I’m not sure what anyone would expect Meidl and Condon to say publicly…other than…” Dog gone it!” I still can’t figure out why folks can’t grasp the FACT that it was former Mayor Mary Verner’s written request to ask DOJ to look at the SPD which got the ball rolling and NOT Condon and Straub.
There are many things I could comment on, but I will for the most part refrain. For Folks that don’t recall former SPD Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick was John Urquhart’s Undersheriff for a short 18 months when all the stuff began to surface. In my opinion it was Kirkpatrick who started the downward slide of SPD.
Could it be the adverse DOJ Audits of Federal money given to the SPD in the past for staffing certain programs, or is it because the new head honchos feel Spokane is a “Sanctuary City”?
This one is a no-brainer and especially for anyone who has investigated hundreds upon hundreds of Rape Cases. Simply show the same compassion you would for any victim, be completely objective and honest with the victim, there is never a reason to disbelieve a victim unless there is sound, solid, and corroborative evidence to prove you shouldn’t.
I could probably go for days on this one, but you get my point.
If people only knew how many serial rape cases might be solved if some for once decided that rape is a horrendous crime and tougher than a murder to investigate!
I have lots of things in the story file, just waiting for some PRRs to come back and you know how that goes. One interesting story will be regarding an upcoming murder case where hatred toward an individual by one elected official has resulted in an effort to keep Justice from being served.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
It is good to see the Spokane Fire Department is looking beyond gender in the hiring of its Administrators, this could be a good sign and a step in the right direction.
What is quite interesting to me about this hire is something most people aren’t aware of other than Firefighters and Cops and has been quietly hidden from the Public.
Trisha Wolford has a substantial background in Arson Investigation.
“Wolford, who will transition into her new role in Spokane in a few weeks, comes from the Bozeman Fire Department in Montana, where she held the position of deputy fire chief since December 2015. While there, she was responsible for operations and activities of the fire investigation division.”
“Before her work at the Bozeman Fire Department, Wolford worked for the Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Fire Department as firefighter and paramedic prior to promotion to lieutenant, the news release states. After completing training at the Anne Arundel County Police Academy, she was assigned to the Arson and Explosives Unit of the Fire Marshal Division.”
The facts are the Spokane Fire Department has handed off Arson Investigation to the supposedly overworked Spokane Police Department, much to the dismay of several of the Firefighters I have talked to about this issue. Since Assistant Chief Wolford does have a background and should understand the need for a quality SFD Arson Investigation Unit like nearly every other Fire Department in the Nation, including Bozeman where the Assistant Chief comes from, perhaps she will have enough influence to change things back to the way they should be.
The excuse SFD or Mayor Condon are apparently using for the change is this:
Lt. Wohl stated that the arson investigator has no powers to investigate; they expect SPD will investigate, per their understanding from the Mayor’s Office.
What that means is the Mayor and SFD Brass don’t want to spend the money to send a couple of Firefighters through the Washington State Law Enforcement Training Academy and have them Commissioned with the State of Washington to investigated, and make arrests in Arson cases. Aside from the State Law Enforcement Academy Arson Investigators are required to graduated from very extensive training regarding identifying such things as Fire Cause and Origin, Arson Crime Scene Investigation, and the like. Sure, it ends up being costly training, but if someone doesn’t have it who can testify on the witness stand in Criminal and Civil cases, the Investigation isn’t worth a crap. That quite simply means some SPD Detective will have to receive the Arson training.
Back in June I advised the City Council of the new plan, they of course weren’t aware of it, but I did get this response from one City Council Member, which makes me wonder exactly where the new SPD Arson Investigator Position might be hidden in the current budget process.
Sunday, June 25, 2017 10:24 PM
“From what I understand, there is a task team discussing the idea. I did speak with a SFD arson investigator and he is on the committee. He explained that they would continue to do the arson investigation — but would turn over to SPD for criminal investigation when necessary. He thought the discussions were going well and did not express concern at this point. I will keep you posted. And, I don’t know if Council has to approve, but there is concern over SPD having the manpower to do it.”
