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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Mayor needs to apologize, and here’s how to do it

His Lame Duckness – aka Spokane Mayor David Condon – has been overheard warbling like Bonnie Tyler about the prospects of hiring our next police chief.

“I need a hero, I’m holding out for a hero

“’Til the end of the night

“He’s gotta be strong

“And he’s gotta be fast

“And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight …”

Sorry to always be the grit in the gearbox, but Condon’s the last guy on the planet that we want involved in selecting the next person to run the SPD.

Not until he apologizes for Frank Straub, anyway.

The mayor pushed the former Indianapolis public safety director down our gullets despite objections from local law enforcers and the populace of Indy who warned us:

“DON’T HIRE THIS GUY! HE’S TROUBLE!!”

Condon got his way, of course. And wound up firing Straub in September over allegations of bad behavior, including from former police spokesman Monique Cotton, who claimed the chief harassed her sexually.

And now?

Wednesday’s Spokesman-Review rolled off the presses trumpeting the following front-page headline:

“Former police chief sues city over ouster.”

I shiver to think what this will cost us before it’s over. But to save whatever credibility he has left, the mayor needs to give us a mea coppa for this Straub mess.

Sure, sometimes saying you’re sorry is hard to do. So, here are 10 famous apologies that I’ve Condonized for mayoral use:

1. The Bill Clinton (finally coming clean about Monica)

“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Frank Straub that was not appropriate. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.”

2. The Tiger Woods (fessing up to cheating on his wife)

“I have let Spokane down, and I regret my transgressions with Frank Straub. I have not been true to my South Hill values and the behavior that City Hall deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short, compared to most mayors.”

3. The Lance Armstrong (on cheating)

“I went and looked up the definition of cheat. And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn’t view hiring Frank Straub that way. I viewed him as just another cop with facial hair.”

4. The Chris Brown (on beating up Rihanna)

“When I look back at it now, it’s just like, wow, like I can’t believe Frank Straub actually happened.”

5. The Kanye West (on stealing Taylor Swift’s thunder)

“I’m not crazy y’all, I’m just real sorry for hiring Frank!!!”

6. The Paula Deen (on using racial slurs)

“I want people to understand that I’m not the kind of mayor that the press is wanting to say I am.”

7. The Richard Nixon (on the Watergate break-in)

“No words can describe the depths of my regret and pain at the anguish of my mistakes that hiring Frank Straub has caused Spokane and the mayor’s office, a city I so deeply love and an office that I find quite roomy and with a fine view of the park.”

8. The Mark Sanford (married South Carolina governor on his affair)

“I’ve spent the last five days crying in Argentina. I hurt you all. I hurt my wife. I hurt my kids. I hurt a lot of different folks. Making Frank Straub police chief was wrong. Period. End of story.”

9. The Hugh Grant (on being arrested for lewd conduct in Los Angeles)

“I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing in bringing Frank Straub to Spokane. And there you have it.”

10. The Jimmy Swaggart (TV evangelist on being caught with a woman of negotiable virtue)

“Ahh have (sob) sinned against you, my Lord, for hiring this (sob) demon with a badge. AHH HAVE SINNNNNED!!!”

Pick one, David. Put your pride aside and let the healing begin.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at dougc@spokesman.com.

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