This story by Mitch Ryals provides some great background regarding how the “Brady Rule” came about.
I was hoping to be able to incorporate this story concerning Brady cases I am investigating involving the SPD and the Prosecutors Office, but it looks like it will be a while before I some of the records I need in those.
The question is who is responsible to see to it that Brady vs Maryland is always complied with? The answer is the Prosecutor who brought the case is solely responsible for providing the Defense with Brady Material. In essence Brady material is anything exculpatory which may lead a Jury to question the veracity of a Prosecution witness in a criminal case. The problem is, and not just in Spokane County, all too often law enforcement agencies will withhold information from the Prosecutor that could easily land a Cop on the “Brady List” or as they are referred to in Washington State a “PID (Potential Impeachment Disclosure) List”.
Most folks aren’t aware of a new law which went into effect on June 7th, 2018 which basically prohibits a law enforcement agency from taking punitive action against a peace officer solely because the officer’s name was placed on a “Potential Impeachment” or “Brady List”.
You can read the new law here:
Let’s take a look at three Spokane County Cases involving DUI Arrests I recently received in response to this Public Records Request. In two of the cases County Employees, Thomas Wakem and Andrea Greenfield after negotiations with the union received “Sustained” findings of:
The third case involved former Deputy Timothy Greenfield who quit before any finding was made. But the IA case speaks for itself.
The first case linked below involves Deputy Thomas Wakem an IA Case completed on January 11th, 2018 with a 90-day suspension. Wakem as of April 18th, 2018 was not listed on Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s PID/Brady List and you can draw your own conclusions on whether or not he should be.
The second case involves Spokane County Communications Supervisor Andrea Greenfield.
This case might be of interest to some folks because it gives a peek at the role unions play in the process of disciplining government employees.
The third case involves former Deputy Timothy Greenfield who quit the SCSO apparently because he knew what was coming. If you decide to read this IA Case the chances are you won’t like it especially if you ever received a ticket or were arrested by former Deputy Timothy Greenfield, because it details some things which would raise almost anyone’s eyebrows.
Just to give you an idea of some questions that have popped up among Ozzie’s Troops, and others, are Ozzie’s willingness to find his Troops in violation of his own Policy 340.3.5 yet the question of whether or not he made “False statements to a supervisor or other person in authority in connection with any investigation or employment matter”.
The chances of any investigation, at least at the local level, of Sheriff Knezovich’s statements to persons in authority during investigations will probably not be investigated, and the “Why not?”, is a good question.
Another question regarding Brady vs Maryland that sometimes comes up is whether or not private citizens who volunteer and are appointed to various government boards or commissions who are sometimes called as witnesses in court cases should be added to PID/Brady Lists, especially if they are in some way directly involved with reviewing government investigations. Should a Prosecutor be required to turn over information which calls into question the veracity of a law enforcement volunteer to the Defense in cases where the individual might end up being called as a witness?
To answer that question, it might be a good idea to take a look at the Washington State Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Model Policy, so you can make your own judgement.
There is always disagreement between the Prosecution and the Defense over exactly what constitutes Brady Materials…my theory is just give the Defense everything…but some don’t like that theory.