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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former city attorney accuses Straub report author of libel in latest statement

The war of words between the attorneys in the continuing controversy surrounding Mayor David Condon’s administration escalated on Thursday.

Former City Attorney Nancy Isserlis hurled a libel accusation against Kris Cappel, the independent investigator hired by the city to investigate the forced resignation of former police Chief Frank Straub.

“We expect a retraction by your client to set the record straight,” John Spencer Stewart, the attorney representing Isserlis, wrote to Cappel’s firm, the Seabold Group. “We consider her response to be nothing more than four pages of unsupported prose. If your client does not intend to retract her libelous report, there is no need for her to respond with another misdirected letter.”

The email message, shared with The Spokesman-Review, was in response to a letter Cappel sent Wednesday outlining her reasons for determining Isserlis and some of her employees were responsible for delaying the release of potentially damaging public records until after Mayor David Condon’s re-election last year.

Isserlis has not taken any legal action against Cappel. And Cappel already has refused one demand for a retraction from Stewart.

Isserlis denies that the records requested by The Spokesman-Review and other media outlets were delayed for political reasons, arguing instead that the request was voluminous and the potential for litigation from Straub and former spokeswoman Monique Cotton required legal review. The records were in Isserlis’ possession for five months before they were released. In her letter, Cappel called the threat of legal action a “red herring.”