This KHQ story regarding Carly Cortright was a long time coming, but it finally hit the media. It is an important story because it demonstrates exactly how Frank Straub has operated everywhere he has been. It also demonstrates that Mayor David Condon knew what Straub was up to and did nothing, exactly as he did in the Monique Cotton situation.
For those of you that have followed me over the years, you know that I continually tried to have other media look into the Cortright situation to no avail. The link at the top of this story represents just a small portion of the many attempts I made prior to starting this news blog. What is even more troubling is that over and over the City Council was made aware of among, many things, the Cortright situation, as well as the obvious problems with the “Golden Goose Fund”, but did absolutely nothing. Let me repeat that…the City Council did absolutely NOTHING and didn’t even consider an audit of the “Golden Goose Fund”.
A very legitimate question to me would be… “Okay hotshot, why didn’t you cover the story?” … The answer is I had my reasons and was convinced that at some point some of the details would come to light, especially during in the defense of Straub’s lawsuit against the City. The facts are that Mayor David Condon had more than enough reason to fire Frank Straub long before the Monique Cotton case came to light. Another consideration for me was that I have the utmost respect for Carly Cortright, whom I’ve worked with in the past. As you can see from the KHQ story she has the integrity and ethics completely missing in SPD leadership today and at some point I am hoping she returns to SPD where she would be far better utilized, although I certainly understand why she would not want to return.
The Cortright case is just one of many, including the more recent Arleth “Furniture-gate” case which demonstrates the lack of integrity SPD has been, and continues to be missing at the leadership level since 2012 when Condon took office. Based upon the way Condon has stacked the committee looking for a new Chief of Police there is a good chance that missing integrity will continue unless the City Council does their due diligence. One of the things not mentioned in the KHQ story is that Heather Lowe’s husband Mark Lowe, was an SPD Cop hired under questionable circumstances, much like Tim Schwering, who didn’t make it as a cop.
Though it might not be apparent to most folks this Inlander story has a direct relationship to the KHQ story.
You might notice the statements from Arleth and Walker regarding retaliation, something that was common place at SPD, and Cortright was a victim of. The conflict of interest between Lowe and SPD both while her husband was an SPD Cop and after he was let go were quite evident in the documents I am in possession of, and even though a phony effort was made to distance herself from Walker’s complaint she directed the person she assigned on exactly what to do and what not to do.
The Inlander Story gives me a pretty good picture of where the City Council Investigation, has been and apparently continues to go. The “Investigation” isn’t at all what I envisioned back in September of 2015 when I recommended to Council President Stuckart that the City Council utilize their investigative and subpoena powers to conduct and independent investigation.
It is import to notice in the Daniel Walters Inlander story very key terms used by the people he obtained comments from. The terms “interview” and “interviews” are telling, because as any investigator or lawyer knows, there is a distinct difference between an “interview” and a “statement”. An interview is simply sitting down and asking questions of an individual the answers to which may or may not be true. A statement on the other hand is a piece of evidence where questions are asked and recorded under the penalty of perjury, something the City Council has the authority to do but apparently has chosen not to do. The City Council could also subpoena all of the witnesses to testify before them under oath, and in public, but it sure looks like that isn’t going to happen.
This quote from the Walters story is very telling of the direction this investigation is taking:
“Jason Franklin, deputy director of business services, also agreed to participate. Beggs says that Angie Napolitano (Straub’s former administrative assistant) and Erika Wade, a city accountant, agreed to speak with Cappel about some, but not necessarily all, topics.”
So clearly the subject of the interviews are dictating the topics they will answer questions about…does that tell you anything?
“While none of the four city attorneys on Cappel’s witness list agreed to be interviewed, Beggs explains that they have to deal with the much more complicated issue of attorney-client privilege.”
Well of course they haven’t, why should they Breean, they haven’t been subpoenaed and forced to make the claim of ACP under oath so why should they? Aside from ACP there could be issues regarding violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct that may having a bearing on their Bar Card.
