This is a follow-up story to these previous stories and others involving SPD transparency issues:
One of the big pains in the butt for Investigative Reporters is having to study page after page of data, reports, court cases, emails, text messages, and all kinds of stuff. If you don’t do the work you can easily overlook something. I don’t think I have overlooked anything as far the battle between SPD’s Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT) and the Detective’s Targeted Crimes Unit (TCU), if I have I’m sure I will hear about it.
Aside from the ongoing issue of SPD’s lack of transparency which I’ve pointed out in my previous stories there is a real concern on my part and obviously on the part of others that there are serious problems with some of the cases SPD’s PACT are trying to make. As you can see from my previous story ( “NO LEAK INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE BATTLE BETWEEN SPD’S DETECTIVES AND THE PATROL ANTI- CRIME TEAM!!!”) SPD Detective Lonnie Tofsrud was punished for even bringing up the possibility that Officers lied in building a case. There are a number of serious questions which pop up throughout the IA Investigation of Detective Tofsrud a few of which he points out in his rebuttal to the IA Case.
(***It is a good idea to always make sure you get the Officer’s rebuttal when you do PRRs for IA cases.)
After the IA Case Tofsrud filed a Human Resources complainant against SPD Brass for the way the case was handled which will be an interesting read when I get a response from the City to my PRR regarding Tofsrud’s complaint.
Since I broke a story on November 16, 2018 regarding the Ombudsman Commission making a formal complaint against Chief Meidl about SPD transparency, and the Spokesman Review followed up on my story on November 28, 2018 as did the Inlander on December 27, 2018 the information flow has been non-stop.
SPD “Terry Stops” has been a big issue for some time and SPD Chief Craig Meidl doesn’t like media stories which put SPD in a bad light and has been mum so far on my requests for contact regarding this story. Heck I’d even be satisfied with a nasty email like former Inlander Reporter Mitch Ryals got after this story as long as I was able to ask Meidl a few questions.
The OPOC and more specifically Commissioner James Wilburn has been trying for some time to have SPD turn over data on African American “Terry Stops” for some time, but they have had zero success even though the Public Records Act specifically allows data to be provided to provided to, among others the “Washington state commission on African-American affairs”, so once again I will suggest that the OPOC and Mr. Wilbur contact the Washington state commission on African-American affairs and have them demand the data from SPD.
A few other stories regarding Wilburn’s transparency attempts:
Ombudsman Commissioner James Wilburn, a former president of the local chapter of the NAACP, requested through Logue access to the case files involving use of force by officers against minority groups. The commission argues that the law allows any commissioner to “request the (ombudsman) to examine or re-examine specific non-disciplinary policy or procedure issues.”
“How can I do my job? You’re going to deny me what I’m here on this commission to do,” Wilburn said.
THE HONORABLE SALVADOR MENDOZA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
“And you try to mislead? That was offensive. That has never happened to me as a practicing lawyer, and it never happened to me as a judge. The Court’s going to grant the motion to suppress, including the fruits.”
I see a common thread in the cases I have been reviewing and the Winston Brooks case is typical of what I see. I won’t get into a whole lot more at this point and you can draw your own conclusions from what I have provided here.
A good Inlander Story by Josh Kelety but if anyone really took the time to look into “The Ridpath Mess” they would find that the background is very similar to a lot of property transactions that take place in Spokane with the same players and power structure associations…it is the way it works here in the nations scam capital.
Since Josh Kelety is new to Spokane he may not have known that “The Ridpath Mess” had its beginnings when local convicted scam artist Greg Jeffreys along with Dave Black and Grant Person of NAI Black purchased most of the Ridpath property.
One of the things I learned from years of experience is the place to watch scam artists work their trade is to spend time at the Spokane Club watching the artist’s work their magic, Jeffreys was fun to watch despite the perm job and what would happen to him was inevitable…long story. 😊
Just so you folks know when a local Federal Investigation or Grand Jury is going on in Spokane, one heck of a lot of people know, including the “Target” of the Investigation and Grand Jury so Jeffreys and the others involved knew exactly what was going on as did other members of the Spokane Community.
What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that for a period of time Don Barbieri’s Red Lion Hotels owned some of the property but later sold…now here is where we start with the typical Hilarious Spokane Stuff (HSS) which provides a picture of how Spokane Works.
Just prior to the Jeffreys indictment coming down Jeffreys smartly liquidated his assets as much as possible including his interests in the Ridpath which he sold to none other than Arthur M. Coffey who was a director of Don Barbieri’s West Coast Hotels/Red Lion Hotels Companies beginning in 1990 and was a Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of the Company beginning in June 1997. He was also President of the company’s West Coast Hotels division. Coffey served as Chief Operating Officer of the Company from 1990 to June 1997. Coffey had been in the hotel business since 1971 and joined the Barbieri group in 1981. Coffey was also a director of the Association of Washington Business, served as a trustee of the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, served as a director of the Washington State Hotel Association from 1996 to 1997, served as director of the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1982 to 1985 and served as president of the Spokane Hotel Association from 1989 to 1990 so he had a pretty good Resume built up after leaving the Barbieri group.
