Yesterday afternoon this Reporter, along with Rachel Alexander of the Spokesman Review and Mitch Ryals of the Inlander were able to sit down for a Q and A with Interim Chief Craig Meidl and now Major Justin Lundgren. We covered a lot of issues that I feel are very important for the public to know so I am in the process of writing a story covering the Q and A. I am just waiting for responses from other folks before I publish.
The timing of the Q and A couldn’t be better in light of the Story finally published today in the Spokesman Review.
It was kind of fun for me because it was the first time in the State of Washington where I was able to take my tape recorder put it on the desk and record the interview without asking permission. For folks that don’t know Reporters are able to do that because of this exception to Washington State Privacy Laws.
(4) An employee of any regularly published newspaper, magazine, wire service, radio station, or television station acting in the course of bona fide news gathering duties on a full-time or contractual or part-time basis, shall be deemed to have consent to record and divulge communications or conversations otherwise prohibited by this chapter if the consent is expressly given or if the recording or transmitting device is readily apparent or obvious to the speakers. Withdrawal of the consent after the communication has been made shall not prohibit any such employee of a newspaper, magazine, wire service, or radio or television station from divulging the communication or conversation.
[1986 c 38 § 1; 1985 c 260 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 363 § 1; 1967 ex.s. c 93 § 1.]
Another thing that was cool was that I got to see and talk with Justin Lundgren, who I like, and have known since he was a kid playing on a hockey team I coached. Justin’s dad was a Cop, and one of many Detectives I broke in when they made Detective so it was nice, as a matter of fact when I returned home and told my Direct Supervisor that Justin was present she was excited to hear how he was doing, and we talked about the good old days. It was also nice to hear from Justin that his dad is among the many Cops and former Cops that read my stories.
After the obligatory introductions, the explanation delivered by Chief Meidl of SPD’s intent to be transparent from now on, and his warning (For some reason apparently directed at me.) about the necessity for congeniality, we got on with it. Interim Chief Meidl apparently wasn’t aware that for over four decades’ congeniality has always played a primary role in any of my interviews.
After reviewing the interview recording…Yep…sure enough…I asked most of the questions, and perhaps should have laid off and let Rachael and Mitch get more of their questions in. However, I believe they did end up getting some of their questions answered, including some important ones.
Some of the topics we covered were:
1) The Furniture-gate Case.
2) The reason SPD has taken down public access to the IA Files.
3) The reason the Lydia Taylor steroid/Brady Cop case was never posted on the IA Website.
4) Garrity as it relates to the Cotton/Straub Investigation.
5) The SPD morale factor as it relates to Tim Schwering failing the City of Spokane Civil Service Exam for Police Officer and yet being sent to the State Police Academy by Mayor Condon.
6) The COPS/DOJ and Use of Force Commission Report.
7) The Criminal Intelligence Unit and the maintenance, auditing and oversight of Intelligence Files.
8) The ability of SPD to run “Parallel Administrative Investigations” as both COPS/DOJ and the Use of Force Commission recommended.
9) We even were able to establish that former Police Chief Frank Straub, apparently wasn’t a very good driver and damaged his assigned vehicle more than once. In one case the vehicle damage was investigated by Rick Dobrow.
AND LOTS MORE!
I’m hoping to get my story published later today, but it may be later depending upon how quickly some folks respond to me.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!