I was a strong supporter of the appointment of Breean Beggs to the City Council, and still am. I also supported him in his run for County Prosecutor. Having said that, Breean and I have discussed the rules of engagement and he knows if I see something I don’t like, I don’t care who you are it is going to get said, so there you go!
Needless to say things are NOT looking good at getting to the truth!!!!
I thought you might be interested in an email exchange between Patrick Erickson and myself after my call for a City Council Investigation months ago.
Why an independent investigation?
The letter sent to the City Attorney’s Office on September 18th marked as a privileged communication speaks directly to the need for an independent investigation as it documents but a few of the problems associated with Straub. According to a KXLY news report as well as the items outlined in the letter an allegation of lying was made. The need for an independent investigation should be obvious. The investigation should include interviews with Carl Cortright regarding the expenditures of moneys by Straub while she was the SPD Director of Business Operations and whether or not that had anything to do with her transfer. There should be an investigation into Straub’s firing of two other female employees, Teresa Giannetto, and Melissa Nystrom. Nystrom who was a long time secretary for Tim Burns was transferred to SPD IMO to give the appearance of credibility to Tim Schwering’s position, she failed a polygraph examination, a fact known to City Council members…the implications are obvious as far as that is concerned. You can do a simple check of Straub’s lack of credibility in Indianapolis by contacting Russ McQuaid at channel 59 there. He did extensive coverage of Straub there much of which dealt directly with Straub’s lack of credibility while he was there. I might add that much of the information from Indianapolis was provided to Addy Hatch at the SR approx. two years ago. It was not me who provided the information. IMO in following the finances of the SPD from agenda items there appears to be some problems with accounts controlled by Straub, Selby Smith, Rick Dobrow, and Tim Schwering. As far as complaints about mismanaged staffing please refer to the recommendations of COPS/DOJ.
You might also find this Twitter message between Rachel Alexander and myself interesting.
In that particular message I was complimenting Rachel on this story she wrote and just suggested she contact Carly Cortright who knew a lot. If you look at the comments to the story I would bet, you can guess whose comments were deleted.
Can’t say I haven’t tried!
So how does all the above relate to this story?
It is pretty simple…there has been a history of unethical behavior and lying on the part of Frank Straub everywhere he has been including here in Spokane and what I have written above is only a portion. The problem for Mayor Condon is he knew about all of it, yet he kept Straub rather than lose face and hurt his political aspirations.
I should mention that I am somewhat surprised that Judge Rice did not recuse himself from this case as he did in the Jill Bolton case because of his close relationship with James McDevitt who now is Condon’s man controlling SPD. If there is an appeal I wonder if Mary Schultz will use that as an appeal issue. That aside, now that Straub’s lawsuit has been dismissed by Judge Rice it will be up to Straub, not Mary Schultz, to decide whether or not to appeal the case to the Ninth Circuit. The calculation Straub has to make is whether or not in an appeal the City’s defense will bring out all of his conduct during his time here and how that might affect his chances of future employment in law enforcement, or whether is lawsuit has served his purpose of playing the victim, similar to the game his hatchet gal Ellen Corcella played in Indy with her lawsuit.
As I have mentioned before WE, the City of Spokane, have an excellent defense to Straub’s lawsuit but one of the problems not for US but for Mayor Condon is that the defense includes making him look like a fool for hiring Straub and not getting rid of him long before the Cotton/Straub Case. The insurance company lawyers know that, the City Attorney’s Office know that, and every lawyer involved in the case know that. So the question becomes does Straub tell Mary Schultz to proceed with the appeal in hopes of getting a lesser settlement so all the players somewhat save face, or does Straub get out now while the getting is good so he can pretend he was a victim? Mary Schultz will cost Straub money if he wants to continue, and if all the facts are allowed to come out nobody will look good so this could be the end of Straub’s lawsuit but not the rest of the mess, it all depends on Straub.
Some of you might wonder what Frank Straub is doing today…same old…same old pretending he knows what he is talking about.
NOTE: I usually request comment from the City Council regarding my stories, and at one time did get some comment. That has changed for some reason but I’ll try it again on this one and report if I get anything.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!!