The meeting last night of the OPOC clearly demonstrated that the battle by the Office of Police Ombudsman (OPO) and Office of Police Ombudsman Commission (OPOC) with Chief Craig Meidl and the Police Guild over transparency, actually doing internal investigations, and what the OPO Ordinance actually says may have heated up, and it is all because of Chief Craig Meidl’s refusal to investigate complaints about the demeanor of SPD Officer Scott “Batman” Hice’s demeanor toward protesters while on duty working security for a Cathy McMorris-Rodgers event, even though the OPOC for the first time ever used their authority under the OPO Ordinance to try and force an investigation.
Officer Hice is certainly a part of the “cool kids clique” and boy can the Officer dance.
SOME BACK GROUND:
I would hope that some of the reporters attending last nights OPOC Meeting found it as interesting as I did because truly there has been ongoing evidence over the years that SPD doesn’t like any kind of legitimate oversight and that evidence started to show when Mayor Condon with City Council approval negotiated away any semblance of legitimate oversight the majority of Spokane Voters wanted by approving changes to the Spokane City Charter. Diligent, Aggressive, and Hard-Working Investigative Reporting has rooted out corruption all over the Country in places like NYC, LA, Las Vegas, Chicago time and time again, even in the White house with the Watergate/Nixon scandal. Seek “Deep-throats” kids!
Even “Frequent Conservative Critique” Shawn Vestal in one of his columns addressed a big portion of the issue.
Although there has been past coverage of the issues the MSM needs to do more or things will continue on the downhill slide.
This story by new to the area and new Inlander Reporter Josh Kelety is a good start but there needs to be more and each and every Candidate for City Offices needs to be asked specific and hard-hitting questions about Police Oversight and the many other problems currently going on at City Hall.
If “This is as good as we can get,” we are in big trouble!
“This isn’t a matter of me saying, ‘This is as good as we can get,’ ” Stuckart said. “This is me saying, ‘This is good for the citizens.’
“This should’ve been a time to take a victory lap,” he said. “Together, the citizens and the council forced the mayor to get it done, and it’s going to be a really good thing for the community.”
“National Model” for police oversight my arse.
“This will make Spokane a model for civilian police oversight.”
Okay, so much for the background now what was so interesting to me about last nights OPOC meeting, aside from re-confirming what I already knew it became quite obvious the OPO and the OPOC are pissed that Chief Meidl wrote them a letter on December 14, 2018…yes on Christmas Eve, refusing to investigate the Batman Case, they were also pissed that Meidl in his letter trying to justify not adhering to the OPOC’s direction to investigate the case Meidl conveniently left off the highlighted portion of the Definitions section OPO Ordinance.
It isn’t like it wasn’t very, very, predictable that the issue of what constitutes an OPO Investigation wouldn’t come up on the very first OPO/OPOC demand that SPD conduct an IA Investigation. I knew it would and addressed it back in this 2015 story. It was also inevitable the first case would result in a Guild Grievance and the Batman Case has./There was also discussion of why the Police Advisory Committee (PAC) would kick the OPO and OPOC off the PAC.
The question I have is did someone put PAC Chair Joan Butler up to giving the OPO and OPOC the boot and what will the supplemental emails, etc. show?
You can always tell just how serious Politicians are about programs by the way they are funded, or not funded. The discussion about OPO/OPOC finances was enlightening, why in the hell would OPOC Chair Jenny Rose have to pay her own way to National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) training, and what is the story about OPO Benefit payments and the way the City accounts for them?
I’m also curious about what case OPOC lawyer and former City of Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession’s prearranged meeting with Teresa Sanders is all about, I think I know but I’m not sure.
I was hoping to shorten this story up by simply providing a link to last nights audio recorded meeting, but there was a glitch because Mr. Hession happen to mention Officer Hice’s name during the meeting and they are trying to figure out how to bleep out Hice’s name, I already knew the Officer in question was Scott Hice and had lots of confirmation but when you hear the recording you will note from the audience I blurted out “That’s okay I already knew!”, I wasn’t being a jerk I just wanted to mark that spot in the recording. You will also hear at the beginning of the meeting during the public comments portion me asking several questions. Unfortunately, because local politicians refuse to respond to my legitimate questions I’m left with limited options to get to the truth.
