According to the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission Agenda for April 19, 2022, the OPO refused to certify IA Case “C21-070” which is the IA Case involving the complaint made by Council Member Wilkerson regarding the leak by SPD of the existence of the now infamous “not too enthused” Body Worn Camera video to Chud Wendle which he used to try and discredit CM Wilkerson, and the video ended up making it to Fox News.
So without question the OPOC Meeting Flick will be interesting as there are only a few options for the OPO not to certify a case under the Guild Contract.
When I opened my email this morning and received a response to the request imaged below it became quite obvious to me that Council Member Betsy Wilkerson, a woman of color, is being targeted by Mr. Chud Wendle with the aid of members of the Spokane Police Department.
It all started with the now widely publicize “not too enthused” Body Worn Camera Video making national news thanks to Chud Wendle the out-front representative of the wealthy Downtown Spokane folks via his “Spokane Business & Commercial Property Council” Facebook page and with help from SPD as this Spokesman Review story explains
Council Member Wilkerson did exactly the right thing by making a complaint to the Office of Police Ombudsman who could monitor SPD’s Internal Investigation of the case, rather than directly to SPD IA since there was no question SPD was involved in the effort to discredit CM Wilkerson. I did of course submit a PRR for all records regarding that Wilkerson case but because it likely will be very embarrassing to Mayor Woodward and Chief Craig Meidl they will do everything they can to delay and delay the release of those records.
Wendle’s FB page is a private page frequented by not only some of the local wealthy folks but also some rather strange individuals most all of whom certainly have a very Conservative perspective, it is also frequented by local Cops including Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl who would certainly have to be a person of interest in the Wilkerson IA Investigation and I would assume was interviewed regarding the leaked information.
The primary focus of Wendle’s FB page is to portray the City Council and the State Legislature as the bad people responsible for crime in Spokane, even though they have nothing to do with how Mayor Woodward runs our Police Department, and as a matter of fact the City Council despite all the protestation about five of the seven City Council Members being “Defund the Police” advocates the facts speak for themselves.
One of the key pieces of evidence I find in Chud Wendle’s dirt digging quest is this Public Records Request he made which didn’t help him much but sure is evidence of his bias toward CM Wilkerson. It is however a good reminder to drive the speed limit in school zones because Chud is watching.
Now this PRR by Chud Wendle is really interesting and confirms that my sources are correct that OPO Luvimae Omana and Sgt. Uberuaga were involved in the IA Investigation. Interestingly Luvimae Omana, like Betsy Wilkerson is a woman of color and it would appear that she along with Sgt. Uberuaga likely interviewed Chud Wendle, so I’m anxious to see if Chud Wendle was “not too enthused” about cooperating with Ms. Omana and Sgt. Uberuaga during the IA Investigation.
Below you will find links to all of Chud Wendle’s PRR’s to date, and I’m sure someone must have noticed the timelines for the 3 different Wendle PRRs for the original “not too enthused” Body Worn Camera Video.
The war of course is the one going on very publicly between SPD and SPS.
Sources very close to the issue indicate that it started with the highly publicized case involving former Spokane County Deputy Sheriff Shawn Audie’s involvement with restringing a Ferris High School Student, and Mayor Woodard’s current PR person Brian Coddington was the PR person for Spokane Public Schools.
As Public Records slowly become available to the Media, those records seem to corroborate sources including this one which from Spokane Public Schools which somewhat outlines the Post-Audie moves made by SPS.
Which brings us to the question if this is all about an effort to restore School Resource Officers, armed or not in Spokane Public Schools which would be an advantage to SPD and some type of battle as to which taxpayer budget will pay the tab or is it really about the kids?
As far as the various turfs involved in all of this mess are concerned aside from SPS and SPD, there is a bunch including the Washington Education Association, Spokane Principals Association, Spokane Education Association, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, NAACP, ACLU, Stand for Children, Progressives, Conservatives, Libertarians…and on and on.
How long have people been trying to get some type of movement on this mess? At least back to 2012.
War of any type are always about turf and money, and regardless of whether or not it is a shooting war or the typical government turf war the kids are always the ones that get hurt the most. How long will this war go on. The best bet is that it will continue until every ounce of political fodder is extracted from the issue and the various turfs sit down and come up with an answer in the interest of our kids.
