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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Firefighter contract negotiations stall

Spokane city administrators and firefighters have reached an impasse in contract negotiations following the rejection of a proposed contract agreed to by former Mayor Mary Verner. The Spokane Firefighters Union requested that the contract be mediated by the state Public Employment Relations Commission, a move that was not challenged by the city, said Assistant City Attorney Erin Jacobson.

Condon fires city treasurer

Spokane Mayor David Condon on Wednesday fired another high-ranking administrator. Ellen Hung, the city’s treasurer, was told Wednesday that she will be terminated, said Spokane’s Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley.

Complaint going to mayor

A disagreement between the interim Spokane police chief and the police ombudsman about the handling of a recent complaint is getting the mayor’s attention. Ombudsman Tim Burns is asking Mayor David Condon to force the Spokane Police Department to investigate a complaint that arose when officers responded to a report of possible domestic violence at a home in the city.

Finding culture another home

Spokane Arts Director Karen Mobley says that by the end of the year she’ll likely be out of a job.    Her bosses won’t go that far. Nothing has been finalized, they say.    But the preliminary city arts budget staked out for 2013 doesn’t include enough to pay for Mobley, and plans are being made to instead give a smaller amount – less than half of what the city currently spends on the arts – to a nonprofit arts group.

Mayor eyes ‘metro’ model

Spokane Mayor David Condon said Friday that the Lilac City’s next police chief will not come from the ranks of the Spokane Police Department and indicated that he favors consolidating some police functions with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Condon said he’s reopening the search for chief, which no longer includes Interim Chief Scott Stephens.

Scales may tip against consumers

Spokane was the first city in Washington to create a program to ensure customers got what they paid for. But with another budget shortfall to fix, city leaders are proposing to eliminate their one-man Weights and Measures Department and let the state take over. Money for the city program isn’t included in the preliminary 2013 budget drafted by city administrators.

Mayor changes utilities chief, services

Spokane Mayor David Condon has assembled his team. At a news conference Friday he announced several changes in leadership and shifts at City Hall that he said finalizes changes to his leadership team – at least for a bit.

Mayor seeks outside candidate for next police chief

Spokane Mayor David Condon announced today that Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens is no longer being considered a candidate for chief and that he will not accept applications from within the department ranks.

Condon sped resolution by calling end to blame-Otto game

Tuesday morning, after the first full day of mediation in the Otto Zehm family’s lawsuit against the city of Spokane, there was no deal in sight. A group of attorneys and officials representing the city, the family and the insurance company had gathered at the federal building and old post office. Negotiations shuttled among the three groups in separate rooms, working through how much the city and its insurance company would pay and what other components a deal might include – an apology from the city; a form of memorial for Otto; a guarantee of better training for the police.

Activist’s referendum targets new city law

Changes to the way citizens can sidestep elected leaders to pass their own laws received the endorsement on Wednesday of Mayor David Condon. But there will be more steps before the new rules become law, if some citizens have their way.

Otto Zehm family reaches settlement with Spokane

The family of Otto Zehm will get the apology they sought for more than six years as Spokane city officials agreed Tuesday to settle a civil lawsuit against nine police officers for $1.67 million. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan, of Oregon, who directed the mediation along with Sandpoint attorney Ford Elsaesser, said Tuesday he will ensure that both sides get what they were promised as specific terms are ironed out in weeks to come.

Why city chose to blame Zehm remains unexplained

Spokane city leaders finally are admitting that mistakes were made during a 2006 police confrontation that led to the death of Spokane resident Otto Zehm. But it remains unclear if the city will answer a key question, one that officials have suggested for months would be explained. Why did city attorneys make official claims in 2009 that Zehm was responsible for his own death and that force used against him was “reasonable and necessary,” even though by that time then-Assistant Chief Jim Nicks had told a grand jury that the response likely violated department policy?

Tab tax work stalls

More than half the money allotted for street paving and improvements this year from Spokane’s new vehicle tab tax may not be spent in 2012, as officials debate whether to hire city workers or contract with private companies to do the work. Spokane Mayor David Condon decided earlier this year to contract much of the work to private companies, contradicting a recommendation from a citizens advisory board.