Goes to Terri Pfister and Laurie Farnsworth of the City of Spokane Clerks Office.
Can you imagine having to deal with a Curmudgeonist like me for all these years?
I think it is important to understand that their jobs cover a multitude of different areas and not just the Public Records Game which is difficult enough. They do an outstanding job of trying to professionally go about their duties despite all the hindrances of being underpaid, understaffed, and in many cases having to deal with uncooperative City Departments like SPD and Human Resources who will make ever effort to withhold responsive but embarrassing PRR documents if they can get away with it, and is not the fault of the City Clerks Office because of the way the system is set up.
The way it works with City PRRs is that once the Clerk’s Office receives a request from the Media or the public they send a copy of the request to the proper City Department and then have to rely on that department to provide them with all responsive records to provide the requestor. The problem is some departments will withhold embarrassing public records unbeknownst to the Clerk’s Office, as was done in this recent case.
As you can see from this email from Laurie Farnsworth the City Clerk’s Office was unaware that the second Tom Michaud interview which demonstrates possible policy violations by Lt. Dave Staben was withheld from me and it wasn’t until I pressed the issue that I received the responsive documents.
Obviously the conduct alleged by Crime Analyst Michaud should have been investigated immediately, but it wasn’t and likely never will be unless a formal complaint is filed with SPD IA. Any investigation of that matter should be independently investigated outside of SPD because of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Head of IA, Jacqui MacConnell’s direct involvement in the case.
Investigative Reporters if they are diligent can not assume that they have received everything in a PRR response and should always dig deeper.
Often times one set of PRR responses will lead to another request.
If you listened to the second Michaud interview carefully toward the end of the interview you would have heard Michaud mention the IA Case against SPD “Brady Officer” Lydia Taylor.
Some might remember the previous high-profile IA Case against Lydia Taylor, her husband former SPD Officer Mel Taylor, and former Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney
The interesting thing about this somewhat new IA complaint against Lydia Taylor is that once again a member of the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is involved, this time DPA Mark Cipolla who during one of the once infamous Huckleberry’s Coffee Klatches Cipolla supposedly brought up issues regarding Lydia Taylor’s conduct during the former Officer Gordon Ennis Rape Case, and from those issues brought up by Cipolla Lt. Dave Staben who was present at the Coffee Klatch initiated an IA Case against Lydia Taylor.
Some of my readers will likely remember the battle I had to get the IA Case against Mel and Lydia Taylor.
Since Mayor Condon and Chief Meidl are doing everything they can to withhold and delay a number of Public Records Requests I have made which reflect directly on the how SPD is being run, I wonder how long it will take for a response to this one.
Some people are speculating that many of my requests won’t be filled until after the November election for Mayor including the “horrific” Lesser Body Worn Camera Video, much like Mayor Condon did with records associated with the Cotton/Straub Affair.
Politicians make all kinds of promises they don’t keep, like the promise Condon made to properly fund the Clerks’ Office after the settlement of my PRR Lawsuit against Condon and the City.
Since whomever becomes the new Mayor of the City of Spokane will be directly responsible or cleaning up the continuing problems with SPD as well as the continuing problems with not properly funding transparency and Police Oversight I find it real odd that neither Stuckart or Woodward seem to be interested in answering any direct questions relating to solutions and clean-up. Of course, even though the problems are well documented including this recent case involving Officer Kristopher Henderson, but perhaps Stuckart and Woodward don’t think there are any problems.