As soon as the recording is available I will post a link for you to listen to and decide for yourself what is going on. This story will of course be overshadowed by the Officer Involved Shooting Press Conference today, but it needs reported and has a direct connection to the OIS press conference.
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
In knew when I started this investigation it would be a document review nightmare for an Investigative Reporter and trust me it is, even though I haven’t yet submitted a Public Records Request for the records relating to the Human Resources and EEOC complaints against Mayor Condon’s Director of Human Resources Christine Cavanaugh.
I thought I better start out by providing some background information so in the future I can just refer to this story.
Let me start out by responding to a question I received regarding the ethics of hiring Lawyer Erin Jacobson to do HR Investigations and HR Training after she left City employment and started working for Archbright.
IMO, although the Ethics Code written by former City Attorney Nancy Isserlis didn’t go into effect Sunday, December 18, 2016 because Erin Jacobson was a “central figure” in the million plus dollar Cotton/Straub case, a person with decent ethical standards never would have hired her for much of anything involving City of Spokane issues, especially when you consider all of the negative press Jacobson and the City were getting.
Even with all of the bad press about Jacobson, including her refusal to cooperate with the Chapple Investigation what does Teresa Sanders, Mayor Condon’s City Administrator, do to keep Jacobson in the fold? Teresa Sanders, as the documents linked below clearly demonstrate has a letter prepared to send to the Ethics Commission just after the bad press hits the news so Jacobson an continue to get that good old City Money (Timelines are always important in cases like this).
To give you some idea of Erin Jacobson’s handling of the Cotton/Straub case you might want to read the statement Heather Lowe, Mayor Condon’s former Director of City HR, made to Investigator Chapple.
Some news stories regarding Heather Lowe:
As an aside, back in the day I used to love finding emails like this one sent by Heather Lowe trying to shape other HR Investigations regarding
As it stands at this point it sure appears to me that nothing has changed since Christine Cavanaugh took over Heather Lowe’s spot in the Condon Administration, we still have Erin Jacobson involved even to the point of representing the City in EEOC Complaints involving Cavanaugh, and of course Mr. Reliable… Bob Dunn chomping at the bit!
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!
They all rely on taxpayer dollars to maintain their standard of living.
Christine Cavanaugh the City of Spokane’s Director of Human Resources who was appointed to the position by Mayor Condon after her predecessor Heather Lowe got out while the getting was good makes over 150Gs all together that the taxpayers provide.
Bob Dunn the go to lawyer for any issue the City screws up on has made an incalculable number of taxpayers’ dollars which is the envy of many local members of the Bar.
The EEOC which is entirely funded by the taxpayers has the responsibility of looking into issues involving employment, including employment issues involving the City of Spokane.
Have things changed since Christine Cavanaugh took over for Heather Lowe?
It sure doesn’t look that way and the taxpayers keep shelling out money for HR Cases, and “Independent HR Investigations”.
So exactly what is causing Christine Cavanaugh’s problems as the Director of City Human Resources and will the City have to spend money to defend an EEOC complaint by her own employees?
I have a number of theories and here is just one:
In order to provide background regarding one of my theories I think it is important to provide some background and to a certain extent relate my “Bulldog Factor” theory.
As a lifelong resident of Spokane over the years I’ve noticed some folks, not all, who are associated in some way with GU end up getting some pretty gravy opportunities when it comes to public sector money once they get into the private sector. That isn’t unusual for a College Town but boy when you look at how former City of Spokane Acting Human Resources Director Erin Jacobson who is an Adjunct GU Professor and a member of GU’s HR Board and who is now employed by “Archbright”, given her background with the City it makes sense how Archbright would become a favorite of GU Grad Mike Ormsby and HR Director Chris Cavanaugh.