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Even cities sometimes get bum advice………
I’m Mike Fitzsimmons with commentary on 920-KXLY…….
Spokane City Attorney Howard Delaney was fired Thursday. Mayor David Condon says he’s looking for new leadership in the city attorney’s office and it wasn’t any one issue that precipitated the loss of confidence in Delaney. While that may be true, there were several recent cases wherein it appears the legal advice the city got from its senior attorney was a liability. First among them was the handling of the Otto Zehm matter. Officer Karl Thompson was eventually convicted in connection with the beating of Otto Zehm in 2006, but what was most troubling was the accusation of the Department of Justice claiming that the city of participated in a cover-up to protect officers involved in the confrontation.
Most recently, The City Attorney’s Office under the direction of Howard Delaney counseled the city to rehire former police officer Brad Thoma, an alcoholic police officer who in 2009 fled from a collision he caused while off-duty and intoxicated. The settlement deal would have given Thoma $275,000 in back pay. The Spokane City Council, highly critical of the legal advice from Delaney’s office, unanimously turned thumbs down on the agreement earlier this week. Now the matter is headed for court. Suffice it to say that the Council and the Mayor lost confidence in the city’s chief legal representative, and the only option was to part ways.
Still undetermined is the fate of another of the city’s attorneys, Rocky Treppiedi. Treppiedi was one of the the city’s lead attorneys directing the legal response to the Otto Zehm case. Like Delaney, he has been under fire ever since. Treppiedi has some serious enemies in high places and may also be shown the door in the days ahead as well, but that will be up to the new City Attorney, Nancy Isserlis. My guess is that we should look for another shoe to fall.
With commentary on 920 – KXLY, I’m Mike Fitzsimmons
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