One of the dumbest things any Mayor can do is appoint an Ideologue to run a Police Department even if it is supposedly just for four months. So the obvious question is why Mayor Condon would attempt to appoint James McDevitt, a well-established Conservative Ideologue to run the Spokane Police Department. There have been a few theories that have surfaced behind Condon’s reasoning. Two of those theories seem to be the most prevalent, the first being that McDevitt is just a place holder crony to keep the lid on until Tim Schwering graduates from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy so that Schwering can return to the positon he had of keeping the lid on, which by the way hasn’t been real successful. The second theory is that Condon is attempting to bring McDevitt in and put him in a position to control the City Council’s independent investigation which is supposed to be concluded in April, much like Nancy Isserlis is trying to do via her assistant Pat Dalton. The big question is would either of those two theories work for Condon. IMO sure they would to an extent if the City Council approves McDevitt’s appointment, which would really be dumb for the City Council to do.
McDevitt’s long association with the Conservative Cowles Family is well documented even before the River Park Square Case in which McDevitt was involved, which brings me to today’s Spokesman Review Editorial linked below.
If the Spokesman Review is really interested in transparency then it is time they start doing their job, which of course would include actually doing some investigative reporting and pointing out all of the facts surrounding the issues, including McDevitt’s well documented Conservative Ideology and the role that ideology could very well play in running a Police Department. Again there is nothing wrong with a Conservative or Liberal Ideology, but when either gets in the way of rational thinking it becomes a problem.
For those familiar with the River Park Square Case you will remember Betsy Cowles statement under oath concerning the owner’s “Heads Up Policy”. Even though Addy Hatch of the Spokesman Review publically stated to me that the “Heads Up Policy” is no longer in existence at the SR one has to wonder exactly how much control over what does or doesn’t get published the owners have, especially considering all the money the Cowles Family gives to David Condon’s campaigns and the SR’s endorsements of Condon. One also has to wonder why in November of 2013 when Addy Hatch received considerable information about Frank’s Straub’s documented history of conduct at his previous stops, much like what has been exposed in Spokane, and assigned it to Jonathan Brunt for a story, whether she spiked the story or someone up the chain of command did.
Here is but one example of what isn’t getting into the SR, and the question is why? Pete Powell is a retired WSP Trooper whom I’ve known for years and when Pete was working in the WSP Organized Crime Unit, I was working in the SPD Organized Crime Unit where we both learned a lot about Spokane. Pete has always been a lot like me both on and off the job, neither of us have much tolerance for political and bureaucratic BS.
From: Pete Powell
Date: February 8, 2016 at 1:55:48 PM PST To: Caldwell Bert <Bertc@spokesman.com> Subject: Guest editorial
Hey Bert, here it is. As of today up to date. Please let me know if you can use it or needs editing. Thanks, Pete Guest Editorial Recent reporting by the Spokesman Review newspaper has revealed that Mayor Condon’s administrative staff have been avoiding their responsibilities on a larger scale than previously thought. Besides his assistant Theresa Sanders, his legal department and human resource office were complicit in covering up complaints against the mayors chief of police, Frank Straub. It now seems clear they were all aware of multiple complaints against Straub for creating a hostile work environment for many months. No one acted on these complaints even though state law required they do so on allegations of sexual harassment. It seems an unlikely coincidence that this failure to act occurred during the year Mayor Condon was running for re- election. We now know that Frank Straub may have been the worst boss in the city’s history, yet the mayor allowed him to stay on the job for nearly 6 months after learning of the serious allegations made against him. Mayor Condon finally fired Straub in late Sept. of 2015. The mayor was then elected for a second term. Now that the first of the lawsuits expected from Straubs tenure as the mayors handpicked Chief has been filed, the city council should waste no more time in demanding the mayor resign. We know that City Council President Ben Stuckart and the mayor refuse to speak to each other. The mayor added another assistant to the city payroll to act as the go-between for communications with the council. Under these awkward and unprofessional conditions, the council should demand Condon’s resignation. It is now abundantly clear that they mayor has compromised his integrity and creditability by his lack of candor and truthfulness during the Straub conflict. His lack of responsible leadership has left a vacuum throughout city hall. The council does not need to wait several months for the so-called independent investigation to report its findings. Mayor Condon’s administration has already proven itself dysfunctional on many levels and unable to lead with creditability. The city council should be aware that the mayors second choice for police chief, Rick Dobrow, created an atmosphere of mistrust and doubts about his leadership skills during his tenure. As reported in a Dec. 4, 2015 Spokesman Review story, Chief Dobrow appointed Capt. Rick Meidl as assistant chief. Chief Meidl was the ranking officer present at the infamous salute by 50 SPD officers in a federal courtroom. They