With the recent placing of SPD Captain Brad Arleth on paid administrative I thought it would be a good idea to update the Lynden Smithson issue, and make a couple of comments regarding the Arleth paid leave.
I have only heard unsubstantiated rumors as to why Arleth was placed on leave, so I can’t report much at this point, however I can tell you that currently at SPD various factions are in the typical battle for power which always happens when a leadership vacuum is created, and Cops can get even more cut-throat during that process than the private sector does. We will have to see how this plays out.
THE LYNDEN SMITHSON ISSUE!
After some prodding I did receive some information via email from Nancy Isserlis regarding why Lynden Smithson was place on 5 weeks of paid administrative leave. I’m glad Nancy Isserlis chose to respond to my email as I feel transparency and the truth are the best approach for any government administration. However, our email exchange causes me even more concern because of the circumstances surrounding the paid leave and how it may have been handled. Hopefully it wasn’t handled like the Cotton/Straub case where it appears the Condon administration thought the truth would never get out. In the Lynden Smithson case it very likely would have never been known if it hadn’t been caught in the PRR.
In the first email copied below, I try and demonstrate to Isserlis that a response to me would be a good idea based on some interesting background surrounding Mr. Smithson.
City Attorney Isserlis responds stating that Smithson was placed on paid administrative leave after she was contacted by an outside agency conducting an investigation into a case involving “Staphone Fuentes”. From the standpoint of my PRR since Nancy Isserlis was the individual contacted by the “outside agency” I would have to assume Isserlis documented that contact, as any lawyer would, and it along with all the other documents will be made available to me.
Like any Investigative Reporter the next step is to figure out who the hell “Staphone Fuentes” actually is, so I check open and closed sources and come up with the name “Stafone Fuentes” who is the only individual I can determine has been investigated by “an outside agency”.
In an effort to clear things up I send this email to Nancy Isserlis.
I then received this response from Isserlis which troubles me in three areas. First, I would think that if a City Attorney placed one of her staff on paid administrative leave for five weeks she would have done reports and would know the correct spelling of the individual who was the target of an investigation that lead to her employee being placed on administrative leave. Second, Isserlis does not answer my question as to whether the issue involved a highly publicized Federal Case. Third, the timing of placing Smithson on paid administrative leave in March and April of 2015 would IMO more likely coincide with the trials of co-conspirators in the case rather than Fuentes…but I guess we will have to wait for the PRR Documents.
I have not received a response to this last email I sent to Nancy Isserlis where I ask some pointed question. I am hopeful I will receive a response soon.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!