Internally SPD has offered the new job up, but the last documents I have show there is only one position that was or is open, I don’t know whether someone got the job or not, but I would imagine there were lots of people interested because any fool would be able to figure the position will be good for a bunch of overtime pay, especially if it is a ridicules single staffing position.
Yes of course I know exactly what the silly explanation for this change is, and it is another one of those easy sells to the Public Safety Committee and the City Council who’s naiveté when it comes to Public Safety is taken advantage of time and time again.
The facts are that SFD for years had a top-quality Arson Investigation Unit, with damn good Investigators, many of whom I worked closely with when an Arson turned out to be a Murder, or someone was injured in an Arson fire, we just helped out, they did the important work.
For those of you who follow SPD Crime Reporting Data, don’t be fooled by the low number of Arson’s reported to the State and FBI, it takes a hell of a lot of work in many cases to actually identify whether or not a fire was Arson, and then when the cause is known do the work to find the suspect and tie them to the crime ain’t no cake walk, especially in Serial Arson Cases.
From my perspective SPD would be a lot better off, as would the Community, if Detective positions were used to investigate things like Property Crimes, and Vehicle Theft for example.
Keep an eye on your Fire Insurance rates!
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
Interestingly on the day prior to the election, without fanfare, and after a concerted effort, primarily by Spokane City Councilmember Breean Beggs (Congratulations), to find a replacement for former Office of Police Ombudsman Commission Chairperson Deb Conklin the City Council confirmed the appointment of Lawyer Elizabeth Kelley to replace Conklin.
I have hopes that this very late in coming move will begin the process of being able to watch the OPOC change from the agenda driven, self-serving, behind the scenes backstabbing Conklin brought to the OPOC and move it in a direction that is in the interest of the entire Community, including Cops, and not just a few.
As I have mentioned time and time again, the mostly powerless, because of the Police Union Contracts, OPOC in order to be the least bit effective must put political ideology aside and function as a unified group of individuals who have respect for each other’s opinions and ideas specifically relating to their mission of Police Oversight, otherwise you end up with exactly what the Police Unions expected when they agreed to the union contracts.
I seriously doubt there will be much in the way of true independent oversight that will come out of Mayor Condon’s ongoing secret negotiations with the Police Unions, so what we got is what we got, despite the overwhelming Citizen’s vote to provide independent Police Oversight in the City Charter.
Along with the ouster of Conklin, soon Conklin’s side kick and informant Martha Huseman will also be gone because she was unable to pass the Civil Service Exam for the position she now holds, even though I have reported on some of Huseman’s and Conklin’s efforts to usurp the Civil Service process, I haven’t reported the entire back story and it appears there will no longer be a need to do so.
Does it concern me that Ms. Kelley is a lawyer? Not at this point, and I probably won’t be concerned as long as she doesn’t offer legal advice to the OPOC and quietly sticks to her experience as a Criminal Defense lawyer during her decision-making process. There has been far too much legal advice given to the OPOC from lawyers not under contract to the OPOC, and not members of the City Attorney’s Office, some of which is in direct conflict with legal advice given to the OPOC by those actually responsible for providing them with legal advice.
What does interest me about Ms. Kelley is that she has worked in some of the same places I have outside of the US, so we may have some of the same experiences in that regard, although I doubt she was ever made to stay in her hotel room with a couple of guards making sure she didn’t go anywhere (long story).
She might even recognize the building pictured above (someone managed to surreptitiously get a photo of for a case), and we could share a laugh or two about it someday.
I’m now faced with a challenging dilemma; exactly what direction to take given the circumstances. In December 2016 and early January 2017, I received information regarding the completely dysfunctional OPOC ala Rachael Dolezal which included a number of documents, my investigative reporting evolved into later having to do PRRs in some cases to get official copies of documents I already had in my possession because no one would step up and admit what was going on. So much to the chagrin of my friends Terri Pfister, and Lori Farnsworth once again I had to bother them just to bring transparency to the issue. The PRRs I was forced to submit because of lack of action by City Leaders remain ongoing and a challenge to complete by the understaffed, under budgeted, underpaid, City Clerk’s Office. Hell, I even made an offer both publicly and privately to pull PRRs if the City Council would do something about getting rid of the problem child, they of course chose not to do much of anything until just prior to November 6, 2017 just prior to election day. So, my dilemma is where do I go from here, and do I embarrass a bunch of folks with what I have as well as initiate another Public Records Act lawsuit against the City of Spokane…I gotta think about it for a while.
