn, an attorney who has mounted several successful lawsuits on behalf of former city employees in recent years, for potential legal action but decided against such a course.

Hours after Chesney’s dismissal became public, influential developers began speaking out and calling for Chesney’s reinstatement. Their sentiment was echoed by all City Council members. They wrote Chesney a letter of recommendation that only Councilman Mike Fagan declined to sign.

At a news conference Monday, Condon said Chesney wouldn’t return to City Hall and downplayed the concerns of a “handful of developers.” He also criticized the media for the “magnitude of interest” in Chesney’s ouster.

In his email, Chesney, who praised the work of his planning staff, noted a few projects he was especially proud of, including his work on the Grand Hotel Spokane, progress at the University District and “re-engaging with neighborhoods after years of bad feelings with city planning.”

Chesney said he will “explore several intriguing possibilities that I’m considering in the private sector.”

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