As many of you know I often receive information from sources including documents that require me to corroborate things through Public Records Requests, such was the case recently when I received information and documents regarding a Human Resources Investigation of Commissioner Al French for inappropriate conduct toward a female Spokane County Employee. The complaint is old and was from 2012 but I still wanted to look into it just to see what it entailed. Obviously I considered that the source wanted the information public because of the upcoming election and I wanted to take a careful look at the actual HR Investigation to see if it was even worth reporting. Unfortunately, Spokane County apparently does not have any records of the HR Investigation even though according to HR Director Tim Hansen an investigation did take place and HR “found no violation of County policy.”
Lets first take a look at some of the documents I received from sources which are imaged below.
You would really have to be a hermit not to know about all the recent media coverage about sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct in the workplace, and the #MeToo movement so the question has to be whether or not the complaint against Commission French back in 2012 was similar to all those that have surfaced that were originally swept under the rug.
One very troubling area in the available documents is that they seem to indicate that former Spokane County CEO Marshall Farnell and former Spokane County Prosecutor Jim Emacio may have tipped Commissioner French regarding the HR Complaint and he showed up at the Pia Kammers HR interview, which would be pretty typical of how these type of complaints were handled in the past and would support all of the recent complaints made by female Detention Staff regarding HR Investigations.
Yesterday I received this letter attached to an email from Toni S. Atwood closing my PRR and providing me with only documents that I had provided to the County which were attached to my PRR.
I of course responded with this email copying all the appropriate players.
In response to my email to Toni Atwood this email exchange to place this morning between Mr. Tim Hansen and myself.
When records of investigations involving misconduct on the part of Public Officials disappear, are swept under the rug, or a legitimate investigation was never conducted it doesn’t do the Public or the Public Official any good!!!
In my view not only, those folks that wasted their time to attend the City Council Meeting to tell their stories, but also all of the local Progressive/Liberal Movement (Including the local media) who actually thought that Emergency Ordinance C35681 was an effort on the part of the Progressive members of the City Council to curtail the efforts of the Federal Government to enforce Federal Law.
Here are the facts all of which could have been found in the Advanced City Council Agenda and are readily available in the Current CC Agenda for August 22, 2018. Once you review the facts you can decide for yourself whether or not this was all great theater intended to get out the Progressive/Liberal vote in the upcoming election or a serious attempt to right a perceived wrong.
The Ordinance was passed as an Emergency Ordinance after all the local ballots were mailed out, even though the extensive taxpayer paid Briefing Paper provided with the Ordinance clearly documents that this perceived problem has been going on for years…so where is the emergency ? To be clear “Briefing Papers” are sales jobs intended to get the CC to vote in a particular way, but of all the “Briefing Papers” I’ve read this one has to be one of the more dynamic sales jobs, and really there wasn’t any need whatsoever to sell six of the seven CC Members.
Lots of folks helped out with the Briefing Paper by providing info, including photos and documents used to sell the Ordinance, including Mr. David Brookbank who along with other activist involvement manages the Socialist Alternative Spokane Facebook Page and spoke during the CC Meeting.
One of the other speakers at the CC Meeting who helped out with the Briefing Paper was the Latinx Activist who coordinated “know your rights” efforts at the Intermodal center, Jennyfer Mesa. Jennyfer is also the Jennyfer Mesa, Lead organizer for I-1631 in Congressional District 5 which is on your ballot.
I don’t have the least bit of problem with “Activism”, but seriously wouldn’t the “Emergency” have been back in May when all the Activists were upset about the increased Border Patrol presence in the Spokane area, or was this just a timing strategy? I have a hard time believing that it took years and months to put this Ordinance together.
Despite the fact that according to the ACLU along with them groups that advocated for the law, included: Center for Justice, Crimson Group, Global Neighborhood, Greater Spokane Progress, Latinos en Spokane, Mujeres in Action, Spokane NAACP, OneAmerica, Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane, Raiz, Pride Foundation, Spokane Community Against Racism, Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, and Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, all of whom have an almost overwhelming number of lawyers amongst them, how on God’s green earth could they have missed the FACT that the CC made it impossible for the Ordinance to work under the current Mayor who without question would take the steps necessary to formally give his permission for ICE and the Border Patrol to continue their work. Does that make any kind of sense at all to all you Activists out there who were led to believe that all the theatrics was real?
