When you are a Cop and subject yourself to danger one of the things you should have the utmost confidence in is that your agency will take care of your family should something happen, and you die from injuries you receive in the line of duty. When you go on the job inevitably your wife will express her concern so you sit down usually more than once and explain to her if something does happen you and the kids will be taken care of, but you will have to jump through some minor hoops the agency will help you through.
Such is not the case with Mayor Woodward’s Administration and the facts are that instead of helping the grieving spouse and children of a fallen SPD Officer she has decided to spend of lot of taxpayer’s monies on fighting payments already approved to the family by paying a law firm to represent the City of Spokane in an effort to block those payments making things even harder on a fallen Officers family. In the recent case of extremely well liked and respected SPD Officer Jon “JD” Anderson Mayor Woodward has chosen to hire the law firm of Floyd & Kane, PLLC to fight a Labor and Industries May 10th, 2021, decision which provided the proper benefits to JD Anderson and his family, and beyond the L&I decision there was of course the Department of Justice decision which ruled the Anderson family was entitled to Fallen Officer Benefits.
Just how well liked and respected was JD Anderson? The local Mainstream Media pretty well covered that but not the back story.
The back story was never picked up by local MSM even though it involved issues the City of Spokane is still dealing with today.
Obviously when a Fallen Officer is memorialized on the Fallen Officer Memorial in front of the Public Safety Building it means a lot to the Officer’s family but not much apparently to Mayor Woodward.
Since the Spokane Police Guild endorsed and backed Mayor Woodward in her run for Mayor, I can’t help but wonder what their position is on this travesty. The excuses given by the City’s contracted lawyer Jon D Floyd to the family for appealing the L&I decision don’t hold water in my mind and of course will be the same excuses Mayor Woodward and Assistant Mayor Brian Coddington will come up with if pressed on the issue. There is little hope either for the family that the City Council would do much of anything since they are currently completely consumed in other issues and of course political posturing in lieu of the next Mayoral Election.
Why in the world would Politicians and Law Enforcement Leaders running Spokane want to somewhat revert back to a system that actually worked back in the day starting in the late 1960s but was ripped apart by the Politicians of yesteryear… everyone knows that the way things were done in the past were worthless.
Commissioner George Marlton said he’ll draw the line at more than one contract, which he said saves money by eliminating duplication.
“It provides more efficient services for the dollar,” Marlton said.
Of course, there is always the blame game unless there is real respect and constant communication between taxpayer funded organizations and Cops no matter whether services are centralized or de-centralized into so many different unaccountable mental health and drug addiction cottage industry entities making constant communication and interaction impossible.
Maybe it is just a matter of “Leaders” like Breean Beggs and Craig Meidl not being around Spokane when things worked well and folks like George Marlton and Steve (Cornbread) Hasson where in the Political Power structure.
“The city has funding for the effort thanks to the 2019 public safety levy approved by voters, according to Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs, who has long supported the concept.
“We just need police to say ‘yeah, we’ll hire them or contract them and here’s the (funding request),’ ” Beggs said.”
I sure don’t remember anything in the 2019 public safety levy that called for SPD to hire Mental Health Professionals, there was of course the good ole catchall “and allowing for other matters properly related thereto” which allows Politicians to use taxpayer’s dollars for anything they want no matter how dumb the expenditure might be. I suppose no one even considered that having SPD hiring Mental Health Professionals sure has heck could be a big conflict when it comes to getting privileged communications and records regarding treatment for mental health and drug addiction issues for an individual suspect of committing a crime…like Murder for example, but then again Politicians and Chiefs of Police never have to do those type of search warrants and never testified in a 3.5 hearing.
“Over the course of Meidl’s career in law enforcement, he said the quantity and scope of calls police respond to has “exploded.””
The truth is Meidl didn’t start his career in Spokane Law enforcement until January 31, 1994, and in all likelihood never did call Community Mental Health for assistance on a call, or for that matter probably never assisted Community Mental Health Pros when they asked for assistance with one of the 25 or so patients the folks at Community Mental Health had on their caseload, I seriously doubt he ever even made the trip down to 107 S. Division.
“This week, three members of the Spokane City Council – Karen Stratton, Lori Kinnear and Betsy Wilkerson – sent Woodward a letter demanding the investigation abide by certain conditions.”
“The three asked that the City Council be asked for approval of any contract for an outside investigator – in this case, Haggard will be paid $20,000 – regardless of whether it meets the $50,000 threshold that requires the council’s approval by law. The administration will not request the council’s approval of the contract.”
“This is a really serious issue and the fact that they are not open to making the results of the investigation at the get-go is concerning,” Stratton said. “I would like to see what their scope is going to be, because they can set the scope to completely gloss over it as well.”
As a side note because members of the CC refuse to respond to me about issues, I uncover at City Hall I did try and warn them through a third party over a week ago that an independent investigation might not be a good idea for them. I hate to make assumptions like Cupid Alexander did “I assume it’s race”, but as far as the CC refusing interaction with me I would “assume” it is because they know my sources inside City Hall are far better than most local reporters.
If anyone recalls the Capple investigation into the Cotton/Straub affair that investigation came about as a result of my recommendation on September 23, 2015 at 6:06 AM to the City Council and I was told on October 1, 2015 at 2:22 PM that there was “zero support” among the City Council for an independent investigation, well what happened during the Capple investigation is of course history but a lot can be learned from history and it might behoove the City Council to go back and look at that case and pay special attention to Mayor Condon’s refusal to compel testimony from his employees.
I’m not sure if anyone noticed that Kathleen Haggard aside from defending cities on various issues also has an expertise in Public Records cases which makes one wonder if her “scope of work” includes determining who leaked the Public Records emails to the media.
If this is a trap there is of course a way out for the City Council, but since I don’t have a political ideology, I’m going to just sit back and enjoy watching the Conservatives and Progressives battle it out.
The problem the Mayor and Meidl have is the leaks aren’t just limited to, as Shawn Vestal describes, “a frequent police critic” they end up all over the place and the Shamrock Party is just one example. Maybe some Bars is needed for Mayor Woodward’s finely tuned SPD machine.
The type of leak information I receive generally goes to the SPD Culture and the disparity in discipline Chief Meidl gives out which almost always favors the Golden Boys/Girls, it will be interesting to see what the public records on the “Shamrock Party” actually show, that is if and when I get them, because according to my sources there are some pretty interesting folks involved in the issue.
These types of leaks are of no interest to the local MSM or the City Council who for some reason don’t seem to be willing to check them out so informing the Public is left up to we “frequent police critics” who believe the Public has a right to and should know so they can make a judgement on how their elected and appointed officials are doing.
Back in the day when Bill Cowles was running Cowles Publishing the SR and Chronicle had an interest in stuff like this and were willing to battle it out all the way to the Washington State Supreme Court…but alas it just isn’t a priority these days, so here I am.