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Spokane developer Harlan Douglass set free after night in jail

Douglass appears in Superior Court on Thursday. (Dan Pelle)
Douglass appears in Superior Court on Thursday. (Dan Pelle)
By Nina Culver and Rachel Alexander The Spokesman-Review

For 24 hours, prominent Spokane developer Harlan Douglass was known as Spokane County Jail inmate number 401869.

Douglass allegedly slapped an opposing lawyer and pushed him up against a wall following a heated dispute at the Spokane County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Court documents describe accusations that Douglass assaulted Warren Robinson, an attorney for First American Title Insurance Co., about 11 a.m. Police arrested Douglass on investigation of third-degree assault. He was charged with a felony because the assault occurred on courthouse property.

Douglass was released from jail on his own recognizance Thursday. His attorney, Robert Cossey, said neither he nor his client had any comment.

Douglass was participating in a civil suit against First American Title Insurance filed by C 1031 Properties over a property he planned to develop into a storage facility. He testified Wednesday morning at a bench trial before Judge John O. Cooney prior to the alleged assault.

Douglass alleged First American failed to disclose a utilities easement at the current site of Self Storage Spokane, 214 S. Eastern Road, when the land – then vacant – was purchased by C 1031 Properties in 2007. According to court documents, Robinson told police he was in the hallway during a court recess and got into a discussion with Douglass. He said he tried to leave after Douglass became verbally aggressive.

Robinson told police he put his hand on Douglass’ shoulder and said he was sorry he couldn’t settle out of court. That’s when, witnesses said, Douglass slapped him across the left ear, then grabbed his wrist and pushed him up against a wall, court records say.

The civil suit was settled Thursday morning while Douglass sat in jail. Attorney John Munding, who represented First American Title in the lawsuit, said Thursday that the terms of the settlement are confidential.

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