Knowing all the background regarding “The Ridpath Mess” I got a real chuckle out of this “Frequent Conservative Critic” Shawn Vestal story.
Especially when Shawn neglected to mention that Art Coffey was a business partner of Shawn’s boss W Stacey Cowles in the IPStreet Business and it was Art Coffey’s ownership of some of some of the Ridpath property that forced the Wells group to sue Coffey in order to gain ownership of the assets Coffey purchased from Greg Jeffreys.
I have to keep reminding myself that Shawn is a Columnist and not an Investigative Reporter so doing serious background on columns isn’t a requisite.
One thing folks might ask is whether or not the City Council was informed about the Ridpath Mess prior to throwing our money into the project, the answer is yes but according to one City Council member I’m only right 90% of the time so maybe they figured the information was part of the 10%? 😊
This is an update to some of my previous stories regarding all the problems in the Spokane County Jail.
For some reason the local MSM hasn’t paid much attention to
all the problems associated with our Spokane County Jail even though those
problems have a direct bearing on some of the stories regarding the Spokane
Criminal Justice System MESS we have!
This whole battle got started when Sheriff Knezovich after
threatening some former female detention staff who complained publicly about
Ozzie, his close friend Phil Tyler, and Detention Director John McGrath.
When Ozzie requested an investigation into the matter Lawyer
Michelle Fossum was hired to investigate the issue, and that investigation didn’t
turn out too well for Ozzie, Phil, or John as she somewhat documented problems
during the time Ozzie was in charge of the jail, John McGrath was Ozzie’s
choice to run the jail for him, and of course we all know about City Council
President Candidate Phil Tyler’s long history of problems.
You Can read the First Fossum Report at this link:
I have to admit when I see something like this in a Consultant’s recommendations, I get a smile on my face, but it worked for Ms. Fossum, she got the next job! 😊
Since I have real good sources regarding what is going on
with the Jail problems I was able to obtain a copy of the most recent Fossum
Report regarding the Sparber allegation against McGrath long before I would
have gotten it from the County, and you can read it at this link:
This is still a developing story…actually it has been
developing for a long time…and there will be lots more to come. The big
question at this point is will the BoCC fire McGrath as Ozzie would like to see
happen and then have to defend a lawsuit by McGrath’s very competent Lawyer Mary
Schultz or will McGrath be able to hang in there.
As a side note, I hope Daniel Walters from the Inlander
reads this in order to gain an understanding that sometimes even “cantankerous”
former cops have real good sources! 😊
But having lived in Spokane all my life and being a taxpayer I thought it would only be right to try and come up a solution especially since I as an individual taxpayer have contributed my fair share to such great projects as shortening the walk for College kids to get back and forth to school while at the same time assisting businesses and developers in the east Sprague corridor, the “re-development” of Riverfront Park, the “beautification”of the Downtown Gateway, and even the spiffy new Monroe Street Project, to say nothing of what could be the renewal of Albi Stadium if the School Board decision stays and no one files a lawsuit just to name a few.
Here is a great option…from my perspective anyway! 😊
Our Progressive City Council folks who have a 6-1 majority should instead of trying to make great theater by chaining themselves in front of City Hall could easily vote to re-instate the Business and Occupation Tax here in Spokane, like the City Council did back in 1971 which was used to fund EXPO 74 and would easily provide for financing of many homeless shelters. Certainly,reinstating a B&O tax would take some fortitude especially when you consider that some of our CC folks are running for election and re-election and doing so would cause them to suffer the wrath of the affluent Downtown Power Structure and because a B&O tax is always passed on to consumers a large number of voters wouldn’t be the least bit happy.
This link will give you some idea of what would happen if the CC actually wanted to find solutions for the homeless problem.
You’re right, the Downtown Power Structure who do a majority of the complaining about the problems associated with homelessness would complain like a son of a gun if they had to pay a B&O Tax, and of courseone would expect an editorial from the Cowles family dissing a B&O tax and which in turn would probably lead to a non-endorsement by the SR and undoubtedly a political quagmire the CC would not want to face.
Needless to say, some folks after reading this story will classify me as a heartless old Curmudgeon who has no sympathy whatsoever for the plight of the homeless, but we members of the Curmudgeonist Party are quite used to false accusations and will continue to try and find solutions for all the problems we face in Spokane.