WILL USING THE MURDER OF A MOTHER WITH TWO CHILDREN FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES IN AN ATTEMPT TO DISCREDIT A CITY COUNCIL MEMBER BY THE CITY ADMINISTRATION WORK IN SPOKANE???
According to what transpired in the Office Of Police Ombudsman Commission meeting yesterday it appears it will work and there isn’t much that can be done about it.
When politics, religion, or corruption enter into the law enforcement function any credibility that function had is completely lost and now such is the case with the Mayor Woodward’s Spokane Police Department who have stooped to the lowest level of playing politics by using a Murder in an effort to discredit a City Council Member, in this case CM Betsy Wilkerson if this goes unchecked as it appears it will next time instead of a Progressive City Council Member it could easily be a Conservative City Council Member.
So what did those folks who watched learn from the April 19, 2022, OPOC meeting, quite a bit actually. During Assistant OPO Luvimae Omana’s detailed presentation we learned the following.
1) Mr. Chud Wendle a somewhat wealthy Conservative activist and purveyor of anti-progressive rhetoric on his “Spokane Business & Commercial Property Council” Facebook page which is shared on the “Spokane’s 8th Man” Facebook page and to whom, among other things, information about the existence of the Brownell body worn camera video was leaked so he could use it to try and discredit CM Wilkerson was obviously “not too enthused” about cooperating with the IA Investigation of CM Wilkerson’s complainant, since he apparently refused to identify exactly who leaked the information to him, only stating it was someone from the “City Administration”.
Ms. Omana demonstrated in her presentation how based upon the Public Records Requests made by Wendle and after his first request was denied as an ongoing investigation he was leaked exactly when the investigation was complete and submitted another PRR.
2) We also learned that SPD’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Jacqui MacConnell who oversees “the Internal Affairs Unit (which includes overseeing policies)” and was hired ostensibly to be the voice of the Citizens in the IA Process stopped the IA Investigation dead in its tracks.
DSI MacConnell, Public Records demonstrate is anything but the voice of the Citizens and works hard at keeping SPD misconduct investigations as quite as possible.
3) We learned that were several back-and-forth exchanges between her and SPD about who should and who should not be interviewed making it obvious that SPD would not do a legitimate IA Investigation especially if it meant interviews with any members of the “City Administration” which includes Chief Craig Meidl and who in a legitimate investigation would have to be a person of interest based upon his involvement with Chud Wendle’s “Spokane Business & Commercial Property Council” Facebook page.
There were other aspects of Ms. Omana’s presentation which piqued my interest based upon information I have received from SPD sources and which I should be able to confirm once I receive a response to my six-month-old Public Records Request regarding the CM Wilkerson complaint, but I suspect Mayor Woodward will continue to violate the City of Spokane Ethics Code, especially since in this case the Public Records will likely show what her administration is all about.
Once Ms. Omana’s presentation was complete OPO Logue did a very good job of explaining the options available to the OPOC with respect to the pros and cons of conducting an Independent Investigation since the OPO refused to certify the Wilkerson IA Case, including the fact that the OPO can not conduct a legitimate investigation without the ability to compel testimony from SPD Officers and City Employees under Garrity v. New Jersey. There is an option available for the OPO to conduct a legit investigation, but it would require Mayor Woodward and Chief Meidl to direct all the City individuals involved to cooperate with the investigation and provide compelled statements.
The likelihood of that happening is exactly the same as it was with former Mayor Condon when the Straub/Cotton Affair was exposed and he absolutely refused to invoke Garrity.
There is without question a lot more to this story, but whether you are a Conservative or a Progressive when considering what went on here you should be asking yourself if you really want a politicized Police Department, after all CM Cathcart and CM Bingle who knows someday there could be a Progressive Mayor…what goes around comes around.