Sheriff Knezovich has once again fired Deputy Travis Smith. His first firing of Smith drew a lot of media attention because of the circumstances surrounding the firing and the fact that the Sheriff’s termination of Smith was overturned by an Arbitrator.
The reinstatement of Deputy Smith by the Arbitrator caused quite a bit of uproar and sent Ozzie on one of his missions to right the wrong by trying to have the Washington State Legislature enact a law making it easier to fire law enforcement officers.
Ozzie’s efforts to get a law passed went nowhere of course, and his desire to be in the spot light backfired on him when he ran into former Washington State Senator Pam Roach who brought up the allegation that was made that he stole Spokane County gas for his own use.
Ozzie’s testimony before the Legislature also resulted in the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs writing him a letter chastising Ozzie for his dishonest testimony before the State Legislature.
If you happen to watch the Ozzie/Buff Episodes where I confronted Ozzie on this issue you will find that Ozzie claimed he was setup by a group of dishonest former Deputies some of whom according to Ozzie had several IA Cases against them and were actively supporting Ozzie’s opponent Doug Orr in Orr’s bit to unseat him. Some of the names Ozzie mentioned were former Deputies with a group known as “Integrity First”.
Ozzie’s most recent firing of Travis Smith involves an allegation he illegally recorded a conversation during a Domestic Violence investigation, and Ozzie of course attempted to have charges brought against Smith by sending the case to Prosecutor Larry Haskell who did the right thing and sent the Criminal Case to the Spokane City Prosecutor for a charging decision and that is exactly where Ozzie could have a real big problem when this Travis Smith termination case goes before an Arbitrator.
As you can see from independent City Prosecutor Bingham’s letter to SCSO IA Investigator Tim Hines there will be no criminal charges against Travis Smith and Bingham attributes Smith’s actions as resulting from a training issue, so it will be interesting to see how all this plays out.
As most folks know because of a lack of transparency on the part of some Government Officials even though I may have copies of the public records I have received independent of the PRR process, I still have to do a PRR request for a number of reasons. I have of course done that in the new Travis Smith termination and will look forward to comparing what I have to what Spokane County actually gives me around Pearl Harbor Day. It will also be interesting to see if I have to go to Court again to a Nissen Affidavit from Ozzie and the emails regarding the Smith termination on his private email accounts.