The Fossum Investigation Documents are so disjointed, with the exception of the independent WSP Investigation into Phil Tyler’s conduct which McGrath wisely requested, and we paid for, that they are hard to get through and I have to corroborate many things in the report.
For example, this email Sheriff Knezovich sent to Jim Emacio and the BoCC isn’t true and even though the documents clearly show Gail Bass never dropped her complaint and Ozzie exonerated his friend Phil Tyler and they further show that people in attendance after the No-Confidence letter submitted against Tyler didn’t admit they had no evidence, I still have to look into it.
I also have to look into this:
It isn’t as easy as some might think, and a lot of things have to be corroborated. Hopefully sometime next week for those asking.
I REPORT HSS YOU DECIDE!!!
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.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
THE FOSSUM REPORT
Will it be Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, or Ozzie’s former Detention Services Director John MaGrath?
The “Battle”, IMO, is over whether or not Knezovich will be able to convince the Board of County Commissioners to fire McGrath and give Ozzie back control of the Spokane County Jail.
At this point anyway, I would have to give the strategic and tactual advantage to Sheriff Knezovich because all of recent jail deaths are not being investigated independently, rather they are being conducted by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office giving Sheriff Knezovich overall control of those investigations, the problems with that should be obvious to almost anyone. It is likely that McGrath has concern that the results of those investigations could be used to point out problems with his inability to properly administer the Spokane County Jail. McGrath is also likely to be concerned that the Detective Ozzie assigned to investigate a Geiger Facility Rape case has a previous law enforcement history which isn’t very stellar, yet he was hired by Ozzie and has remained with the SCSO for a number of years.
Leaked media stories like the one below provide Sheriff Knezovich with the opportunity to take his best shot at McGrath.
I never have been able to figure out just exactly what causes AML (Administrative Memory Loss) but for some reason Sheriff Knezovich suffers from it quite often (especially when I pose a question to him) and the in the Inlander story above Ozzie for some reason seems to forget all of the problems he had with Detention Facilities when he was in charge of them after his appointment as Sheriff on April 11, 2006 up until June of 2013 when the BoCC took it all over and Knezovich told the press it was a move to restructure the criminal justice system. As is often the case with Sheriff Knezovich the story has changed since the BoCC took over the Jail and yesterday he offered a new explanation about how the takeover took place.
There were not only deaths, but also rape claims and good-sized civil lawsuit settlements.
Of course, I guess Ozzie could blame all of the Detention Problems during his reign on McGrath, but the question of course would be why he didn’t get rid of McGrath when McGrath was Ozzie’s Jail Guy?
I should point out that going through the 2,180 ages of documents I received from my Public Records Request hasn’t been easy since the documents aren’t organized very well, there are a lot of duplicates, it appears the Fossum interviews weren’t recorded so there are no transcripts and for the most part just her notes to try and decipher, but at the risk of being called lazy again by Inlander Reporter Daniel Walters I will keep at it.
The best place to start I would think is where the Fossum Report all got started, the link below should pretty well explain it:
Yes, Ozzie did indeed request the BoCC do an investigation but when you look at the actual letter Ozzie sent to the Board of County Commissioners, it sure appears to me that Ozzie’s intent was more to try and clear his name and take his best shot at McGrath. As you can see from the images below Ozzie of course first tries o pump his own tires, and then goes on to say what a rotten job Spokane County Human Resources did in investigating a case while he was at the helm that resulted in a “$500K judgement against the County”. Ozzie then goes on to state that the most disturbing allegation in the FB post was that McGrath approached a female jail Sargent directing her to set up a news interview with KREM wanting to expose sexual harassment by Ozzie’s good friend Phil Tyler. That isn’t quite the way it is reported as going down, and Ozzie’s attempts to make McGrath look bad may have backfired.
Trying to figure out where the big riff between Ozzie and MaGrath started is kind of difficult, but it could very well have begun with the 2012 Assault Report made against Phil Tyler while he was off-duty driving a County vehicle with all the fancy cop tuff on it and which resulted in an IA case that wasn’t resolved until April 15, 2013 a couple of months prior to the BoCC taking over the jail. Ozzie made a finding of “Not Substantiated” on his friend Phil’s case.
For those folks that watched the Ozzie/Buff Episodes you might note that this s one of the IA Cases against Phil Tyler I confronted Ozzie on and he disavowed any knowledge of. In fairness to Ozzie though I did use the term “soccer game” instead of “football game” just to see if he would try and dance around it…and he did (Thanks Scott Maclay!). This wasn’t the first off-duty run in Tyler had a previous one involved an allegation of Conduct Unbecoming and Accepting a Gratuity at Thirsty’s, 21 E. Lincoln Road. Tyler was exonerated of Accepting a Gratuity but got a one-day suspension for the Conduct Unbecoming charge.
There are always interesting things in these type of investigations, and it wasn’t surprising to me that Race was one of the issues.
Part Two of this series should be interesting and especially from the standpoint of McGrath’s move to bring in WSP to investigate Phil Tyler after the BoCC took over the jail, and Tyler’s relationship with Detective Gere who did the original investigation into the No Confidence letter submitted by the Union against Tyler.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
According to SPD’s own Brass it has been!!!