As far as other media coverage of this important issue is concerned only the Inlander covered some of the dysfunction. The Spokesman Review just doesn’t do Investigative Reporting like they have in the past with the new and supposedly improved fluff and puff philosophy, to the dismay of some of the staff I might add.
Shar A. Lichty, Mayor Condon’s opponent in the last election and Peace and Justice Action League Activist put out a call for her constituency to flood last night’s OPOC meeting with folks objecting to Conklin’s dismissal, it really didn’t amount to much and basically just demonstrated the importance of the OPOC not letting a particular agenda influence oversight one way or the other.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
The answer is simple, because he lied in his official capacity as a Police Officer!
***“Brady Cops” remaining as law enforcement officers are very dangerous, not only for the public, but also the honest cops that have to work with them!
But what appears to be the simple answer when you look at the FACTS, yes Ozzie, FACTS, makes the answer far from simple.
Here are the responsive PRR records I received from Spokane County, in a very prompt fashion I might add, which show exactly why Deputy Travis O. Pendell is a Brady Cop.
If you studied the documents above, you should note that the reason Pendell made the infamous “Brady List” is because prior to being hired by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in 1999 while a cop on the Cheney PD he falsified a report. It is unclear from Pendell’s letter to the Prosecutor in an attempt to keep himself off the “Brady List” whether or not he actually lied on the witness stand and got caught by the Defense Lawyer, which happens but is rarely acted upon by Police Administrators. In Pendell’s case the Cheney Chief of Police did exactly the right thing and terminated Pendell. The big Problem for Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, as he well knows is what do I do with this guy especially since Knezovich was the primary mover in the lawsuit Pendell brought against Ozzie’s hated enemies Matt Shea and Scott Maclay. The other problem Ozzie has is now that the entire local Defense Bar knows that Pendell is a Brady Cop making his court testimony not worth a crap, how might that fact effect any earlier cases Pendell has been involved in, including the Roy Murry Murder Case.
This IA Case which was “Unfounded” by Ozzie and relates directly to the Roy Murry Murder case and deals with an allegation that Pendell lied to an ATF Agent, has to be called into question especially in light of the “FACT”, yes Ozzie, “FACT” that Pendell is a Brady Cop.
Beyond the Roy Murry Murder Case issue, one really has to wonder what will happen to the Ozzie/Pendell lawsuit against Matt Shea and Scott Maclay. I doubt we will ever see that lawsuit making it to the Deposition stage, but if it does boy would I like to be a fly on the wall when Ozzie, Pendell, and Hines are questioned under oath by the Shea/Maclay Lawyers.
If the lawsuit is withdrawn there could be a columnist at the Spokesman Review who’s disdain for Matt Shea is extremely well documented in his columns who once again will have egg on his face (Rachael Dolezal) for not doing any fact checking. Pendell was added to the readily available “Brady List” on January 31st, 2017, something the local media neglected to mention in their reporting and their columns.
In my opinion any reasonable person would have to have a few questions in their mind about the serious Deputy Pendell issues.
1) How in the hell was this guy hired by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office?
2) At exactly what point did Sheriff Ozzie know Pendell was a “Brady Cop” obviously it was prior to December 2, 2016, and the lawsuit Summons and Complaint was filed in Superior Court on March 1, 2017?
3) Was the lawsuit against the hated Shea and Maclay Pendell’s idea, or Ozzie’s idea, and where did Pendell come up with his lawyer?
4) Where is the missing .223 which can be converted to 22 caliber that Pendell admits was in his possession but has never been recovered?
5) Why did Sheriff Ozzie lie to this reporter when he stated, “EVERY WORD TRAVIS PENDELL SPEAKS, PEOPLE THINK VERY HIGHLY OF HIM…VERY HIGHLY OF HIM!” knowing full well Pendell was a “Brady Cop”?
6) When will Sheriff Ozzie try to pursue a lawsuit or criminal charges against me for reporting the FACTS, yes FACTS, like he has with others?