The only thing I can think of is that local Progressives/Liberals are confident that Council President Stuckart will be the next Mayor of the City of Spokane, and he of course would not grant the Mayoral Permission for the Feds to continue their work which would without question result in expensive litigation and other big problems…a bit risky if you ask me.
If Mayor Condon’s press release from yesterday doesn’t give you a clue as to what he will do…there isn’t much hope for you!
One of the great things for someone like me is to watch all the theatrics involved in these type of things. You can always count on Alfredo Fidel Llamedo the “Activist” who turned 59 this June to put on a show, this time by ripping up his Certificate of Citizenship.
I also enjoy watching how young short on life experience reporters handle their reporting of the theatrics!
Clearly Inlander Reporter Daniel Walters being young and I’m sure with a perfect anal canal doesn’t understand that Mr. Fagan was standing and grimacing not because of anything to do with the Ordinance or testimony but simply do to the pain associated with an affliction older folks sometimes develop when their anal canal isn’t perfect, and they find themselves with thrombosed hemorrhoids, or to be blunt a pain in the ass 😊
I can’t wait for frequent Conservative Critic and SR Columnist Shawn Vestal to do his column on all the theatrics and can’t help but wonder if he will wait and do the Column when Conservative Mayor Condon officially says… “Come on in you Federal Gals and Guys!”
Here we go again spending more of our taxpayer dollars on West-coast Lawyers to investigate matters that in the old days could have easily been handled with simple and frank communication between individuals. DARN JIMMY MARKS…AND THE GYPSY CURSE!!
The “Seven Snowflakes”, isn’t the seven City of Spokane Council Members this time it is Seven highly paid and well benefited Spokane City Employees who have filed a Bullying Complaint with City Human Resources against members of the Spokane City Council and apparently the Director of City Human Resources Christine Cavanaugh doesn’t feel her outfit can handle the “investigation”, so we taxpayers will have to pay the bill for an outside lawyer Ms. Katherine Weber to do the “investigation”.
As many of you know I’ve been quite critical of the CC for not asking the right questions and not being demanding enough to get the facts on issues not only relating to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice but also budget expenditures that waste taxpayer dollars. Obviously, my hope is that this case involves Council Members actually asking the tough questions and demanding answers, something we taxpayers need a lot more of.
Is this a case of some Department Heads and their staff trying to intimidate CC Members into not doing their job or is it truly a case of Bullying…who knows…but I guess we have to pay the Big Bucks to find out.
A lot of other questions arise from the decision to farm this investigation out including why the HR Complaint by SPD Detective Lonnie Tofsrud against SPD Lt. Bart Stevens wasn’t farmed out, which from my perspective is a far more pressing issue than those involved in this case.
I guess one could draw the conclusion that the decision to farm the investigation out is the result of a conflict of interest between Ms. Cavanaugh or members of her staff being one of the “Snowflake Seven”…but who knows.
It never fails that when I return from one of my CEO’s lengthy excursions I find that I have been inundated with Public Records Response and all kinds of information from sources about what goes on in the City and County. I was going to hold off doing a story until after tonight’s City Council Meeting to see what transpires, however some folks have pointed out to me that this story needs attention from the taxpayers as well as the MSM prior to the meeting, and especially since this Agenda Item is coming up and should be voted down because of all the problems associated with the implementation of the CAD/RMS/911 we paid New World Systems a bunch of money for despite the fact they have a long history of not providing what they are required to while under contract.
One thing you can count on, when it comes to Public Records Requests that might end up being embarrassing to an elected official is that responses to those requests won’t be by any means fast. Slow walking Public Records Requests is a good strategy from the standpoint of the Public losing interest in or just forgetting about media stories that have a negative impact on or puts government in a bad light. It is a strategy that works quite well with the Main Stream Media, but I try and do my best to report what Ozzie describes as “Just Old Dirt” no matter how long it takes to get the facts and what usually ends up happening is the MSM will finally jump in once I have done all the work and the stuff ends up hitting the fan.
