It is pretty simple really…Politics has again shown its ugly head in local law enforcement.
Mayor Condon knew that the Council votes were not there to confirm Meidl. By my count the vote would have been 6-1, or 5-2. On the other side the CC also knew that they had the upper hand in making a deal for a number of reasons, the most prominent being the Recall Movement against Condon. Had the City Council voted not to confirm Meidl, as they should have done, it would have looked extremely bad for Condon and likely would have added many signatures to the recall effort. The “Agreement” if that is what it is, I haven’t actually seen one in writing, provides both Condon and the City Council cover. Condon gains by having his second usurping of the process being less of a recall issue, and the CC escapes criticism for being politically motivated obstructionists. So from a political perspective only, it is a soft win for each side. Whether or not it is a win for the Community remains to be seen.
Will there be enough quality candidates wanting the job? Sure there will be and all the crap about Spokane being a career killer is poppy cock. Being the Chief of Police of the Spokane Police Department for the right individual is a career builder not killer, every applicant that applied knows that. The question is; “Is there a candidate in the pool that is willing to say NO to Condon and the Unions when clearly the interests of the Community as a whole are at stake. Meidl has proven by his history and actions that he is not capable of doing so. The vetting process of any candidate should include interviewing individuals that have supervised the candidate in the past in order to get their assessment of the candidate’s fitness for the position. As far as Meidl is concerned there are several of Meidl’s past supervisors available for interview. I’m also quite certain that some of them have already given their assessment based upon actual observation and knowledge of Meidl during his SPD career to members of the City Council, likely doing so because of their concern that SPD was again headed in the wrong direction.
I always find it kind of funny when a reporter uses Anne “Lie you die!” Kirkpatrick for background quotes. Yes, the same Anne Kirkpatrick who stated this;
March 1, 2009: Mayor Mary Verner and Chief Kirkpatrick publicly declare their support for Officer Thompson. “I’ve looked into the details surrounding this incident,” Verner says in an interview with The Spokesman-Review, “and I just don’t think the behavior of the officer rose to a criminal behavior.” Says Kirkpatrick: Thompson “has my unequivocal support. Based on all the information and evidence I have reviewed; I have determined that Officer Karl Thompson acted consistent with the law.”
It is real important to understand that Craig Meidl was Kirkpatrick’s third in Command when the Salute took place and the 505 Facebook Page was active. The same Facebook Page that Meidl states he didn’t pay any attention to and about that time ended his Facebook Account. The same Facebook Page that was started by and administered by Meidl’s new choice for Major… Kevin King.
Hell yes, Kirkpatrick would claim the SPD Chief’s Job was a career buster, because it was for her, and that record is clear. I have no idea how many places Kirkpatrick applied in other cities for a Chief of Police job but there were several and she was a finalist in some but was never given the job. Some of those places BTW, did do proper vetting and contacted some local Spokane folks familiar with her treacherous rein. She is now an appointed exempt, not Chief, of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. Thank you Rahm Emanuel!
During the Meidl roll out I was asked by a number of people, including some members of the CC, how do we determine where the 505 Facebook money went, and I calmly pointed out that that the first thing you do is ask newly appointed Major Kevin King, if he refuses to tell you then you are stuck because the Thompson support group never filed as a nonprofit, and no one forced them to. So the money was likely placed in a private account, probably at the Police Credit Union and would only be accessible via a subpoena.
I want to give credit to SR Reporter Kip Hill for pointing this out in his story yesterday;
“Meidl has said in recent weeks the email was meant to convey the opinions of a dejected department following Thompson’s conviction, not his personal feelings about the case. Meidl also said in an interview last week that he gave money to an account at the Spokane Law Enforcement Credit Union to support Thompson’s family.”
A story I might add that demonstrates how different sides line up supporters to speak either for or against different issues.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE…AGAIN?
That remains to be seen, and whether or not my choice of an internal candidate, Brad Arleth is even included also remains to be seen even though he actually applied, met all the criterion including education and not being involved in the Salute, and has very limited baggage if any. I have a number of reasons for Arleth being my choice including discussions with former SPD Brass who supervised both Meidl and Arleth, his superior experience to Meidl, and his willingness to stand up against the BS that goes on.
The problem Arleth has is that Condon knows he will buck him and “Big Momma” if they are wrong, as Furniture-gate clearly shows. The other problem Arleth has is that he along with EWU Professor Ed Byrnes in their report pointed out SPD’s problems with minority contacts. I know from personal experience doing similar reports while I was at SPD that doing so carries with it the inevitable distain from other cops for crossing “Then Thin Blue Line”.
This is just one of several where I had to put up with the typical BS from other cops, so I have a pretty good idea what kind of BS Arleth has had to put up with.
If you want to do what is right as a Cop or Chief of Police you have to develop one hell of a thick skin, call it like it is, and not succumb to political, peer, or union pressure. That is the type of leadership SPD is in dire need of right now. Whether it comes from an internal or external candidate, so this process, whatever it might end up being, needs not to be hurried and done with honestly and legitimacy this time.
One thing is for sure, I could never be a politician because I don’t have the ability to shirt around the obvious, which is; “Sir, you don’t meet my qualifications so thanks for not applying!”
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!