This is another one of those stories that Mayor Condon, his right-hand gal Teresa Sanders, and Chief Craig Meidl don’t want the Public, City Council, or Women’s Advocacy Groups to know about because if they did the stuff would likely hit the fan.
There are two important issues to consider in this story. The first and most import issue is of course SPD’s admitted lack of proper Rape Investigation Training. The second issue is SPD’s lack of transparency.
The lack of transparency issue is “currently in the land of collective bargaining” because Mayor Condon, Teresa Sanders, Chief Craig Meidl, and the City Council are afraid of the Police Unions filing a unfair labor practice complaint and aren’t willing to battle it out with the Unions in the interest of the Public.
Even “Frequent Conservative Critic” Shawn Vestal is on board, and one would think the Progressive members of the Spokane City Council would take note of that.
Many of my readers are aware of my interest in Rape Investigations which dates back to my time on the Spokane Police Department when I was tasked with trying to get SPD to take Rape seriously. I wrote several lengthy reports critical of the way SPD handled Rape Investigations with some drawing the attention of the press. I spent years investigating and reviewing well over 1,000 Rape and Serial Rape Cases so when I see something like this posted on SPD’s IA Website it draws my attention even though there is hardly any information available to understand the significance of the IA Case.
To be clear, the above IA Summary is not the only summary involving an SPD Officer having a sustained IA Case involving “Training Failures” in the investigation of Rape/Sex Crimes cases, but I chose to deal with this one because of its high-profile media coverage as well as the fact that it points out the City Leadership isn’t doing their jobs when it comes to providing Victims with the best possible service they deserve.
Having investigated more than my share of Homicide and Sex Crimes Cases, I know that investigating Rapes and Sex Crimes is far more difficult than your average Homicide case, something I pointed out over and over again in the detailed reports I was tasked with doing for SPD. There isn’t a person left on SPD, including those in the Sex Crimes Unit now called the Special Victims Unit (SVU) that would have a clue of how difficult it was to even get one started at SPD, let alone having a Sex Crimes Unit Call Out Protocol. The images below from one of my reports only tells a small part of the story.
The case I am exposing here is one where there can be NO QUESTION that SVU Investigators should have been called out to conduct the Rape Investigation, and I have no doubt that Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald would agree with me on that point.
Although I have yet to see the Body Camera footage of this incident to get an understanding of exactly how Officer Kevin Reece interacted with the victim, I can easily tell that part of the problem lies not only with relatively new Officer Reece’s handling of the case but also directly with the Administration of the Spokane Police Department who report Directly to Mayor Condon and Teresa Sanders.
You can read the entire IA Case at the link below and draw your own conclusions, however I will point out a few things that I feel are important based on my background and experience.
Lets first take a good look at Lt. Troy Teigen’s comments in the IA Case.
Teigen does a good job of going back and documenting the lack of training Officer Reese received from his Field Training Officer (FTO), and since the Guild was able to negotiate higher wages with Mayor Condon and Teresa Sanders for FTOs someone needs to do an audit to see if we are getting what we are paying for.
Now lets take a look at Captain Tom Hendren’s comments.
Captain Tom Hendren’s comments were of special interest to me because his Dad Jerry Hendren who has since passed was a good friend and a Sex Crimes Investigator with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, who BTW was happy as hell the Tom went with SPD and not the SCSO. Captain Tom Hendren’s grandfather Wayne Hendren was one of the Chief’s I served under, and interestingly enough his Dad Jerry married Sheryl Hendren Spokane’s first ever Rape Crisis Advocate whom I worked closely with during my time of SPD, and after my retirement. Together Sheryl and I for years taught recruits at the Spokane Police Academy how to investigate sex crimes and the dynamics associated with sex crimes victims. Sheryl was instrumental in, among other things in helping me get a Sex Crimes Unit going at SPD
Captain Hendren is spot on in his comments a “training failure” it most certainly was.
I just have to shake my head when I read the Uniform Division SOP for Rape & Sex Offenses written in 2002. If there isn’t anyone down a SPD that doesn’t see how bad this is…I give up!!!
As a part of Officer Reece’s discipline, he was required to receive some “Remedial Training” with the SVU, now that is all well and good, but I guarantee you one hour is NOT ENOUGH, and if handling Rape and Sex Crimes Cases properly isn’t hammered into Recruits heads when they go through the Police Academy a good portion of SVU’s time will likely be consumed with “Remedial Training”.
One would have thought that since this serious training issue was clearly identified in December of 2017 there would have been plenty of time to prepare a training curriculum for the Spring 2018 In-service SPD Training. That didn’t happen, so my recommendation would be for Mayor Condon, Teresa Sanders, and Chief Craig Meidl to direct Director Jacquelyn MacConnell to put together a training curriculum for this Falls In-Service Training. Of course, I’m just a concerned Citizen Journalist and there is no need to follow my recommendations… so we shall see?
As for me!
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!