Certainly there is a lot of speculation out there that the battle between Spokane Public Schools and the Spokane Police Department goes beyond just a concern about the kids in Spokane Public Schools and involves something deeper. As for me I agree with Council Member Michael Cathcart who states, “I don’t make wild assertions without evidence.”, and no one should. There are however a number of puzzling questions that need answers no matter how long it takes, and it is quite obvious that at this point Council Member Cathcart isn’t willing to share whatever information he may have, even to the point of not bothering to tell members of the Spokane City Council although he is Chair of the City’s Public Safety and Community Health Committee, CM Cathcart didn’t even bother to tell the Vice-Chair Council President Breean Beggs, for which there is no legitimate excuse, at least that I can think of.
Somehow on or about March 14, 2022, the local media got ahold of a letter written by Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl to Spokane Public Schools.
CM Cathcart’s March 15, 2022, post which begs some questions that need to be answered.
1) If it was a big concern to our officers what did they do about it and how long is “for a while”?
2) Did the officers report their concerns to supervisors, Chief Meidl, or just to CM Cathcart?
3) How did you look into the shocking allegation that “SPS staff members were being sanctioned in some way just for calling for a police response was so shocking” other than submitting a PRR to SPD, and SPS?
4) Did you discuss the shocking allegations with Chief Meidl or Superintendent Dr. Adam Swinyard?
5) Exactly what records did CM Cathcart request from SPD and SPS, and how did CM Cathcart know what records to request?
On March 15, 2022, the FBI sent an information inquiry email to the Spokane Principals Association and somehow, someway CM Cathcart got his hands on a copy of the FBI email which he posted on his Facebook page March 16, 2022, at 12:03PM, later on March 16, 2022, CM Cathcart was able to get his hands on an email sent to “Spokane area media” by the FBI to clarify what was going on after SA Parker’s email to the Spokane Principals Association was made public by CM Cathcart. CM Cathcart updated his original post with the FBI’s email to “Spokane area media”.
One of the interesting things to me is the copy of Agent Parker’s email posted by CM Cathcart is the way it was redacted. I’ve never seen the FBI utilize that type of redaction process nor have I seen the FBI’s redactions that were so poorly done, which makes me wonder who actually did the redactions, was it CM Cathcart or the person or persons who provided him with the email?
The other interesting aspect of CM Cathcart’s post is how he came into possession of the FBI’s response to his posting of SA Parker’s email, since according to the FBI it was just sent to Spokane media.
To me at least it appears CM Cathcart has a lot of information about this issue that he isn’t willing to share, at least with the City Council and me as this email string makes quite clear. Hopefully he will provide the FBI with all the information he has accumulated.
One of the big puzzles for me is Chief Meidl’s leaked letter to Superintendent Dr. Adam Swinyard.
Chief Meidl certainly must know that RCW 26.44 deals with “any person under the age of eighteen years of age” and there is no requirement in RCW 26.44 that mandatory reporters contact SPD, there is however a requirement that mandatory reporters contact either CPS (“Child protective services section” means the child protective services section of the department) or Law Enforcement and there are requirements that both CPS and Law Enforcement interact.
If SPS isn’t contacting CPS or Law Enforcement when a child under eighteen years who is a victim of “sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person under circumstances which cause harm to the child’s health, welfare, or safety, excluding conduct permitted under RCW 9A.16.100; or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child.”, then that is a big problem, but we just don’t know what the problem actually is at this point so I guess we will have to wait until the joint FBI/SPD investigation is concluded.
If Chief Meidl was trying to make a point to SPS by threatening misdemeanor charges against SPS employees who don’t report incidents of school yard bullying to CPS or Law Enforcement it would be a new way of handling issues between SPS and SPD.
In the past when issues arose between SPS and SPD no threats were made and they were handled with increased training and interaction as well as face to face meetings with the Chief of Police and SPS Superintendents.
If you read the 2005 Spokesman Review article linked above you might be wondering here the heck is the Washington State Attorney Generals Office involvement in all this mess.
If Chief Meidl is concerned about the reporting of harassment, intimidation, or bullying to SPD I can’t find where there is a requirement in the State process to report those issues to Law Enforcement.
It would appear that there is some kind of concern on his part that persons over the age of eighteen years suffering from developmental disabilities who are suspected victims of physical assault or fear of imminent harm who are provided services by SPS and received minor bodily injury which does not require more than basic first aid are not being reported to the “Department of Social and Health Services” (APS).
It goes without saying that when injuries appear on the back, face, head, neck, chest, breasts, groin, inner thigh, buttock, genital, or anal area, a fracture, or there is a pattern of physical assault to vulnerable adults in the care of SPS it darn well better be reported to both Law Enforcement and DSHS and if that is the problem it better get resolved soon.
There is just one heck of a lot the Public doesn’t know at this point and apparently CM Cathcart isn’t talking so it will be interesting to see how this all ends up and it will be especially interesting to learn how it all got started.