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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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Veterans Court weighs stress of war service

After surviving 15 months in one of the most dangerous places on Earth, Iraq war veteran Carl Jacobson thought he could cope with just about anything civilian life had to throw at him. Jacobson realized he was wrong the day he learned that his beloved former platoon leader had been gravely wounded by an enemy sniper.

Lawsuit filed over jump from bridge

Attorneys have filed a $4.7 million federal civil suit against the Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff’s Department for their failed attempt to keep a mentally ill man from jumping off the Monroe Street Bridge while his father watched. Breean Beggs, formerly of the Center for Justice, filed the suit in federal court Monday, one day short of the three-year anniversary of Joshua Levy’s fatal jump. The 28-year-old college student with paranoid schizophrenia was engaged in a standoff with police on July 26, 2007, that lasted into the next day.

Lawsuit filed in Monroe Street Bridge suicide

Attorneys on Monday filed a $4.7 million federal civil suit against the Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for their failed attempt to keep a mentally-ill man from jumping off the Monroe Street Bridge while his father watched.

Center for Justice loses lawyer

Breean Beggs, the self-described chief catalyst for the public interest law firm Center for Justice, announced his resignation Monday, citing both fewer financial resources at the firm and aspirations for a future run at public office. Beggs, 47, quickly said he has no public office in mind, especially the already contentious race for Spokane County prosecutor.

Center for Justice director to resign

Breean Beggs, the self-described chief catalyst for the public interest law firm Center for Justice, announced his resignation today citing both fewer financial resources at the firm and aspirations for a future run for public office.

Candidates’ home addresses become issue in judicial race

The single contested race for Spokane Municipal Court judge has somehow morphed into a battle of addresses rather than qualifications for the job. Judge Tracy Staab, who was appointed 10 months ago when the city split away from Spokane County District Court during a legal fight over elections, is facing Spokane attorney Bryan Whitaker.

Feds unhappy with city attorney

Federal prosecutors have grown increasingly critical of what they describe as questionable behavior by the Spokane Police Department’s chief legal adviser, who reportedly used his position to provide “traditionally confidential” information to the officer under FBI investigation following the fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm. In documents filed recently in U.S. District Court, prosecutors describe a pattern of behavior by Assistant Spokane City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi that raises questions about whether the city actively sought to interfere with the federal investigation that led to a grand jury indictment of Officer Karl F. Thompson. Treppiedi disputes any suggestion that he has acted improperly.

Court upholds thousands of verdicts

The state Supreme Court may have saved the city of Spokane millions of dollars Thursday by ruling that district court judges had the authority to try city cases. But the court’s unanimous reinstatement of two drunken-driving convictions doesn’t mean the city will get rid of its new Municipal Court system.

Thompson supporters raise cash

Friends of Otto Zehm wore small blue buttons that read “Otto” in support of the mentally ill janitor, after he died in 2006 following a struggle with Spokane police. Now friends of Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. are rallying with $10 blue wristbands to raise money for Thompson’s “out-of- pocket” expenses as he awaits trial in federal court on charges of using unreasonable force against Zehm and lying to detectives who investigated the incident. Thompson has been transferred to desk duty and is still collecting his salary of about $73,000 a year, not including overtime. The city of Spokane and the federal government are paying his defense costs in the civil and criminal cases against him.

County broke records law, court says

Spokane County didn’t look hard enough for documents sought by a citizens group when it alleged nepotism in county hiring, a state appeals court has said. Now the county faces thousands of dollars in fines for violating the state’s public records law. The state Court of Appeals recently overturned one of two rulings siding with the county in a 2005 public records dispute with the Neighborhood Alliance. The group sought records to bolster its contention that Steve Harris, the son of then-Commissioner Phil Harris, was illegally hired for a job in the Building and Planning Department.

Petition proposes big changes to charter

A coalition of neighborhood activists, union members and environmental groups has begun gathering signatures to put a wide-ranging change to the Spokane City Charter on the November ballot. But some city officials wonder if it’s so wide-ranging it won’t stand up in court.

Yohe’s blood, medical records obtained

Police detectives used a search warrant to get an unconscious man's medical records immediately after his May 1 encounter with sheriff's deputies in Spokane Valley, court records show. That tactic, similar to a search warrant used to obtain the medical records of the late Otto Zehm – who was Tasered and beaten by police – may have violated privacy rights, Breean Beggs, of the public-interest law firm Center for Justice, said Wednesday.