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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Shawn Vestal: Police shouldn’t get say in their own oversight

When the committee charged with picking the top candidates to be Spokane’s next ombudsman made a decision, they formalized it through a standard bit of Robert’s Rules of Order. A representative of the police lieutenants and captains union made the motion to approve the finalists.

Speakers favor Florida candidate for Spokane police ombudsman

Spokane residents expressed strong support for hiring Robert Breeden as Spokane’s new police ombudsman at a public forum Tuesday, but some speakers said they’d prefer the city continue the search process rather than picking one of the three finalists.

Long wait to hire Spokane police ombudsman nears end

Three finalists for Spokane’s police ombudsman will be in town this week for community interviews, signaling an end in sight for a hiring process many say has left the position vacant for too long. Since the start of the year, the Spokane Police Department has received 71 complaints and classified more than half as inquiries, meaning further investigation is not warranted, according to data provided by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability. They’ve also completed 21 Internal Affairs investigations and had three officer-involved shootings, one fatal.

Spokane police ombudsman finalists named

The field of applicants wanting to be Spokane’s next police ombudsman has been narrowed to three finalists and includes a retired law enforcement whistleblower from Florida, a former Southern California police officer now working as a North Idaho private eye and a Canadian police misconduct investigator. But with the city’s police oversight panel gutted by forced resignations and the removal of former NAACP President Rachel Dolezal, further progress will have to wait as Spokane City Council members and Mayor David Condon evaluate potential replacements.

Shawn Vestal: Act against hate; Spokane deserves it

If you think the NAACP is an important organization with a vital mission, now would be an excellent time to show it. If you think that the city’s ombudsman commission and oversight of the police department is a crucial enterprise, now would be an excellent time to show it.

Spokane Council removes Rachel Dolezal from police panel

Embattled civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal lost another local leadership role Thursday. Spokane City Council members removed her from the fledgling Police Ombudsman Commission following an internal investigation into misconduct that targeted three commissioners. One of the other volunteer commissioners investigated, Kevin Berkompas, submitted his resignation, while the third, Adrian Dominguez, will be given a chance to respond to the investigative findings next week before the council decides whether to remove him. “I just hope we are all able to move forward quickly,” said Council President Ben Stuckart

Dolezal ousted from ombudsman commission

Rachel Dolezal, the embattled former leader of Spokane's NAACP branch, was removed this afternoon from the city's police ombudsman commission.

Rachel Dolezal responds to misconduct findings

Yesterday,Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart said an independent investigation confirmed numerous claims of harassment and abuse of power by three members of the volunteer citizen Police Ombudsman Commission. About an hour after the press conference concluded on Wednesday, Rachel Dolezal released the following statement.

Three members of police oversight panel, including Rachel Dolezal, asked to resign

Spokane’s independent police oversight panel is in turmoil. Three of its five members, including former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal, likely will be removed by the City Council if they don’t immediately resign following an investigation that found multiple instances of misconduct including records tampering, disclosure of sensitive information, demeaning treatment of city employees and attempted overstepping of their authority.

Dolezal and other police oversight committee members accused of misconduct

Just when you think it can't get any worse-- it does. The actions of former NAACP chairman Rachel Dolezal and two other members of the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission threatened that group’s impartiality and effectiveness, a city investigation has found. In response Spokane Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart have called on all three members to resign. In a news conference today, Condon and Stuckart said the three leaked sensitive information about police misconduct investigations.

Mayor calls for Rachel Dolezal, two other oversight commission members to resign saying they leaked sensitive information

The actions of former NAACP chairman Rachel Dolezal and two other members of the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission threatened that group's impartiality and effectiveness, a city investigation has found. In response Spokane Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart have called on all three members to resign. In a news conference today, Condon and Stuckart said the three leaked sensitive information about police misconduct investigations.

Spokane officials investigating Rachel Dolezal’s behavior on ombudsman panel

Spokane’s embattled NAACP president faces a challenge on a new front. A source close to Spokane City Hall said city officials have opened an investigation regarding Rachel Dolezal’s behavior as an Office of Police Ombudsman commissioner. The source declined to be named because the case still is open, but said the inquiry is not related to her claims about her race.

Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal’s claims about background disputed

Controversy is swirling around one of the Inland Northwest’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members of Rachel Dolezal saying the local leader of the NAACP has been falsely portraying herself as black for years. Dolezal, 37, avoided answering questions directly about her race and ethnicity Thursday, saying, “I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation” before engaging in a broader discussion with the community about what she described as a “multilayered” issue.

Shar Lichty to challenge Condon for Spokane mayor

Spokane Mayor David Condon gained his first challenger Tuesday in his race to be the first re-elected mayor since the era of Expo ’74. Shar Lichty, an organizer with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, said Monday she is running for Spokane mayor, declaring that she is “one of the people” and drawing a contrast with Condon, whom she called the “millionaire mayor.”

A voice for the voiceless

From chewy bacon and hard-to-cut biscuits to encouraging a family to put their mother in a memory care unit, Michal Rosenberger has done it all in her year as a volunteer long-term care ombudsman. Several times a week, Rosenberger, a retired teacher and school counselor, visits residents at Brookdale Place at NorthPointe, the 120-bed assisted living facility around the corner from her house in north Spokane.

Spokane City Council will hire its own attorney

The Spokane City Council is poised to assert its independence from Mayor David Condon’s administration as it begins a search for its own attorney. Council members say relying on legal advice from city administration threatens their autonomy.

Breean Beggs picked to represent ombudsman commission

A local attorney who has pushed city leaders for stronger police oversight has been selected to represent Spokane’s new ombudsman commission. Breean Beggs was selected over a former mayor and another candidate.