Why is it important that the OPO should have reviewed IA Case C 16-044, and why would SPD not want you or the OPO to know about it?
Allow me to explain!
But let’s first look at Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren’s statements to the Inlander.
Assistant Chief Justin Lundgren says that the investigation into the non-commissioned employee’s rude attitude was not forwarded to Logue because the employee could not have been suspended, demoted or terminated, even if all accusations were true.
“This investigation did not qualify as an OPO involved investigation,” Lundgren says. “By definition, those are serious violations that could result in suspension, demotion or discharge.”
Why Justin Lundgren would make this statement is beyond me, especially since he knows I know what the case was about.
The complaint which was originally made to the OPO and was made by a candidate to become a Spokane Police Officer who alleged that there was misconduct on the part of a former SPD Detective who had been hired by the SPD to do background investigations. The former Detective happens to be one I broke in when he first started out as a Detective, and is someone that you would have to prove to me was out of line during a background investigation of an individual who was a candidate to become a Spokane Police Officer. Whether this former SPD Detective was truly out of line or not the OPO doesn’t at this point know if he hasn’t reviewed the investigation and it was hidden from him.
The truth is at this point whether the SPD employed Background Investigator did do the things he was accused of is of little consequence, and I highly doubt he did. The key issue is whether the case was kept from the OPO out of fear that if it became public it might not look good for SPD with respect to how their hiring process works which is something that is without question within the purview of the OPO, whose responsibility is to oversee the entire workings of SPD. Is there a pattern of this type of complaint against the SPD employed Background Investigator? Again, knowing him I doubt it but I sure as hell would like to know and especially if the complainant was a minority, as was the case with IA Case C 16-004 and Officer Christopher McMurtrey.
Obviously if the complaint was true some type of discipline or monitoring of the City Employee should result, even if it is just a bad boy file letter and not a suspension, demotion, or discharge. It appears that Assistant Chief Lundgren believes a decision as to whether a case is subject to “suspension, demotion, or discharge” should be left ENTIRELY up to SPD. Think about that folks!
Lundgren’s position looks consistent with the views concerning the OPO his Boss Craig Meidl expressed when Meidl oversaw IA like his wife is now. So, I’m not surprised.
“Timeliness to him, it’s subjective,” Meidl said.
He said the three aspects Burns is charged with reviewing in an investigation – timeliness, thoroughness and objectivity – are limited to an internal investigation, not the action taken because of the investigation.
“If he wants that authority, he’s going to have to get the ordinance changed,” Meidl said. “It’s the law, and we’re all expected to uphold the law, whether it’s labor law or criminal law.”
Of course, changing the Ordinance is entirely up to the Police Guild since Mayor Condon and the City Council approved the last contract. Since the City and the Guild are currently involved in contract negotiations, one would have to wonder exactly where Chief Meidl, and Assist Chief Lundgren stand on the OPO issue.
People should be asking if the understaffed, outnumbered, and underfunded OPO is a “National Model” and “Best in the West” as it was touted to be by Mayor Condon, and Frank Straub.