And if you were having a good time at Northern Quest Casino but
the good time was interrupted when you had your wallet stolen would you get the
same special treatment a good friend of Tracie and Craig Meidl’s, who is also a
City employee, did?
Giving special treatment to certain people who are crime
victims is something that happens all the time with law enforcement agencies
and it is something that they don’t like the public to know about as obviously
people who don’t get that special treatment when they are crime victims would
get very upset, and in some cases law enforcement agencies will go to great
lengths to keep the public from finding out. You can make your own decision
whether that was the case with Mayor Condon’s Director of Local Government and
Multi-Cultural Affairs Gloria Ocha-Bruck.
The story begins with receiving numerous complaints about
the Meidl’s playing favorites with certain people including some of the “Golden
Boys and Girls” at SPD, which is not uncommon in any organization Public or
Private, and is sometimes hard to prove but many times ends up in civil
litigation against the organization like it has so many times in the past for
the Condon Administration and most recently in the case I have been reporting
Most people would think it would be pretty easy for an
Investigative Reporter to confirm whether or not the SPD PACT was used for special
treatment of a special person simply by doing a Public Records Request, but
those people should probably think again after reading this story.
On April 3, 2019 I submitted a PRR requesting the following;
“Please provide any and all reports including arrest reports
relating to the theft of property belonging to City employee Gloria
Ochoa-Bruck. The theft took place at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights
and was investigated by SPD PACT. Also please include the CAD/RMS logs for the
Pretty easy right…all SPD has to do is diligently search
their data bases for Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, incidents at Northern Quest Casino, or
even just go ask the SPD PACT if they made an arrest involving Gloria Ochoa-Bruck’s
property. Well…that’s the way it is supposed to work but for some reason it
never does for me perhaps because the things I come up with Mayor Condon and
Chief Meidl don’t want the Public to know about.
On April 16, 2019 I get this response from SPD Records;
Right away I knew it was BS as I often receive documents
Mayor Condon and Chief Meidl don’t want me to have.
When I know the truth and I’m stonewalled by SPD my first
move is to contact City Clerk Terri Pfister who is the City of Spokane Public Records
Officer and has always been helpful in the past. You can read my email
interaction with Ms. Pfister at this link.
Well Ms. Pfister did her job and as you will see got the
ball rolling to in my efforts to get to the truth. I should note that Mayor
Condon in my opinion has purposely understaffed and underfunded the City Clerk’s
Office to make it more difficult for Investigative Reporters and the Public to
get to the truth even though he made promises to provide the Clerks Office with
more funding after my lawsuit against the City.
“But while the City Council allocated an additional $100,000
for the city clerk’s office in the 2017 budget, little of that was actually
spent: Nobody new was hired that year.”
“And delays can breed suspicion: Brian Breen, the
cantankerous former cop who settled with the city over the Straub public
records delays, still believes favoritism is at play.”
“It entirely depends upon how much embarrassment the
document or documents might cause someone,” Breen says in an email.
“Those that don’t, I get quickly. Those that do, come at a snail’s
The link below which is an email exchange between Chief
Meidl’s employee Badge ID 1249 and me will give you some idea of the battle I continually
have to fight with Mayor Condon and Chief Meidl to get to the truth.
As I’m quite sure that government investigators and lawyers
as well as ACLU lawyers and investigators are mining the internet for all kinds
of social media posts to either pursue or defend civil litigation, including
those posts that have been deleted, I wanted to make sure that my story today
So, I shot off this email to CBP Agent Bill Kingsford to
make sure I was accurate.
Agent Kingsford responded with this email.
Just so there isn’t any confusion caused by me the authority that CBP uses to conduct the bus checks is derived from 8 CFR 287 in conjunction with INA 287. The policy and procedures that CBP created are based on a 2002 court case United States v. Drayton.
Even though Agent Kingsford at this point can’t discuss the claim specifically I’m sure he would be more than happy to provide insight to other reporters about how CBP works and their various policies as they relate to their job. It is always nice to have both sides of an issue if both sides are willing to provide it.
“The recipients have six months to respond before the
lawsuit moves forward in federal court. Bill Kingsford, a spokesman for the
Spokane sector, declined a request for comment on behalf of the agency, saying,
“We don’t comment on current litigation.”
It is too bad other Media didn’t contact Bill Kingsford and
ask the right questions prior to the inevitable ACLU claim against CBP. I and
CBP were expecting this and certainly Mohanad Elshieky, Mohanned El-Shieky,
Muhanad Saleh, whatever his name is MAY BE a good pick by the ACLU for an
individual with “standing” to purse a claim against the US Government or he may
NOT BE depending upon the extent DOJ looks into the issue to defend the claim.
Elshieky’s social media account of the incident, whether true or not, received
national attention and even an apology from current City of Spokane Council
President and candidate for Mayor of the City of Spokane Ben Stuckart. It would
appear that Mr. Stuckart and others actually just jumped to conclusions without
much in the way of checking the facts.
When this whole issue was brought to the forefront by the
comedian, it immediately struck me as odd so prior to contacting Agent
Kingsford, like any Investigative Reporter would, I did a little background on
the comedian and took note of the fact that he has used a number of different
names while he has been here in the US.
I also wanted to determine whether CBP’s preliminary and
cursory inquiry into the allegation had come up with anything which may have
been a violation of CBP policy a policy which was established to conform with
Almeida-Sanchez v. United States the SCOTUS a Carroll Doctrine case and the
case that Breean Beggs and the ACLU are hanging their hat on when it comes to
bus searches by CBP.
During my interview with Agent Kingsford, he was very open
and told me that they had no evidence at that point that CBP policy and procedure
had been violated, whether or not anything else has come up since that
interview I don’t know and of course it would be inappropriate for Kingsford to
comment now because of the ongoing possibility of litigation, however if there
was a policy violation I’m sure the ACLU will bring it forward if this thing
gets to Court.
Having done my share of “Terry Stops”, and actually teaching
the reasonable suspicion aspect to Rookie Cops, I of course asked Agent
Kingsford whether or not the fact that the name on the comedian’s bus ticket
being completely different from other documents he provided to the CBP agents
would have been an additional reasonable suspicion element to detain and check
further. Kingsford obviously and rightfully answered in the affirmative.
It looks like CBP is going to get beat up by most of the
local and national media folks, so I thought I would just throw in a little
I honestly wish our local elected officials would spend as
much time worrying about the possibility that our own SPD is violating Civil
Rights rather than worrying about what the Feds are doing!
As you can see from reading the documents at the link below which
deal with Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s decision to place both Detective
Tofsrud and Officer McCollough on the Brady List Mayor Condon is using his City
Attorney Mike Ormsby to try and keep the lid on things. Take note of the MOTION
TO QUASH SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM Ormsby his SPD Lawyer Mary Muramatsu submit to