Ryan Holyk



Rob Curley



Ryan Holyk

Although the pay for this Investigative Reporting gig hasn’t increased, and despite attempts to silence me, my circulation has increased not only at the local level but also the national level. That increase has resulted in my story file having been filled to the point that I have to pick and choose what I’m going to deal with.

The importance of the Ryan Holyk story, even though it has been in the news for a long time, should be obvious to all because it points out the complete lack of accountability in the Internal Investigative Process of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and the WSP. Much like the Otto Zehm case attempts to hide the truth were overcome primarily by private citizens seeking the truth, and those private citizens were marginalized, subjected to intimidation, and were targeted with the maintenance of intelligence files by Sheriff Ozzie which he has publicly disseminated to a select few. As for me…bring it on…I love that kind of stuff!!!


As many know my criticism of the SIRR Team predates the Use of Force Commission Report and the COPS/DOJ Review of SPD. Both reports documented my criticisms, and the Ryan Holyk case is just another example not only of the complete lack of accountability, but also the lengths local law enforcement leadership will go to cover-up the truth in order to cover their own rear ends.


One of the new interesting aspects of the Ryan Holyk case is that once again, as he attempted to do in the Otto Zehm case, Jim McDevitt is attempting to take credit for reopening the case by making this statement:

The investigation in this matter has been reopened, in large part at my request.  I have the utmost trust in the parties involved, including WSP, SPD and SCSO.  My last day in this position is June 30th, so this matter will continue under new leadership.”


Nothing of course could be further from the truth.


Rob Curley


The possibility that Stacy Cowles will be hiring Rob Curley to replace Gary Graham at the Spokesman Review could be a big story because it will have a direct effect on way “news” is reported here in Spokane. As I have mentioned in the past the fact that Graham was retiring has been well known for some time and much like a police department, and cops, when a new Chief is coming in so there was a lot of bucking for position going on within the SR. My criticism of the SR is somewhat legendary, but Journalists are much like Cops and will seek somewhat odd alliances when things they don’t like happen so this could get real interesting.


It seems kind of dumb to state it again but Stacy and Betsy long ago flushed the SR down the toilet, so the question would be; Is the possible hiring of Curley another move in that direction? We have to keep in mind that any decision they make is entirely business related, unlike their father’s always were. Say what you want about Bill he always had the newspaper in first or second place. Should Curley be hired there will definitely be a change at the SR, and according to sources in the know from more than one place he has been there will be staff changes.


Keep in mind that Rob Curley has worked in a number of places besides his most recent stop and when Journalists feel someone has ruined their profession… amazingly they are even less reluctant to talk about it than Cops are, so this could get real interesting if not down and dirty.

Stay Tuned!







For folks that don’t recall Lynden Smithson, a Prosecutor in Nancy Isserlis’s office, was placed on five weeks paid administrative leave around the same time that Captain Brad Arleth the target of the Furniture-gate intimidation by the Condon Administration was placed on paid administrative leave.

Isserlis 1

Isserlis 2









The difference between the Smithson case and the Arleth case is that a considerable about of time and money was spent investigating Captain Arleth, however there was NO, ZERO, NADA investigation of Lynden Smithson by Isserlis and the City of Spokane. The only evidence that anything was done as far as Smithson is concerned was a copy of the City’s Drug Testing Policy was disseminated to a few folks involved in the case. Of course whether or not a lack of investigation had to do with Smithson’s wife’s employment with Lawyer Rob Cossey, we don’t know. But there are many things about the Smithson case we don’t know, and obviously Mayor Condon doesn’t want us to know.

Here is some background:








Pfister Nissen Union 1

Pfister Nissen Union 2





As I have mentioned in the past I generally have to wait long periods of time for responses to my PRRs and in most cases Ms. Pfister responds late on a Friday. When I opened my email Sunday evening I found this, and responded this AM. To me it is very telling and should be a cause of concern for not only Citizens but also the Spokane City Council.

Pfister to me 6 24 2016

Me to Pfister 6 27 2016 1








Kip Hill of the SR submitted this story on June 26, 2016:




Hill, who now covers City Hall with the moving on of Nick Deshais, for the first time mentioned what I reported here first.




The story by Hill does show that Karen Stratton and perhaps most of the City Council have finally grasped the obvious, which is that the fears of cronyism, nepotism, and corruption which were expressed during the Charter change vote to the Strong Mayor form of government have come to fruition.

Good job Councilwoman Stratton…but there is a long way to go.


From the deletions in the comments section of Hill’s story it would appear that once again I was the brunt of negative comments from my apparently paranoid friends Andrew Scheldt and Sheila Chase, something I will deal with as time permits, but it will have to take a back-burner to some other stories I am working on, including some issues inside the SCSO, so stay tuned.







For my readers who don’t recall, along with a Culture Audit of SPD, the COPS/DOJ Review included the recommendation that a Staffing Analysis of SPD be done to see what kind of a bang we are getting for our bucks.

I have covered the Staffing Analysis of SPD pretty extensively in the past and here are just a couple of recent stories.






If you have followed the Staffing Analysis issue you would know that it was super-secret stuff and the Spokane City Council didn’t even know about it. So as is often the case a PRR had to be submitted to get everyone up to speed, unfortunately including the City Council and the Public.


Here is just some of the email interaction involving the super-secret stuff:

RA Meidl 1

RA Meidl 2

RA Meidl 3


You might notice from the above email thread that I’m on Interim Chief Meidl’s stay away from list, which is generally the case when an investigative reporter actually confronts public officials with the tough questions they don’t want to answer. The type of questions other reporters either are afraid to ask or they simply don’t get it.


When I write a story on my news sight I almost always receive even more information from sources regarding the issues I report on, and that is exactly the case regarding the Staffing Analysis Issue. I am going to hold off on what I have learned until we see the work product of Timothy J Freesmeyer a former cop and now “Expert Consultant”. I’ll just say it is pretty typical of what is going on at SPD.


This is some background:






The following are links to all the RFP responses so you can decide:















I certainly will “BE ON THE LOOKOUT” …The public, The City Council, and Other Media should be as well.





Good News…Well Maybe!!


The Spokane City Council to their credit appear to have finally come to the conclusion that they have made huge mistakes in when it comes to fixing the Spokane Police Department. This City Council July 20th, 2016 Agenda Item MAY be evidence of the realization perhaps they have come to that among many other big mistakes they made, dividing the SPD into several different Divisions at the request of Mayor Condon and Frank Straub only assisted in the SPD downfall.


The crony exempt hiring of people like new SPD Patrolman Tim Schwering, Selby Smith, Monique Cotton, Jim McDevitt, and many others was destined to result in what we have today. I won’t bother to mention the exempt hire of Kyle Twohig, but it is all the same really, and an out of control corrupt Strong Mayor more concerned about themselves and their cronies will bring down any Police Department or City for that matter.


For those that don’t know there was testimony given by other retired SPD Cops regarding this issue at a Public Safety Committee Meeting where actual facts were present to the committee members. The change in City Ordinance is a necessary move to get rid of very high paid and completely inexperienced Condon Hires.


The Ordnance of course doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t require that crony exempt hires have any of the background and experience necessary to do those high paying jobs.


There is much more to do, as far as undo is concerned…but at least this is a START!!!!