The findings from an independent investigation conducted by the law firm Winston Cashatt was released to the public last last week. This investigation looked into the conduct of individual members of Spokane Police Ombudsman Committee and found numerous irregularities that led to Spokane’s Mayor and City Council President to call for the resignation of three committee members. The City Council held a special meeting on Thursday last week and voted to remove the Chairman of the ombudsman committee and accepted the resignation of another committee member. A third committee member was out of town and council voted to give this member a week to respond to allegations of impropriety.
The findings of the Winston Cashatt investigation seem to indicate that Spokane Police Ombudsman Committee has been mostly a sham and Spokane still does not have any real citizen oversight. The committee appeared to be more interested in a highly politicized agenda and was hostile towards local law enforcement.
The process and transparency of police oversight has been a problem in Spokane for well over a decade and the events of last week reveal that our community still has serious problems in this area.
In this Mike For Spokane update, we review elements of the investigative report, problems with accessing official records and what our elected representatives can do to resolve these problems now and to restore confidence in the highly important process of police oversight.
The findings of the Spokane Ombudsman Committee investigation can be found here: https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/news/2015/06/17/whistleblower-report-finds-commissioner-misconduct/report-to-the-city-of-spokane-whistleblower-committee-update.pdf