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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Judge investigated for actions in bootlegging case

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane County Bar Association was investigating allegations that Police Court Judge Fred Witt visited several prisoners in jail and offered them immunity in the Spokane Hotel bootlegging case.

A bar spokesman alleged that Witt read them the “statute of immunity” as a way of convincing them to testify against the Spokane Hotel’s president. The result was a confession by one of the hotel employees.

It that were true, said an attorney, the bar would “severely criticize” the actions of the court and take steps to prevent any repetition.

Judge Witt admitted that he showed the witnesses the statute of immunity, but only in his chambers after they had expressed a willingness to testify. He said he felt that “I acted entirely within my rights.”

From the board game beat: Plans for a new tournament were announced for the Interstate Fair: a checkers tournament.

“Leading checkers players” from all over the region would converge for a series of matches. It would culminate in a championship matchup, in which “the checker board will be the entire stage in front of the grandstand, and living players will go through the moves, directed by the contestants.”

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