stood and saluted as fellow officer Karl Thompson was led out of the courtroom on his way to prison. He had been convicted of a felony for his part in the homicide of an innocent man, Otto Zehm. After his recent promotion Asst. Chief Meidl explained his unprofessional behavior by stating ” nobody in the courtroom knew anyone from Zehm’s family was there”. Chief Dobrow went on to state the mayor was apparently satisfied with this ridiculous excuse for the insulting behavior of saluting the felon who had helped kill Otto Zehm. No officer has ever been held accountable for their disrespectful misconduct in a federal courtroom. There is also the question of why Chief Dobrow has failed to act in the criminal case involving his then Asst. Chief Shelby Smith for tipping off Sgt Ennis of the pending investigation against him for sexual assault. According to a Spokesman Review story on Dec. 4, 2015, Chief Smith was the source for informing former Police Guild President, Sgt. Gately and Internal Affairs Sgt. Staben of the criminal investigation being conducted by the Sheriff’s Office. He called them, then later met with them in his office to keep them informed of the investigation and pending search warrant for Sgt. Ennis. Both Gately and Staben made several calls to Ennis, then reported back to Chief Smith that Sgt. Ennis was being kept up to date on when the search warrant would be served on him. This tip off to Ennis resulted in Sgt. Gately being charged with rendering criminal assistance and obstruction of an officer. Chief Smith and Sgt. Staben were not charged in spite of the overwhelming evidence they were complicit in the tip off. There has been no mention of where Chief Dobrow was during this incident. Chief Dobrow seemed to show little leadership and accountability when it came to disciplining his employees. He sent a command officer, Capt. Brad Arleth, home with pay for a 30-day suspension supposedly for moving old office furniture to the new downtown precinct when told not to by an unnamed city employee. This precinct move itself is now under fire. One more problem for Chief Dobrow who has now abruptly announced his retirement claiming among other things, he is tired. Mayor Condon has now appointed his third police chief, attorney Jim McDevitt, a close political ally of the mayors. He was appointed to the new chief selection committee by the mayor and is now taking over the department without any actual police experience. He made the statement that when he takes over in March, “we need to put a lot of stuff behind us”. That is exactly the problem now facing the mayor and his police department. For the sake of the taxpayers and citizens of Spokane, Ben Stuckart and the City Council must act to prevent any more wrongdoing by the mayor and his police department to further damage the reputation and creditability of the SPD. City employees must be held accountable, not put behind us. Pete Powell Sent from my iPad __________________________________________________
HERE ARE JUST A SNAPHOT OF THE MULTITUDE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION AVAILABLE REGARDING JIM McDEVITT
While the charges against Brown carried a 10-year prison term, “if he cooperated with us, I have the ability to determine what his sentence will be,” McDevitt said.
(** I didn’t know you thought you had that much power Jim…I always thought it was up to the judge.)
Workers undervalue what they have
It is amazing to me that, given the salary and benefits a typical steelworker at Kaiser receives, he or she would vote to go out on strike. Did I read correctly what the average union member earns in salary and benefits:
- A minimum of $14 per hour with upwards to $20 per hour for those at the top of the scale?
- Fully funded medical and dental benefits for themselves and their families?
- A generous retirement package that provides for steady employer contributions?
- Paid vacations at the rate of two weeks for junior members and up to 12 weeks for senior members of the union?
- One of the most generous sick leave and disability packages in this community?
All of this adds up to the average Kaiser salary plus benefits amounting to $57,000 per employee per year. Did I read all of that right?
I don’t think most Kaiser workers understand how good they have it. They complain about having “lost” something. What about those who lost their jobs in the last 10 years, not just suffered a decrease in the rate of growth in their pay? Where else could these workers go in this community and get that kind of pay with benefits?
If Kaiser decides to hire replacement workers, I am sure it will have no problem finding hard-working, well qualified individuals willing to go to work at the level of pay and benefits Kaiser offered its employees in its last offer. James A. McDevitt Spokane
Luncheon editorial too negative
I was disappointed by the negative, one-sided tone of your “Low-power lunch of oddly bitter fare” editorial of May 10.
You use terms like “cavernous,” “missing” and “troubled” to describe the gathering of 1,875 who raised a record $223,000. You chided the speaker for her negative message and laid blame for this at the feet of the organizers, who had little or no control over the content of Carrie Fisher’s speech.
You omit any reference to the thousands of volunteer hours put into the organization and execution of this magnificent event. You neglect to mention that this totally private effort has raised a net of over $750,000 in the five years of its existence.
I hope those thousands of volunteers upon whom we depend for this event and others like it were not insulted by your misplaced criticism. But then, they probably weren’t upset, since we’ve become quite accustomed to pointless barbs which frequently appear on the editorial page. James A. McDevitt Spokane
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!