***It isn’t illegal for a Sheriff to lie to the media, it happens all the time, nor is there a specific policy violation covering lying to the media, unethical yes, illegal or a policy violation no…so have at it…right? Seldom do Sheriffs get caught lying, primarily because most media don’t bother to fact check.
7) Did Ozzie’s Handpicked Citizens Advisory Board, which includes an individual running for a Spokane Valley Council position (Brandi Peetz) who Ozzie is politicking like crazy for ever review the cases involving Travis Pendell and if so what did they find?
These are just 7 of many, many more questions that come to mind about the Travis Pendell issue, I’m sure you probably have many of your own.
My Pending Story File is so full it is difficult to even keep up, but here is some story material I’ve had for some time which directly relates to the Case of Travis O. Pendell, and the hiring practices of the SCSO, which by the way if you followed the Ozzie/Buff Episodes you saw that Ozzie is quite proud of his hiring practices even though at least one recruit was booted from the State Academy for cheating, and at least one another just couldn’t cut it.
The IA Case linked below was an investigation into the hiring of, and possibility that Sheriff Ozzie’s one-time IA Investigator Deputy Richard Gere was a “Brady Cop”
The case was brought forward by two Private Investigators and residents of Sheriff Ozzie’s nearly full “Basket of Deplorables” Dave Wiyrick and Ron Wright, I know both. I’ve known Dave Wiyrick for years as he was on the SCSO the same time I was on SPD, and we did work cases together. Dave has never given me any reason to question his integrity, the same is true for Ron Wright who I know to a lesser extent and have actually met perhaps two or three times. Sheriff Ozzie of course would completely disagree with my assessment of the two, as I myself maintain a prominent position in his Basket of Deplorables.
Deputy Gere was of course “Exonerated” by Ozzie, but in reviewing the case some of the same questions that come to mind in the Pendell case come to mind in this case.
It is important to note, and something Ozzie wouldn’t want me not to mention, is that this IA Case was brought forward during Ozzie’s last election against Douglas Orr, and election I might add during which Orr received the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s Union and Knezovich did not. So, all the Union references in the IA Report bring a smile to this reporters face and given what some folks at the SO tell me I can’t help but wonder where the Deputy’s Union will stand in Ozzie’s next run for Sheriff if he does ultimately end up running and is opposed.
Here are some of the documents obtained that resulted in the Gere IA Investigation, you might want to look at.
Now here is a case that is pretty well-known throughout the Defense Bar, which was investigated by then IA Investigator Richard Gere, and begs answers to some of the same questions.
And Shawn Vestal Reports:
“Those criticisms were raised in a recent column. Now Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says his department will perform an internal investigation into Marske’s handling of it. Knezovich said Marske sought the internal affairs investigation, as a way of addressing public criticisms.”
“When it’s done, we’ll sit down with you and go through the entire investigation,” Knezovich told me this week.
I gotta wonder if the “sit down” between good friends Ozzie and Vestal ever did take place, and if it did what Ozzie actually did “go through”. It looks to me like it was Tim Note that brought it all forward, another Ozzie Basket of Deplorables resident I believe as anyone who dares question Ozzie, or his people usually is.
There is another IA Case involving Marske’s veracity which was brought forward by Lying Deplorables Wiyrick and Wright, which resulted in Ozzie trying to pursue criminal charges against them, which were never brought by the Prosecutor because there was no case and no evidence they lied. I’m just waiting for a Federal FOIA on that one for the reports and photographs taken by a Federal Investigator who accompanied Wiyrick and Wright along with Attorney Mark Vovos to view a gate area. Funny thing about that case is that Ozzie continues to refer to both Wiyrick and Wright as liars because of that case and others, but I can’t quite figure out why Vovos and the Federal Investigator aren’t liars as well… that’s Ethical Ozzie for you!
So, what is Ozzie’s response when he his caught yet again lying? It is always the same no matter who catches him!
I for one feel sorry for the honest hard-working Deputies who have to work under Ozzie, they know what’s going on, and has been going on for some time, word always gets out about the supposedly hidden secrets in any law enforcement agency and the secrets about their leaders. The SCSO is no different and hats off to those Deputies that just want to honestly do the job they love so very much.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!