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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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A welcome new challenge for city attorney

From the top-floor windows of Spokane’s tallest building, Nancy Isserlis looks across a city landscape of financial heartache and recovery. She reigns as one of the top bankruptcy attorneys in the Northwest. Her work has ranged from clever, collaborative lawyering that helped rescue Schweitzer Mountain Resort in the 1990s to steely takeovers of businesses mired in the recession’s red ink.

Condon fires city attorney

In the biggest shakeup of his administration yet, Spokane Mayor David Condon on Thursday fired City Attorney Howard Delaney following worsening criticism of the legal office’s handling of a series of high-profile cases. Condon informed Delaney Thursday morning, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist, who also announced the appointment of new City Attorney Nancy Isserlis, a former chairwoman of the city’s Ethics Commission.

Spokane Mayor Condon fires City Attorney Delaney

Spokane City Attorney Howard Delaney, under fire for his handling of the Otto Zehm case and more recently its negotiated settlement to rehire an alcoholic police sergeant who fled from a drunken crash, is no longer the city’s chief legal counsel, according to several City Hall sources and others.

Clark: Click heels and repeat: There’s no disgrace like Thoma

One day Spokane Mayor David Condon declares there’s no good way out of the Brad Thoma tar pit. The City Council, he says, must vote to put Thoma back on the police force as a detective and reward the drunk-driving, hit-and-run disgrace to the badge with a quarter million-plus in back pay and lawyer bucks.

Woman’s 911 call prompts investigation of officer

Another Spokane police officer is facing potential termination after using law enforcement resources to find the home address of a woman he’d met at a Spokane Valley bar, then showing up uninvited in the middle of the night. Contacted by The Spokesman-Review, interim police Chief Scott Stephens, confirmed that he met Thursday with Senior Officer Alan D. Edwards and a union representative about the Dec. 15 encounter, which came to the department’s attention after the concerned woman called 911 and later lodged a complaint.

Fired officer’s settlement unleashes outcry, review

A controversial plan to rehire an alcoholic police officer fired after an off-duty drunken driving crash, and to give him back pay, has officials scrambling to explain the decision and dampen public backlash. Mayor David Condon said Wednesday the proposed settlement with former Spokane police Sgt. Brad Thoma sends the wrong message, but Condon added he nevertheless supports the settlement because it avoids the risk of losing a costly lawsuit. Meanwhile, Sharon Ortiz, state Human Rights Commission director, said she isn’t ready to give the settlement her stamp of approval, despite her agency playing a role in crafting the settlement.

Mayor defends Thoma settlement

Mayor David Condon today defended the City of Spokane’s decision to rehire an alcoholic police sergeant fired after an off-duty drunken driving crash.

Condon family feud could trouble mayor

A family squabble could become a big headache for new Spokane Mayor David Condon. Two of Condon’s brothers, who formed a compost operation that has a $2 million city contract, are fighting over ownership of the company, Barr-Tech. In addition, one of the brothers is involved with a new competing company, and both firms could end up vying for the same city contract in the future.

Condon lays out plan for policing

Spokane Mayor David Condon said Wednesday that the search for a police chief won’t be rushed. The city still is accepting applications for the job. But Condon said he will seek feedback from the public on the kind of experience and other parameters the city should use to narrow the field of candidates.

City, Zehm family will enter mediation regarding lawsuit

In the first significant step toward a possible settlement, Spokane city leaders and attorneys representing the mother and estate of Otto Zehm announced late Thursday that they will enter mediation to settle the civil suit filed over his death. “It’s time to move this long-standing case toward resolution, and mediation provides a tremendous opportunity to resolve this case outside of court,” Mayor David Condon said in a news release. “Resolving the Zehm suit is a high priority for me and our community.”

Panel will review police policies, procedures

To understand why the Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force training is under a microscope, consider this disconnect: Although the state’s top police trainer concluded that the fatal 2006 confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm was indefensible, the department’s own instructors and the city’s legal advisers have insisted that Spokane police officers were justified and handled the encounter appropriately. Here is how Spokane police Officer Terry Preuninger, a department training instructor, defended Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s decision to beat and shock the retreating Zehm: “If the officer believes that they were in danger, then that use of force would be authorized,” Preuninger told a federal jury in October, adding that there doesn’t have to be a “factual basis” for the officer’s fear of harm.

Condon to keep salary at $100K for 2012

Spokane Mayor David Condon will hold his salary at $100,000 this year as promised, despite the recent controversy over his predecessor’s pay. But he said he will review his options and the city’s legal opinions and may take more next year.

Condon gala aids Chase foundation

Addressing the crowd at his inaugural ball, Spokane Mayor David Condon said he will strive to be like the popular mayor who led the city when he was a boy, Jim Chase. More than 400 people attended Condon’s $75-a-plate “Our Town Gala” on Saturday night at the Lincoln Center in north Spokane. Proceeds will go to the Chase Youth Foundation, the financial arm of the youth commission that Chase fought to create when he was mayor in the 1980s.

Body cameras considered for Spokane police officers

Spokane’s elected leaders are ready to push for the use of body cameras on police officers to record their interactions with the public. The Spokane City Council on Feb. 6 will vote on a resolution outlining its goals for reforming the Spokane Police Department in the aftermath of an officer being convicted of violating the civil rights of a Spokane man who died in police custody.