Ozzie’s re-firing of Deputy Travis Smith hasn’t hit the MSM yet even though when Ozzie originally fired Smith there was story after story, and one would think that Smith being fired yet again would be of interest to the MSM, especially since the case involves, among other things, the handling of a Domestic Violence Case.
The question I would think Smith’s lawyers in his most recent firing would be whether or not Ozzie targeted him because of Ozzie’s previous firing of Smith, as well as other issues including the adequacy of SCSO training.
As far as the Smith case is concerned, and as he has with others in the past, Ozzie made an unsuccessful attempt to have criminal charges brought against Smith which will likely be a key factor in Smith’s appeal of the firing.
You can read the case Ozzie presented to the Prosecutor by clicking on the link below.
In reading the report (Above) Ozzie sent to the Prosecutor for charges against Smith a number of things stand out to me. First and perhaps foremost is that obliviously the SCSO needs considerably more training regarding RCW 9.73 which is the Washington State Privacy Act. In the report a number of times the Deputies refer to Washington State being a “TWO PARTY” consent State, which it definitely IS NOT, as I have continually pointed out. Washington State is in fact an “ALL PARTY CONSENT” State, meaning that ALL PARTIES involved in a private communication must give their consent to the recording being made unless one or more of the exceptions in the law applies. The Washington State Privacy Act is complex and has resulted in considerable case law the SCSO needs to get up to speed on.
Beyond the need for considerably more training, I don’t see where Smith made any effort to try and hide the surreptitious recording from his brass, and as a matter of fact indicates he didn’t delete the recording which one would think a person trying to hide something would have done immediately, but that will likely be something for an Arbitrator to decide.
I’m unclear based on this paragraph in the report whether or not there is some other issue involving Smith. If there is another issue my hope is for the taxpayers sake it is a better case then this one appears to be against Smith. Especially when you consider exactly what City Prosecutor Bingham stated about charges against Smith.
OTHER STORY UPDATES!!!
I’m still working on corroborating some of the facts for “WHO WILL WIN THE BATTLE…PART THREE”
Included in that work is trying to figure out Ozzie’s conflicting public statements regarding his friend Phil Tyler, based on the Fossum Report Public Records. One of those issues is what I refer to in my own mind as the “Mossoni Massacre”, Michelle Mossoni being one of the female Detention staff who made complaints against Phil Tyler including assault which resulted in nothing happening as far as Tyler was concerned but Mossoni ended up being targeted for discipline.
I know Ozzie had to be very aware of the Mossoni complaint because not only did I bring it up in the Ozzie/Buff Episodes, but he also was present and asked questions during Mossoni’s Grievance Hearing.
As you can see from Ozzie’s public statements to the MSM on March 8th, 2018 when the “Stuff” finally hits the fan regarding his friend Phil Tyler Ozzie states he has never known Tyler to lose his temper.
While Knezovich says Tyler could be controlling sometimes, he’s never known him to lose his temper. “If this is true — this is not the guy I know,” Knezovich says.
A few days later Ozzie tells his other friend and Frequent Conservative Critic Shawn Vestal he ordered Tyler to undergo anger management.
Knezovich said he ordered Tyler to undergo anger management. Tyler left the jail in 2014; he later filed a complaint alleging racial discrimination. Spokane County settled with Tyler for $100,000 in Dec. 2016.
Which of course begs the question if Ozzie never knew Tyler to lose his temper, why the hell would he order him to undergo anger management, and did it have anything to do with the “Mossoni Massacre”. I can’t find anything in the Fossum Report where Ozzie ordered Tyler to undergo anger management, I would think if in fact he did order Tyler to undergo anger management Gail Bass’s lawyers would get it in the Discovery process of her $1.2 million dollar claim against Ozzie and the County.
I received my final installment of records from the City of Spokane Valley regarding the fun Valley Council member Brandi Peetz and her husband had while they attended the “Fly-In”. I should add that the folks at the City of Spokane Valley were very diligent in the response to my PRR, and I did get everything I need for a story. I even got a Nissen Affidavit from Brandi Peetz, something I’ve never gotten from Ozzie Knezovich.
So far it looks like Brandi and her husband had “pretty much” fun according to an email between Peetz and Council member Ben Wick, even though she missed some of the events she was supposed to attend.
More on this later, but it doesn’t look like, to me at least, that taxpayers got much bang for their buck.